Sandstone Heritage Trust - Rail News

RN14 - Rare 2ft gauge Decauville locomotive rescued


The locomotive is delevered to Sandstone Heritage Trust



After two years of field work and negotiations, a privately owned 2ft narrow gauge Decauville locomotive dating back to pre-1900 has arrived at the Sandstone Heritage Trust from Angola.

This locomotive was located in the derelict remains of a museum that had fallen into disrepair in the early 1970's.

The locomotive appears to have been in the museum since the 1930's and could date back as far as 1880. Research into its exact identity has confirmed it as Decauville No: 302, built in 1899.

This diminutive locomotive, which has all the charisma and style of a well-bred French lady, is a relatively simple restoration project. It is certainly the smallest locomotive in the Sandstone 2ft narrow gauge fleet, weighing a mere 2 tonne.

We believe that this locomotive was last steamed commercially nearly 80 years ago, and as such will be an interesting subject for steam enthusiasts, photographers and archivists from around the world.

The locomotive is resting after its 3,500 kms road trip from Angola to the Eastern Free State.

We would like to express our appreciation to the many Angolans, both private individuals and at official level, who assisted us with the transfer of this locomotive to the Sandstone 2ft narrow gauge collection, which is being expanded to incorporate locomotives of African as well as South African origin.



A Decauville works plate from a similar
locomotive in the derelict Angolan Museum from where it was rescued.


A similar Decauville locomotive


The Sandstone Heritage Trust
Rescue Team


This old print shows a similar locomotive