The International Steam Pages

Surviving Steam Locomotives in Angola, December 2008

John Middleton writes (24th December 2008):

Angola is definitely flavour of the month in terms of dumped steam given that we are becoming aware that hardly anything has been scrapped since the end of steam. New locos are being discovered almost weekly and the dump at Catete only came to light this month (although there have been reports around for a while that there were locos here). We now have a full set of photos showing 21 locos and 7 tenders in one long line. The locos are CFL Garratts 501-506, 553-556 (assumed), Jung 2-8-2's 251-253 plus three of the 151 class (possibly 153/156/158) and five of the 201 class (possibly 5 of 205/206/208/209/211/212). The only definite ids' are 501-6 as the whole class is here, the others mostly deductions from what was around in 1972 (553 is confirmed and one of the Jungs carries boiler plate 12262 which would make it ex CFM 142 which likely became the second CFL 251). There is a report of 2 more CFL locos at Caxito but no-one has been there yet. These pictures from Catete are courtesy of Andrew Chalmers:

The first two locos are Armstrong Whitworth 4-8-0s


The first Garratt on the left below is one of the post WW2 Krupp 4-8-2 + 4-8-2s.


The railway was CF Luanda, CF Angola was an umbrella name for the state owned railways (ie CFL/CFM (M = Mocamedes) but not the Benguela Railway (CFB).
This is one of the slightly earlier Beyer Peacock 4-8-2 + 4-8-2s.

This is one of the later Jung 2-8-2s:

This is one of the Henschel 4-8-0s, they were alone in having oval numberplates.

Also missing is the classic 1887 Tubize named LUGALLA which was Luanda shed "pet" in 1972 and is likely still there somewhere, but it won't look like it did when Basil Roberts photographed it in 1970.... This picture is taken from the Images of Rail CD-ROM Safari Steam


Next searching place is the CF Mocamedes, not even visited much in steam days because it dieselised early in 1967-68 but reports are coming in of locos in at least 4 places (Menonge, Cuchi, Lubango and Matala) and in 1972 a lot survived at Sa sa Bandiera (now Lubango) workshops including ex SAR NG9's from before the gauge conversion (wow - that would be a find - class extinct in SA). Google Earth has good coverage of Lubango and what appear to be Garratts can be seen in one corner of the yard. They had 6 magnificent 1953 built Henschels. 

CF Benguela is probably the best explored and at least 72 steam have been seen with 3 more added just yesterday from photos sent in but in a location not certain (a lot of these are coming in from aid workers who are less than diligent in recording exactly where they took the photos). A lot of the locos were damaged as the colonial Portuguese withdrew by placing small charges on the cylinders etc. Even the beautiful ex-CGR 6 class preserved in the works yard at Huambo has been damaged in this way. There are 38 locos at Huambo alone. These are very recent photos:

This is a post war 10D 4-8-2 + 4-8-2 Garratt


This is a post war 10C 4-8-2 + 4-8-2 Garratt


From the worksplate this is 9C 4-8-0 234.


Next challenge is may be trying to save some of this before the Chinese, who are active in Angola rebuilding lines, cotton on to all this scrap metal lying around. At Catete the Chinese construction camp is right alongside the locos.

Rob Dickinson