The Sandstone International Festival programme, packages and ticket sales

Sandstone entry tickets
If you prefer to plan your own transport and accommodation and only need entry tickets to the festival, Geoff's Trains will be happy to oblige.

A choice of tour packages
Book a package that includes transfers between Johannesburg and Sandstone, accommodation, festival entry  and the services of the Geoff's
Trains management team.

Coaches leave Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport at 13h00 on 01, 03 and 08 April, they return on 08 and 12 April.
These coach transfers make it possible to book a number of inclusive packages:

Travel from Johannesburg to Sandstone on 01 or 03 April and return on 12 April
Eight or ten days at Sandstone. The 01 April departure includes two preview days

Travel from Johannesburg to Sandstone on 01 or 03 April and return on 08 April
Four or six days at Sandstone. The 01 April departure includes two preview days

Travel from Johannesburg to Sandstone on 08 April and return on 12 April
Three days at Sandstone

Both the 03 to 12 April and the 08 to 12 April visits can be combined with the mainline steam train to Bloemfontein and Kimberley.
If you are a photographer,
early morning photographic sessions can be booked to coincide with your visit.

The programme
The events and locomotives detailed here may change.

Monday, 01 April 2019
Transfer for the preview days
For those including the preview days in their package, meet at Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport for a 13h00 departure. The transfer to your hotel or
lodge will take about 5 hours. Dinner is included tonight.

Tuesday, 02 and Wednesday, 03 April 2019
Preview days
The two days prior to the festival are used to familiarise active participants with their equipment, and to deal with the mandatory certification of the
railway operating crew. You can include these two days in your visit, benefiting from a much quieter environment as you explore the estate and
heritage assets. Breakfast, local transfers and Sandstone entry on both days are included in your package.

Wednesday, 03 April 2019
For those starting their Sandstone visit on 04 April, your coach transfer will leave Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport at 13h00. The transfer will take
between 5 and 6 hours with a halfway comfort stop. An included dinner will be at your hotel or lodge.

Thursday, 04 April 2019
The Stars of Sandstone International Festival starts today

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter will feature NG15 and NGG16 locomotives on a goods train between Hoekfontein and Vailima. The event starts at sunrise and ends
at 09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where possible facilitate additional photo
opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
If you have not joined the morning photo charter, transfer to Sandtone after breakfast  in time for the 10h00 start, there will then be a non-stop
programme of events until sunset. Today will feature the two Lawley 4-4-0 locomotives that will make journeys from the main Hoekfontein station to
the Grootdraai loop before running through Hoekfontein to Mooihoek and back, each journey will take about one hour. During the morning there will
be a passenger train to Vailima siding, where it will take water before returning to Hoekfontein and the NG4 will be used to shuttle passengers
between the Blue Train standing at Vailima siding and Hoekfontein station. In the middle of the afternoon a double headed NGG16 Garratt powered
passenger train will travel to Vailima before continuing around the mountain loop back to Hoekfontein. A goods train with the NG15 will follow the
Garratt powered Mountain Wanderer as far as Vailima. Coach transport will be provided in the afternoon that will access photo run-past locations
prior to the arrival of the Mountain Wanderer and the train that follows it to Vailima. The coach will leapfrog the trains in such a way that different
photographs will be achievable. Space will be limited and should be pre-booked, with participants on the early morning photo charters having
priority. You are also able to travel on the Mountain Wanderer, but photographs will be more limited with that option.

The train timetable on every day of the festival will be similar to that described above, but with different locomotives.

This festival will be the first where the shorter Sebs Railway will be fully functional. This railway has been built to facilitate the use of the interesting
collection of smaller locomotives that Sandstone owns. In the past, these locomotives have not seen much action as they are unable to run a service
alongside their larger stable mates. During each day, a selection of smaller steam locomotives will run, most with passenger carriages but there
will also be a daily photo goods train with cocopan wagons. Today's locomotives should be O&K 4102 in the morning and O&K 12140 in the
afternoon. Little Bess will run the cocopan photo train.

Daily arena style events should appeal to both spectators and photographers. Each day, these events will highlight a different facet of the heritage
collection. The arena is a movable concept, it will be set up at an appropriate location for each day’s event. Consideration will be given to the needs
of photographers with an appropriate backdrop – normally the outstanding Freestate scenery, appropriately dressed display teams and a live
commentary. This morning's arena event will introduce Sandstone’s operational vintage tractors and agricultural equipment, on most afternoons the
military collection will be featured.

Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner. Dinner at Sandstone must be pre-booked so that the organisers can arrange the
meals and transfers.

Friday, 05 April 2019

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter should feature the two Lawley 4-4-0 ex- Beira Railway locomotives on a goods train between Hoekfontein and Grootdraai. The event
starts at sunrise and ends at 09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where possible
facilitate additional photo opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
The big event this morning will be the official festival opening and the NG10 grand re-launch. This iconic locomotive has been magnificently restored
by Lucas Nell and his team at Sandstone’s Bloemfontein workshops. The launch will be followed with trains throughout the day operated by the
NG10 and NG4 locomotives running between Hoekfontein, Grootdraai and Mooihoek. There will also be an NG4 tank locomotive to Vailima and
double headed Garratts around the mountain this afternoon.
Sebs Railway will be running all day with Little Bess in the morning, ISE3 in the afternoon and O&K 2510 on the cocopan photo train. The morning
arena event will feature traction engines.
The stargazer express will run tonight. Travel to a dark location on the estate where there will be an informative talk about the stars of the southern
hemisphere, an evening of beauty and enlightenment.
Return to your accommodation will be before dinner, or after dinner and the stargazer express.

Saturday, 06 April 2019

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter should feature the two Garratt locomotives on a goods train. The NGG13 and NGG16 will run between Hoekfontein and Vailima. The
event starts at sunrise and ends at 09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where
possible facilitate additional photo opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
Today's regular trains will run with the NG10 and Peckett locomotives. The NGG11, the oldest working Garratt in the world, will run a train to Vailima
and the usual Garratts will wander around the mountain.
Sebs Railway will be running with O&K 4102 in the morning, O&K 10311 in the afternoon and Sezela 3 on the cocopan train. Today's morning arena
event will feature tractors.
Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner.

Sunday, 07 April 2019

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter should feature the NG10 and NGG11 on a goods train between Hoekfontein and Mooihoek. The event starts at sunrise and ends at
09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where possible facilitate additional photo
opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
The main railway will feature the NG4, NGG13 and the Fowler. Two NGG16 Garratts will run around the mountain this afternoon. The morning arena
event  will be tractors and Sebs Railway will feature the Decauville this morning, Avonside 1624 on the cocopan train and Little Bess in the afternoon.
Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner and the event.

Day trip - Bloemfontein's Transnet locomotive collection.
Over the past few years, Transnet have relocated a considerable number of their historic steam, diesel and electric locomotives to storage at
Bloemfontein pending the creation of a new museum. We have been asked to offer a trip to see this collection, and are happy to do so today for the
nominal fee of ZAR200 per person to help cover fuel for the coach.

Monday, 08 April 2019

Festival gates open at 09h00
The Barclay, Fowler and NG15 will operate numerous trains on the main line and Sebs railway will feature Arn Jung 847 in the morning, O&K 4102
on the cocopan train and O&K 11112 i the afternoon.
The usual 2 x NGG16 will feature on the Mountain Wanderer. The morning arena event will feature traction engines.
Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner.

For the 03 to 08 April option
Guests who have booked the shorter tour from 03 to 08 April will leave at 09h00 this morning, with an included transfer back to Johannesburg Airport
that should arrive at about 15h00.

For the 08 to 12 April option
Leave Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport at 13h00, arriving at your hotel late this afternoon. Dinner will be included tonight.

Tuesday, 09 April 2019

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter should feature the NG10 and NGG11 on a goods train between Hoekfontein and Grootdraai. The event starts at sunrise and ends at
09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where possible facilitate additional photo
opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
The railway will again feature the 2 x Class NG6 (Lawley) 4-4-0 locomotives on the eight scheduled trains supported by two Garratts for the Mountain
Wanderer and the NGG11 Garratt to Vailima.
Sebs Railway will be running with ISE3 in the morning, Little Bess on the cocopan train and Arn Jung 847 in the afternoon. The morning arena event
will feature tractor games.
The stargazer express will run tonight. Travel to a dark location on the estate where there will be an informative talk about the stars of the southern
hemisphere, a wonderful evening of beauty and enlightenment.
Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner and the stargazer event.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter should feature the two NG6 Lawleys on a goods train between Mooihoek and Grootdraai. The event starts at sunrise and ends at
09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where possible facilitate additional photo
opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
The NG4, NG10 and NGG11 will be in action today on the scheduled trains, with the usual double headed Garratts around the mountain.
Sebs Railway will run with Arn Jung 847 this morning, ISE3 on the cocopan tain and O&K 10311 this afternoon. Today's morning arena event will
feature earthmoving.
Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner.

Day trip - Clarens.
Clarens is a small town situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, an hour's drive from Sandstone. Nicknamed the "Jewel of the Eastern Free
State", it was established in 1912 and named after the town of Clarens in Switzerland where exiled Paul Kruger spent his last days. Clarens is an
artists' haven with many well-known artists either living in or frequenting the village, with many art galleries scattered around the village square and
the town. The tranquil village ambience combined with scenic views and a mild climate has made Clarens a popular tourist destination. There will
be time to explore the tour and enjoy lunch (own expense) before returning to Sandstone late afternoon. There will be a  s
mall charge per person to
cover fuel for the coach.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Geoff's Trains morning photographer's charter (Extra cost, pre-booking required)
Today's charter should feature the NG15 and NGG16 on a goods train between Mooihoek and Vailima. The event starts at sunrise and ends at
09h00 with an included breakfast. During the day, your photo management team will suggest and where possible facilitate additional photo
opportunities.

Festival gates open at 09h00
The railway will feature O&K 12691 and the NGG13 locomotives and the double headed Garratts around the mountain this afternoon.
Sebs Railway will welcome you with Avonside 1624 this orning, Little Bess on the cocopan train and Sezela 3 this afternoon. The arena event will be
traction engines.
The stargazer express will run tonight. Travel to a dark location on the estate where there will be an informative talk about the stars of the southern
hemisphere, a wonderful evening of beauty and enlightenment.
Return to your accommodation will be either before or after dinner and the event.

Friday, 12 April 2019
Most international guests will leave this morning on one of the following options.

Option One
Return to Johannesburg today, leave at 09h00 and arrive at about 15h00 in time for this evening's flights to Europe and England. You can also stay
in Johannesburg for one night and then join our tour to
Victoria Falls and the Chobe Game Reserve.

Option two
Transfer early this morning to the steam charter train.
Page updated on
1
3 December 2018

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Find out more here ...
Prices and booking information
The prices listed here may change at any time due to supplier increases or foreign currency adjustments.
All bookings will be controlled by the
Geoff's Trains Ltd booking conditions.

Stars of Sandstone Festival entry tickets:
Reserve and pay for your entry tickets here.
You will receive a confirming voucher from Geoff's Trains Ltd and your tickets will be issued by Sandstone prior to the festival.

USD134:              Per person per day

If you prefer a package that includes accommodation, transfers and the services of the Geoff's Trains team at Sandstone, please look at the
following packages.

The full International Festival:
03 to 12 April 2019
At Fouriesburg Country Inn
US$  2,695:
        Per person sharing an en-suite double or twin room
US$     943:         Single supplement
At Ficksburg Lodges
US$  2,192:
        Per person sharing an en-site double or twin room
US$     489:         Single supplement

Your transfer and accommodation package includes:
  • Your transfer from Johannesburg
  • Accommodation for nine nights, bed and breakfast
  • Return transfers between your accommodation and Sandstone
  • Sandstone entry for 8 days
  • Dinner on 03 April.
  • The services of the Geoff's Trains management team
Your Package does not include:
  • Lunches and most dinners
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

The first half:
03 to 08 April 2019
At Fouriesburg Country Inn
US$  1,570:
         Per person sharing an en-suite double or twin room
US$     524:          Single supplement
At Ficksburg Lodges
US$  1,212:         
Per person sharing an en-suite double or twin room
US$     272:         Single supplement

Your  transfer and accommodation package includes:
  • Your transfer from Johannesburg
  • Accommodation for five nights, bed and breakfast
  • Return transfers between your accommodation and Sandstone
  • Sandstone entry for 4 days
  • Dinner on 03 April.
  • The services of the Geoff's Trains team
Your Package does not include:
  • Lunch and most dinners
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

The second half:
08 to 12 April 2019
At Fouriesburg Country Inn
US$   1,288:         
Per person sharing an en-suite double or twin room
US$      461:         Single supplement
At Ficksburg Lodges
US$   1,025:         
Per person sharing an en-suite double or twin room
US$      239:         Single supplement

Your  Package includes:
  • Your transfer from Johannesburg
  • Accommodation for four nights, bed and breakfast
  • Return transfers between your accommodation and Sandstone
  • Sandstone entry for 3 days
  • Hotel dinner on 08 April.
  • The services of the Geoff's Trains team
Your Package does not include:
  • Lunch and most dinners
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

Add two preview days:
01 to 03 April 2019
US$  704:         Per person sharing
US$  209:         Single use of a twin or double room

Your preview package includes:
  • Your transfer from Johannesburg
  • Accommodation for two nights, bed and breakfast
  • Entry to Sandstone for 2 days preview (09h00 to sunset)
  • Return transfers between your hotel and Sandstone
  • Hotel dinner on 01 April.

Add morning photographic charters:
If you stay at the Fouriesburg Country Inn
US$  321:
        04 to 07 April (Four mornings)
US$  241:         09 to 11 April (Three mornings)
If you stay at Ficksburg
US$  396
:        04 to 07 April. (Four mornings)
US$  297:        09 to 11 April. (Three mornings)
To book these photographic sessions you will also need a festival package that includes entry to the festival, accommodation and transfers. .
The sunrise photo sessions are only available for multiple days as they have to coincide with accommodation and transfer arrangements.

Your Photographer's Package includes:
  • Entry to Sandstone between 06h00 and 09h00 on the selected days.
  • Breakfast at Sandstone.
  • Priority on coach transport on the Sandstone Estate to access run-past locations during the afternoon Mountain Meander trains, and possibly
    at other times.
  • The services of a photo run-past organiser
Your Photographer's Package does not include:
  • Accommodation
  • Meals, other than breakfast
  • Entry to the Festival after 09h00, this is included in your festival booking..
  • Transfers back to your accommodation, this is included in your festival booking.

Meals:
Breakfast
will be at Sandstone.

Coach transfers:
You will be allocated space in a coach that suits your Sandstone package. The coaches will run to a timetable and it will be your responsibility to
ensure that you are on the correct coach in time for departure. There may be an extra charge for private transfers or alternative meals should you
miss your coach.

Maximum number of photographers per group: 50.

General information:

Accommodation:
Fouiesburg Country Inn
Located in Fouriesburg, a pleasant country style hotel with en-suite rooms, full dining room and bar. The journey time is about 30 minutes by coach
from Sandstone.
Ficksburg Lodges and B&B.
There are a number of good B&B's and lodges in Ficksburg offering en-suite accommodation, we have secured rooms in these and can offer them
at a lower rate than the Fouriesburg Country Inn, we will advise you of the name of your lodge before the festival starts. Some lodges are larger than
others and have full catering and bar services, others are smaller with fewer services but you will have access to the public areas in larger lodges.
Most lodges offer dinner, there are also a number of restaurants withing a few minutes walk. All of the accommodation we use will be connected
with a coach pick-up and drop-off from Sandstone at scheduled times. The journey time is about 20 minutes from Sandstone.

Meals:
Breakfast is included in your booking, normally at your accommodation unless you are joining early morning photo sessions, when it will
be at Sandstone. You will receive vouchers for all breakfasts served at Sandstone.
Lunch is not included, there will be a number of catering outlets at Sandstone where a variety of lunch options can be obtained.
Dinners are only included when shown as such in the programme. Other dinners may be booked at Sandstone for USD27 per person per meal.
Dinners can be arranged directly with the hotel, Sandstone meals must be purchased in advance.
Light refreshments will be available throughout the day at Sandstone.

Coach transfers:
You will be allocated space in a coach that suits your Sandstone package and requested dinner/evening activity options. A schedule of
coach departures will be posted on a notice board at the hospitality hub and you will be able to discuss any issues or amendments with the
Geoff's Trains team. The coaches will run to a timetable and it will be your responsibility to ensure that you are on the correct coach in time
for departure. There may be an extra charge for private transfers or alternative meals should you miss your coach.

Book now!
If you are unsure what you wish to book, complete the registration form and we will discuss options with you.
If you have a question,
ask us here. You are also welcome to phone Geoff on Mobile +44 (0)7752143657. UK office hours please.
If you know what you want to book, complete the on line booking for here. You will receive an invoice and be asked for a 10% deposit with the
balance due 60 days before the festival starts. You can pay by card via Paypal (no commission) or by bank transfer.