Following the pioneering work of Trevithick,
Stephenson and many others, steam locomotives continued to evolve and be refined until overtaken by diesel and electric tradition technology. Although the last main-line steam service was operated by British Rail in 1968 there is still immense interest in steam traction as demonstrated by the increasing numbers of privately renovated and preserved locomotives and heritage railways around the world. Most changes in steam locomotive design came about as the result of trial and error approaches or advances in materials and engineering tools.
In Britain the operation of steam locomotives
was taught by a system of practical apprentice-ship, although in places like the Austo-Hungarian Empire and North America, a more numerate approach was common. Little science intruded in the design process or running methods. This book is intended to provide, without fable or favour, a realistic scientific and engineering account, avoiding myth and partisanship, of the design features of locomotives and their running. It does not instruct footplate crew in what to do, rather it explains that reasons that underlie what they arc taught. The authors cover the design of locomotives, the many processes in the conversion of fuel to tractive effort, the dynamic characteristics of the locomotive as a vehicle, the braking equipment, and a host of other systems, major and minor, that make up a working locomotive. They also explain the reasons for running and practices. Their explanations will fascinate enthusiasts, practical or armchair. Steam locomotive design may have started in the UK but it quickly developed parallel and sometimes diverging techniques in other countries leading to many distinct developments that
contribute to the national characteristics of'
some locomotives. The authors embrace this
diversity and railway enthusiasts from around
the world will find this book fascinating.