Getting up steam: PMB man chuffed with his model locomotive

2012-07-23 00:00

AFTER many sleepless nights and much hard work, Andries Keyser has finally finished working on his miniature steam train.

The train, which is a third-scale replica of a locomotive used in 1895, with a few modifications, took him five years to complete.

Keyser (24) told The Witness yesterday that he had found the story of the original train fascinating.

“The history of the original engine is very interesting. They built it in a hurry during the Anglo-Boer war,” he said.

Keyser obtained archived drawings of the original model and used a 3D designing programme to create the locomotive. Every single part is handmade.

The train runs on an 18 cm-gauge railway along a one-kilometre track. The ride is about 10 minutes long. The original train ran on a two-foot gauge railway track.

Friends and family, some from as far as Johannesburg, came to support Keyser as he unveiled his locomotive in Bisley yesterday. He named it after his mother, Doreen.

“A train is traditionally named after a lady and by naming it after my mother [it] will guarantee me enough home-made cakes and goodies for a good number of years,” he joked.

Keyser, a business owner, is proud of what he has achieved.

“It is like giving life to something that’s dead. It is unbelievable,”he said.

Keyser became a member of the Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society when he was 12 years old.

The chairperson of the society, Martin Hampton, said Keyser’s locomotive was a major achievement.

“This is all a part of history,” he said. Keyser was possibly the youngest person in the country to build such a train in such a short space of time.

“Some people usually take their whole lives to build these. Everybody is very proud of his achievement,” Hampton said.

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