By the late 1800s, France’s Decauville Manufacturing Company had established themselves as builders of reliable and simple to operate narrow gauge steam locomotives. Many of their designs were intended for use in agricultural, mining, and light industrial settings. One such loco was a Decauville Type 1, 3-ton 0-4-0T built in 1899, construction #302, for the Dombe Grande Sugar Estates in what was then the Portuguese territory of Angola. The loco was named Bathala. In 1930, after three decades of dependable operation, Bathala was placed in a museum on the company’s grounds. This act ultimately led to her survival from the civil war and turmoil which impacted that country decades later.
After being ‘found’ again in 2003, and after nearly two years of negotiations, the loco finally made its way to Johannesburg. In what is perhaps a world record for locomotive restoration, the work was completed in only four months! Bathala can now be found operating at the Sandstone Steam Railroad in Bloemfontain, South Africa.
Scale: 7/8ths” to 1 foot (1:13.7)
Length: 208 mm (8.19 inches)
Width: 110.5 mm (4.35 inches)
Height: 181.6 mm (7.15 inches)
Min Radius: 2′ radius
Gauge: Adjustable to either 32 mm or 45mm
Boiler: Centre Flue Working
Pressure: 60 psi 1/2” Pressure Gauge
Water sight glass
Full backhead detail
Slide valve cylinders with fixed cut-off
Full Walschaerts valve gear
Fuel: Butane Gas Only