New world record set by miniature locomotive team in South Africa

A South African engineer and his team have smashed the world record for the longest distance covered by a coal-fired miniature steam locomotive in a 24 hour period.

On December 10, Andries Keyser, from Pietermaritzburg, and nine friends set a new record of 205 miles – beating the one set in the UK in 1994 of 167 miles.

The 30-year-old’s attempt to break the world record started the day before at 3pm at the Pietermaritzburg Model Engineering Society’s multi-gauge track.

The locomotive which set a new world record. PIERRE RETIEF/ANDRIES KEYSER

His team reached 167 miles four hours ahead of time, completing 881 laps and averaging about one minute and 49 seconds per lap.

The team used a one-third scale replica of a locomotive that ran between Beira, Mozambique and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1895.

Andries, a professional miniature train maker, built the 400kg locomotive over five years.

He is now compiling paperwork and video footage to submit his team’s feat to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Andries said he believes that a team in Britain is planning an attempt to take the record back.

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