|2 Foot Preservation Trust:
a non- profit organization preserving the narrow and standard gauge railway heritage of Southern Africa
The steady decline of operations on the once profitable 2 foot gauge railway systems in South Africa must lead to concern over the future existence of the remaining systems, one of which is the Avontuur branch from Port Elizabeth, arguably the longest 2 foot system remaining in the world.
During the last century, 18 2 foot gauge railways were built to develop various agricultural areas of Southern Africa, 7 of which were re-gauged to Cape gauge, 5 were abandoned before 1950 two were closed as a result of storm damage in 1985 (cyclone Demoinia) and the last closed narrow gauge line was the ACR (Port Shepstone to Harding) in 2007.
The last remaining line is now the Apple Express line (Port Elizabeth- Patensie- Avontuur) and a reopened part of the Donnybrook system (Ixopo-Umzimkulu).
The new built, private 2 foot railway on the Sandstone Estates farms is the Eldorado of South African narrow gauge preservation.
The historical background of these narrow gauge rail systems and the role they played in the development of Southern Africa must surely justify a case for preservation for the future generations to enjoy, quite apart of the tourism potential of steam traction dating back to the early years of the last century.
In comparison the Cape gauge (1062mm / 3`6") trains, the 2 foot trains are a novelty and drew a smile and a wave as they passed on their way to somewhere for someone and for some obscure reason. This is situation the preservation groups find themselves in on the ground, struggling to keep a worth while service operating against all odds. This is why we have formed the 2 Foot Preservation Trust, so that we may assist the groups with publishing information on their operations and so to gain as much support as possible on a worldwide basis for their efforts.
The objectives of the 2 Foot Preservation Trust (2FPT)
To ensure the survival of the remaining 2 foot gauge railways and standard guege steam in Southern Africa by supporting all the 2 foot and standard gauge preservation groups as much as possible
2 FPT will publish all information on the various operations on narrow and standard gauge to its fullest extent, we shall assist with sponsorship recruitment where required and we shall also assist in the planning and execution of special events
The 2FPT site would act as a overview over all steam operators in South Africa. On this site you get the news, timetables and the next steam train at a glance.
Through this web side we shall present a broad based platform for groups to utilize for the advancement of their goals and objectives
The Trust owns a small but rare collection of rolling stock that will be restored and utilized on the various systems as and when needed.
All income from various ventures as: steam adventures, shop, donations, will be used to support the narrow and standard gauge preservation and operation in SOUTH AFRICA.
The remaining narrow gauge lines in South Africa traverse some of the most scenic and beautiful areas of the countryside and a lot of the area is only accessible by train. This makes for some unique tourist and rail fan opportunities.
We thank you for its support, your 2FPT