13:51: The freight train passes the turn-off road to Zonkwa's-drift to Riebeeck-Castle. The train is headed by 14-109 of which only 10 units exist, followed by 14-001 of which only two units exist. The locomotives are speeding coal empties back to the coal fields in Mpumalanga province in order to bring another load of coal for the smelters at Saldanha on the West Coast. Photo courtesy Elna Conradie.
In 1990 Spoornet, formerly the South African Railways (SAR) and later renamed Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), took delivery of three prototype Class 14E, Series 1 dual voltage electric locomotives. They were the first dual voltage 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC locomotives to see service on South African rails when they were placed in service in 1991, and were followed in 1994 by ten locally manufactured Class 14E, Series 2 locomotives.
Class 14E, Series 1 and 2 locomotives are Bellville based and are mainly employed in freight service on the route between Cape Town and Beaufort West in the Western Cape. Since they are dual voltage 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC locomotives, they can work on any electrified line country-wide with the exception of the Sishen Saldanha iron ore line. On very rare occasions the series 1 are employed to haul the Blue Train all the way along the Cape Town-Pretoria route across the 25 kV stretch between Beaufort West and Kimberley, but this task is usually performed by selected Series 2 locomotives
Tenders were invited in January 1984 for six prototype Class 14E locomotives. These were intended to be dual voltage 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC with self steering bogies and fully suspended AC traction motors, with a 3,800 kW (5,100 hp) power output plus some 400 kW (540 hp) for train services such as heating. The maximum speed was to be at least 160 km/h (99 mph) with a 22 t (22 long tons) maximum axle loading.
Only three prototype locomotives were eventually built and delivered in 1990. The Class 14E, Series 1 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC electric locomotive was designed by the 50 c/s Group (ACEC of Belgium, AEG-Telefunken and Siemens of Germany, Alsthom-Atlantique of France, and Brown Boveri of Switzerland) and built by Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM) in Winterthur.for 14-109:
The South African Class 14E, Series 2 dual voltage 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC electric locomotive was designed by Consortium, consisting of Siemens, ABB, AEG-Westinghouse, GEC and Alsthom-Atlantique. They were built by Union Carriage and Wagon (UCW) in Nigel, Transvaal, under licence to Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM) in Winterthur. Ten locomotives were delivered and placed in service by December 1994.
The original order was placed for fifty locomotives. The first ones to be delivered were subjected to intensive trial runs on speed-freight trains in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. It was found not to be a suitable locomotive for the infrastructure on 20 ton per axle lines, and it caused some damage to points when travelling at 80 km/h (50 mph) in the Free State. When the first one to be delivered developed a vibration in the gear box, the order for the fifty was summarily reduced to ten, given the unsatisfactory trial results to date.