South Africa’s Stars of Sandstone Steam and Heritage Festival at Sandstone Estates in the Eastern Free State of South Africa takes place from April 4 to 14.
The festival offers unique aspects of authentic farming and transport of yesteryear, such as three teams of Afrikaner oxen. With the backdrop of the majestic Maluti Mountains of Lesotho, which borders the estate, the festival will once again offer scenic steam train rides on the 26km narrow-gauge rail track on the farming estate.
Here are some of the journeys that will take place this year:
The Mountain Wanderer offers scenic journeys at Sandstone. It traverses the full 30 km of track around the estate. Utilising up to 14 passenger coaches and two Garratt locomotives, which are former South African Railways steam locomotives, this train starts and finally ends at Hoekfontein Station. This station dates back to the 1890s, and the journey takes between 90 minutes and two hours.
The Lesotho Meander is a short trip of about 30 minutes to Grootdraai, which is on a hill above the Lesotho border with South Africa.
The Stargazer is a magical evening journey departing from Grootdraai at 8 pm on selected evenings. Grootdraai is a short distance from the Lesotho Border, which is the Caledon River in the valley below. Passengers disembark at this point and observe the dazzling night sky. An astronomer provides an informative talk.
Seb’s Railway for children offers 2,48 km of fun for youngsters – and the young at heart.
Blue Train experience will be a two day epic two-day stop at the Festival from April 3-6, 2019. The 3-night, 4-day Blue Train indulgence to Stars of Sandstone 2019 commences with an early morning check-in at The Blue Train VIP Lounge at Pretoria Station.