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Friends of the Rail, Hermanstad, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.
Preserving South Africa’s Railway Heritage. Friends of the Rail (FOTR) is a recreational club which was started some 25 years ago by a group of railway enthusiasts. Today FOTR is a non-profit association which has publically open membership - anyone interested in furthering our aims can join.
FOTR restores, preserves and operates steam heritage trains in what can be described as a living museum. This provides a recreational outlet for FOTR's members whilst at the same time providing enjoyment and education for the public for whom we run regular steam train outings. These steam train outings form the bulk of the revenue flowing into the club. This revenue, after expenses, is ploughed directly back into the aims and objectives of the club. Most work carried out, including manning trains, is done on a completely voluntary basis by members without financial reward. The aims of FOTR are:
* To acquire, restore, preserve and display of heritage rail equipment, including steam locomotives and veteran rolling stock
* To utilise restored heritage steam locomotives and rolling stock to provide an opportunity for the public to experience the thrill of travelling by steam.
* To provide an environment where FOTR's own members and members of the public can experience and become involved in static and live Heritage Rail operations.
* To provide a contribution to tourism by creating affordable and interesting tourism activities, which can then act as a feeder into the local tourism economy.
* To acquire and share the technical and operational knowledge needed for its rail preservation operations.
* To provide platforms for the public dissemination of various aspects of railway knowledge and history appropriate to FOTR's environment.
Unless otherwise stated, all FOTR trains depart from our own station station in Michaelson Street, Hermanstad, Pretoria This station is safe and secure and has plenty of on-site car parking too! A souvenier shop, selling railway-related items, books, magazines and trinkets is open until the train departs. Cold drinks, hot tea and coffee are also available, so arrive early and relax with us. Established in a disused railway goods depot, this facility is planned to ultimately house the entire operations of FOTR. For the moment it serves as our passenger terminal, mini-museum, offices and as storage for some of our unused rolling stock. The public area contains the old goods shed and a roofed waiting shelter with picnic tables. On days when our train departs in the afternoon (such as the Tshwane Xplorer), we encourage passengers to arrive very early, watch the activity, visit the loco, chat to the crew and enjoy a picnic in the grounds. On those days, we provide braai fires, so bring your meat and wors too!
1362/1%Last update: 2014-03-16 15:52
Author: Alan McIver
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