South African Locomotive 3007

Contributed by Glasgow Museums Centre

South African Railways class 15F steam locomotive number  3007 © Glasgow City Council (Museums)

This locomotive was one of 204 of its type built in Glasgow for the South African Railways. It weighs almost 180 tons!This locomotive, number 3007, was built in 1944-45 in Glasgow as part of an order of 60 locomotives for the South African Railways. It was built by the North British Locomotive Company, the largest locomotive builder in Europe. The company had three works in Glasgow and exported locomotives to railway all across the globe.

In April 1945, it was shipped to South Africa, where it was in service until 1988. During this time it hauled passenger and freight trains all across the country, and towards the end of its working life it was used to shunt rolling stock in railway yards.

The railways in South Africa, like all aspects of life, were controlled by strict racial laws. Apartheid, which began in 1948, dictated that black South Africans were barred from any skilled jobs with the railways like locomotive driver or engineer. There were separate carriages for the different race groups and even separate platforms at some stations.

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