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Hand-built little steam dream

LIVE steamer Nico Steyn, with his 30-year-old diesel engine, taking passengers around the track at the Western Cape Live Streamers facility in Parow West. Ian Landberg African News Agency (ANA)

LIVE steamer Nico Steyn, with his 30-year-old diesel engine, taking passengers around the track at the Western Cape Live Streamers facility in Parow West. Ian Landberg African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 2, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - On the first Saturday of every month, children of all ages can enjoy a nostalgic train ride on a steam-puffing locomotive, at the Klein De Grendel “Station” in Parow West, behind the Ajax Cape Town Soccer Academy.

The knee-high mini train is operated by the 40-year-old Western Province Live Steamers Society, founded in 1980 by the late Jack Love. The Society is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to the preservation and development of miniature steam, diesel, and electric locomotives.

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Visitors can have train rides on these miniature trains or a picnic or a party on the open field between the tracks, and just watch these old beauties in all their greasy glory operating. Each one has been built and maintained by the club's very experienced engineers and hobbyists themselves.

LIVE steamer Nico Steyn, with his 30-year-old diesel engine, taking passengers around the track at the Western Cape Live Streamers facility in Parow West. Ian Landberg African News Agency (ANA)

The society’s chairperson Geoffrey de Vartek said: “Our aim is for people to experience a lovely family outing with our enthusiastic members and their little locomotives. We would also like to encourage young people and adults alike, to start working with their hands again and get hobbies, where you effectively see the product of your labour. Working not only for yourself, but also for the benefit of society and your greater community.”

LIVE steamer Bernard Ridley, steaming up his British Pacific Engine. Ian Landsberg African News Agency (ANA)

So, head out to Parow for your own little Orient Express experience.

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For more information, contact Geoffrey on 072 7876 709.

When? The first Saturday of Every Month.

Time? From 1:30pm to 4pm.

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Cost: entrance is free, R10 per ticket to ride.

LIVE steamer Bobby Moore on his DHR B-Class tank, with passengers, in Parow. Ian Landsberg African News Agency (ANA)

Where? Bertie Genade Street Parow, Cape Town, near the Parow Golf Course and behind Ajax Cape Town.

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