Steam Locomotive Information

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Darkelf, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Darkelf

    Darkelf New Member

    Hi Gang,

    I'm looking to do some super-detailing of some steam locos, and I am looking for reference material on steam in general. Does anyone have suggestions? I am looking for diagrams (including descriptions of parts), and text for what the different part do (for example, what is an Elesco feedwater heater vs what is a Worthington feedwater heater). Books, websites, etc are all welcome.

    I know this is a big request - thanks in advance for any help!

    Best Regards,
  2. Isambard

    Isambard Member

    Have a peak at the Kalmbach publications on the Model Railroader Magazine site (via and you'll find a number of pubs on steam locomotives. I have their "Linn Wescott's "Steam Locomotives", which is very useful, with diagrams and many photos. I used it as a reference in fitting an Elesco to my Spectrum HO 2-8-0. MR's "Steam Locomotive Projects and Ideas" was also useful. Kalmbach's "Guide to North American Steam Locomotives" compiled by George H. Drury is also a good reference. You may be able to pick up used copies via if you don't want to pay new price, or see if your library has them or can get by inter-library loan.
    For on-line information, more than you will ever need, start by Googling "Steam locomotive", "Elesco feed water heater" and whatever other key words come to mind. You can find an enormous amount of info by working your way through the sites referenced.

    The short answer to what is the difference between Elesco and Worthington feedwater heaters is that it is in the details. Both do the same thing i.e. they preheat feedwater before it is injected into the boiler by flowing exhaust steam from the cylinders over feedwater coils in the heater. This increases thermal efficiency, saving on fuel and water. Another feedwater heater system was the "Coffin" There were many variations on the appearance, location and the system details of these systems over the late steam era as the technology evolved.

  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Superpower is a great detailed book too :)

    Superpower- The Making of a Steam Locomotive, David Weitzman, published 1987 by David R. Godine, ISBN 0-87923-671-X, 107 pages. A fictionalized account of a young apprentice who goes to work at the Lima Locomotive Works during the construction of the A-1 2-8-4 demonstrator, the first "Superpower" locomotive. A very interesting book which gives a great interpretation of what went on "behind the scenes" at a locomotive works. Beautiful ink drawings showing every stage of locomotive fabrication and assembly.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Kalmback also has a book Steam Locomotive Cyclopedia which has great info on the workings of a steam loco, as well as drawings of many wheel types of various roads. This may be the same as the first book Isambard refered to.
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member has the one Gary mentioned, and it is good, as well as one other. You can e-mail him for prices, or call him. His number is on his site

    I have some stuff I can e-mail you if you send me an e-mail on Tuesday. If you are on dial up, it would be better if I shre it via a yahoo group. e-mail addy in my signiture.
  6. Darkelf

    Darkelf New Member

    Thanks all - I am looking into all of your suggestions! Cheers!


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