|Armoured Trolley. Landrover conversion
By 1976 all lines of communication in Rhodesia, including the Rhodesian rail network, were
under threat by guerillas. The lines were vulnerable to sabotage, and both steam and diesel
locomotive cabs were protected with armour plate. The crew were armed, and armoured
wagons with guards were attached to all trains.
There was also a need to patrol the lines in advance of trains and to protect maintenance
personnel. To accomplish this the railway workshops adapted mine protected vehicles that
were originally designed for road use.
The first such vehicles had their axles shortened to suit the gauge and had flanged wheels
fitted. This arrangement damaged the wheel bearings, which were not designed to resist the
effects of rigid suspension on rail joints. Subsequent vehicles were mounted on a standard
fabricated chassis, with the drive being transmitted via V belts from the original rear axle.
A turntable was fitted between the front and rear wheels to allow the vehicle to be turned,
necessary as the original land rover transmission allowed for fast travel in one direction only.
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|Landrover converted into an armoured trolley.
Photos. Geoff Cooke
For a while in the 1980's two more armoured vehicles were on display. They were a large motor
trolley, named the Jackal (furthest from photographer) and a rail mounted heavy machine gun
platform (nearest the camera). Both were removed from the museum for further service in
Mozambique when the NRZ undertook the refurbishment of the line to Maputo.