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Photo by Judy Williams

ISAAC - Bagnall No. 3023 - was built in 1953 at a cost of £5,540 as an 0-4-2T 2 ft (610 mm) gauge loco, one of four Bagnall locos built for the South African Rustenberg Platinum Mine. The locos were numbered RPM 1 to 4, with 3023 being RPM number 3.

When the 2ft gauge track at Rustenberg was altered to 3' 6", the four narrow-gauge locos (all now preserved) became redundant.

Nos.3. and 4 arrived at Gelert's Farm Works on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway In April 1982. Work was begun on both locos but resources weren't sufficient to complete the work on both.

In 2007 No. 3 was sold to a private purchaser and moved to Wakefield for further restoration work.

On 22 June 2012 the loco was removed from Ian Howitt's workshop in Wakefield to teh Ffestiniog's Boston Lodge Works where restoration was completed.

Isaac arrived at Woody Bay 29 November 2013 since when it has been the locomotive most used to haul the heavy summer trains. With the arrival of E762 Lyn in 2017 - the duties are now not so demanding.


Cylinders 9" x 14" Heating surface, tubes 262 sq ft
Driving wheel diameter 2 '3½" Heating surface, firebox 36.3 sq ft
Trailing wheel diameter 1' 7"   Total: 298.3 sq ft
Fixed wheel base 5' 0" Grate Area 7.6 sq ft
Total wheel base 11' 02" Working steam pressure 160 psi
Water capacity 480 Galls Tractive effort @85% 5,608 lbs
Fuel capacity 30 cu ft Boiler feed 2 x No.5 m/m injectors
Weight in working order 16 tons    
Steel firebox & steel tubes 2895, 2896-7
Copper firebox & brass tubes 2870
  3023, 3050 (steel tubes)
Bagnall Price Valve Gear

The Rustenberg Platinum Mine is a very large mining complex north-west of Johannesburg.

Whilst at Rustenburg, the four Bagnall locos underwent several modifications, including:

  • Suspension changed from leaf spring to coil springs.
  • Steam generators fitted for lights - the locos originally had paraffin lamps.
  • The original drop feed lubricators fitted on top of the sliding valves were replaced with steam pressure lubricators.
  • The two steam inlet and exhaust pipes under the smoke box were changed from copper to steel pipes with gland boxes

Preservation Locations

No. 1 - 2870/1948 Gold Reef City, Johannesburg
No. 2 - 2895/1948 Loxhill, Surry, England
No. 3 - 3023/1953 Resident at Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, North Devon.
No. 4 - 3050/1953 Resident at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, where in 1992 it was officially named 'Gelert'.

We are indebted to Andrew Goodwin, co-owner of Bagnall 3050 'Gelert' - the resident steam loco on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway Porthmadog - for the above information.

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