here for the International Stationary Steam Index
here for the Surviving Steam Road Engine Index
Central African Republic
||Tim Dray found this Robey compound stored in good condition in an abandoned
cotton processing mill in Bouar, in November 2006. Click
here for more pictures including a smaller Robey engine.
Democratic Republic of Congo
||The sugar mill at Kwilu-Ngongo keeps this Stork drop
valve engine (3084/1928) as a historical monument, thanks to Scott
Jesser for this one (1st October 2016) .
||I have been told by David Wood that the Wonji sugar mill (located near the large town of Nazareth, about 100
km south east from Addis Ababa) has/had a second
hand mill engine from Java, installed by a Dutch company. Almost immediately I
posted this I had an email from an old HVA employee, René van Slooten, who
stated that the Stork
engines at Wonji and Shoa had been replaced by turbines quite recently. And now
he tells me (15th May 2007) "I was wrong. A Dutch journalist who was there last month told me that one of the original Stork engines from 1953 in the Wonji sugar mill is still in operation, the other two have been replaced by turbines.
Here is a photo of this Stork that I scanned from the magazine."
Some time back, Manfred Schoeler told me that he saw a short sequence on German
TV about a steam powered sugar mill on the island of Nosy Be (12 km from the northwest coast of
Madagascar). Apparently the equipment is 1923 vintage state-of-the-art including the
distillery for producing rum. Finally Thomas Kautzor got here in February 2012
but it was too late to see it working - read
his report (15th March 2012).
Later (30th June 2007) I located a picture dating from October 2006 by Andre Costelli on the web which
shows part of one engine which is preserved outside one of the 'ylang-ylang' distilleries which can be visited by tourists near the capital of the island at
Hellville. Thomas Kautzor was also here in February 2012 and filled in the
details - read his report (15th
James Waite reported on his visit that month: "I think you're asking if any of the
sugar mills are steam driven! We glimpsed St. Felix, in the south west of the island, from outside and which describes
itself as the oldest surviving mill on the island, and Mon Desert Alma at Moka, about 6 miles south east of Port Louis, and both were very obviously
steam driven and going flat out! I'm afraid we didn't go in - this was, after all, a family holiday! We did go round Beau Champ which was very
modern and all-electric, and also Mon Tresor Mon Desert which was much more ancient but still electric. We also went past Mon Loisir and La
Barraque, Savannah, which both looked to be electric, as did Highlands. That leaves
four other mills on the island which we didn't see at all."
Torsten Schneider has revisited the island
(report, 24th January 2007, pictures 25th January 2007) and has found some
preserved stationary steam and at least one engine still in use -
unfortunately it seems to have been outside the season which presumably will
be June to September or thereabouts as the island is in the southern
hemisphere. Thomas Kautzor's February 2012 visit surveyed a large number of preserved
items but no sign of working or workable stationary steam (23rd February
2012). Both these reports now have additional information supplied by Andre
Roulllard (19th May 2012).
Not much chance of this turning up in a video clip, but
fascinating remains of old sugar mill equipment are shown here http://usines-sucrieres-de-mayotte2.over-blog.com.
If like me, you didn't know where Mayotte was, then it is one of the Comoros
islands in the Mozambique channel and remained a French territory when the
other islands became independent. In fact as Laurent Lachery points out this
is only the tip of the iceberg, check out http://usines-sucrieres-de-mayotte.over-blog.com/
for links to a massive archive of other industrial relics (23rd
See also this comprehensive and developing survey - http://www.patrimoine-industriel-de-mayotte.fr/
(13th January 2015).
Trevor Heath sent me a link which is now broken, lovely pictures of Sena estates in 1975 with steam locos, steam traction
engines and steam powered boats. (added 21st January 2008). If anyone finds the
new one please let me know.
This is another island with a fascinating industrial history and many ruins
of interest. Le Musée de Stella Matutina à Piton St Leu appears well worth a
- although the official website states that the museum is closed for
reconstruction w.e.f. March 2011, http://www.stellamatutina.fr/
(3rd January 2012, link dead by 26th April 2014).
Thomas Kautzor was here in January 2012 and indeed found the museum above
inaccessible but he did manage to visit another museum with preserved stationary
steam, La Saga du Rhum, Distillerie Isautier, Chemin Fredelin, St-Pierre - see
the pictures (23rd February 2012)
Thomas Kautzor visited here in January 2009,
researching the remains of the colonial railways on the island (pictures added 17th
March 2009), an
absolutely fascinating read which includes observations of some remaining
Thomas Kautzor points out that a large
horizontal stationary steam engine survives at the former water works at
Makhana, (21st June 2016). He has now had the opportunity to visit
the location and reports (20th December 2016):
"The small village of Makhana is located 18 km NE of Saint-Louis. During seven months of the year the city of Saint-Louis is surrounded by salt water. Until the middle of the 19th century drinking water was drawn upriver and brought to the city by tanker. In 1859 Governor Faidherbe started the conversion of the Kassak swamps northeast of Saint-Louis into a drinking water reservoir. The project was finally finished by Governor Brière de l’Isle. A first pumping station equipped with two steam pumps was built at Makhana. The steam
engines were built by J. Leblanc (Paris) in 1882 and the pumping station put into service in 1885. Water was pumped through a 17 km pipe into the city, crossing the river via a syphon. In 1902 a second pumping plant with a single steam engine was put into service.
Shortly before World War II, in order to improve the water quality a new system developed by engineer Adelbert after 1917 was put in place. The old Makhana pumping station, which worked continuously during eight months out of the year for 67 years, was finally put out of service in 1952. The 1882 steam pumps are thought to be the oldest steam engines to survive in West Africa.
(The first 9 pictures show the original
installation. At a guess, the engines have lost their original pumps -
ahead of the cylinders - and now have a later vertical pump driven off the
crankshaft. The second 6 pictures show the later installation. RD)
Older palm oil mills in West Africa will have been powered
by stationary steam originally. Now it seems that at least one small mill
has yet to be modernised. Read about it and see
the pictures, courtesy of Mr. K.P. Ng and Mr. G.J. Ram of Malaysia who are
Oil Palm consultants (5th April 2012).
Trevor Heath and Thomas Kautzor tipped me off on this one - surviving
stationary steam in south-west Sudan seen in 2002/3 (added 23rd
April 2008). For an update on this please see John
Ashworth's account of his March 2011 revisit (20th
March 2011). There are two Robey undertype engines, one of which was
active until 2010, there is also an out of use Ruston portable here.
Thomas Kautzor (12th June 2011) found this
preserved (former) portable in front of Kingfisher House, just south of Kigombe,
which most probably comes from the nearby sisal factory. It dates from a period
when the present Tanzania was a German colony, Lanz was a prolific producer of
machinery, for a similar complete machine of the same age see http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertfish/5317275083/
For information on the company, now part of the John Deere Group see
)domain dead by 31st October 2017).
Not stationary steam, but definitely active steam age are several boilers
from the Cradley Boiler Company, West Midlands, UK, discovered active in
cottonseed processing mills by René van Slooten (25th
August 2011). See the pictures here - http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Cradley_Boiler_Co. If anyone knows anything about them and their age, please get in
touch, a web search got nowhere..
Scott Jesser has sent this picture of a preserved A & W Smith vacuum pump
at Hippo Valley Estates sugar mill in Zimbabwe taken on 2 October 2013 (added
1st October 2016).