There's nothing as iconic and captivating as a steam locomotive. So it's no wonder that long after they've gone from being part of everyday life, steam remains popular in model trains of all scales.
Unlike diesels which were often built to multi-task, most steam locomotives were specialized machines. So if you're looking to add steam to your roster, these links will help you match the right engine to the job and complete the story for your model railroad.
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Whether its the crack varnish or the local commuter, passenger steam locomotives needed to balance power and speed. The best did it with a style and flair that was bigger than life and left a lasting impression on our lives and our art.These locomotives will be the pride of your fleet too.
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Raw power at its best, steam locomotives assigned to freight service could shake the ground and stir the senses with their immense size and sound. From small locals to heavy coal drags to fast merchandise forwarders, all freight trains and freight locomotives were not created equal.
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There were some locomotives that could cross the line between passenger and freight work. From lighter locomotives that could handle smaller "mixed" trains to the large high-speed freight engines that could pinch hit on a heavy passenger train, these versatile iron horses could roam wherever needed.
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It wasn't all glory out on the main line. Steam ruled the yards and the docks too. These smaller switchers toiled long hours making up freight and passenger trains and delivering freight to customers. While the big articulated monsters and streamliners stole the spotlight, there's nothing like the sights and sounds of a switch engine starting a heavy cut of cars.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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For power you could take anywhere, geared steam locomotives provided the perfect solution in an often unorthodox design. Most common in logging, mining and industrial operations, these interesting machines could climb hills and navigate tracks that would derail traditional steam. These locomotives have developed a sort of cult following among steam fans and modelers - once you see one in action it's easy to see why!
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Steam without fire? These locomotives fed off a stationary boiler for the ultimate in operating efficiency and safety. They were so efficient many lasted decades longer in service than their conventionally-boilered brethren.
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Although the term is sometimes applied to all articulated steam locomotives, a true Mallet uses exhausted steam from one set of pistons to power a second set for added efficiency. Mallets came in a variety of sizes and wheel arrangements. Their ability to pull heavy loads and navigate tighter curves makes them a popular modeling choice.
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Steam locomotives are identified and named by their wheel arrangement. The Whyte system makes it easy to organize your stable.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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If steam had a downfall it was the nearly constant need for maintenance. Servicing steam locomotives required an army of workers and many specialized buildings. These can make for some interesting modeling projects as well.
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Your model steam locomotives need care too. While you don't need a roundhouse or coaling tower, this article will give you the how-to on keeping your locomotives out on the rails.
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Tank engines weren't just a child's favorite companion. Loading the water and fuel supply on the locomotive instead of a separate tender conserved space and added weight for traction. Tank engines came in all sizes, from 0-4-0s to Mallets.