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N°10 - 031T decauville - 1902

The locomotive number 10 of the museum is a 031T, was built in 1902 by Decauville. It is the only one preserved in the world.

 

an interesting contribution

The Decauville company has always been the emblem of the 60cm track in France, in particular thanks to its ephemeral railway for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889. For this occasion the company had developed a 0-4-0 + 0-4-0T type locomotive , subsequently called "Universal Exposition type". This locomotive was articulated, allowing it to fit into tighter curves, but was relatively complex, and not always very reliable. This is why industries did not throw themselves on these locomotives for their operations, but rather took an interest in another type of machine. Indeed, from 1889, an Alsatian builder by the name of Weidknecht, developed locomotives of type 021T and 031T. These machines attract the attention of Decauville who offers Weidknecht to join forces, Decauville reselling the locomotives of the Alsatian manufacturer. It was a great success because these machines were reliable, less expensive than the 0-4-0 + 0-4-0T Decauville, and accepting small radius curves. Subsequently Decauville obtains the license to build these famous machines, they became "type 10" of the manufacturer, so it was the end of the association with Weidknecht. This did not prevent the two companies from producing locomotives in parallel, even if they had some small differences, in particular the shape of the water tanks. Several industrial networks, but also trams, acquired this model, like the Royan Tramway, along the Atlantic coast. These are three 031T type locomotives that will reinforce the 021T already present on the network. Unlike machines delivered to industrial networks, the Royan 031Ts had several special features: their cabin was open on 4 sides to allow optimal visibility, and their characteristic spark arrester chimney.

 

which led to the tourist

The locomotive of the Pithiviers Transport Museum was delivered on August 20, 1902 to the Aubineau et Cie sugar refinery, in Ciry-Salsogne, in Aisne, where it was baptized "La Martroy". It was accompanied by a second identical machine called "La Fourmie". All the equipment of the sugar refinery will be requisitioned for the needs of the Great War. It will be bought by the Ternyck sugar refinery in Coucy-le-Château in 1920, where it will bear the number 9. After a long sugar beet career, it will be bought by an individual and will be exhibited at the AMTUIR museum in Malakoff. It will arrive on November 19, 1967 in Pithiviers, the association will become its owner in 1986. Abandoned for many years, the restoration work will begin in 1986, where almost everything must be redone: resumption of movement, changing the wheels , retubing the boiler, etc… Thanks to its classification in the list of “Historical Monuments” 1987, the restorations will be able to be completed, offering the luxury of remaking a chimney and of opening the cabin at the rear to evoke the locomotives of the Royan Tramway. It will ensure its first tourist trains in 1992. Since then it has not stopped almost running, and since 2017 it sports a bright red livery, perfectly matching the colors of the association's open coaches ( more information here ).

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