Steam Locomotive

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Steam Locomotive: steam engine

steam locomotive

[′stēm ‚lō·kə¦mōd·iv]
(mechanical engineering)
A railway propulsion power plant using steam, generally in a reciprocating, noncondensing engine.

Steam Locomotive


a locomotive that uses a steam engine as its power source. The basic components of a steam locomotive are the steam boiler, steam engine, and undercarriage. Supplies of fuel, water, and lubricants are usually stored in a tender attached to the locomotive; in tank locomotives, these supplies are located in the locomotive itself. Combustion of coal, fuel oil, combustible shale, peat, wood, or other fuels in the firebox of the steam boiler generates heat; the heat is transferred through the firebox walls and through five tubes and flues to the boiler water, which is converted into steam. In order to increase locomotive efficiency, the steam is superheated and the temperature is significantly increased. The steam engine converts the thermal energy into the mechanical energy of the pistons that move back and forth in steam cylinders; a crank and connecting-rod assembly transfers this motion to the driving wheels. The undercarriage of the locomotive includes the frame, wheel pairs with axle boxes, leading and trailing trucks (with one or two wheel pairs), spring suspension, and coupling mechanisms.

The first steam locomotives were built in 1803 and 1814 in Great Britain by R. Trevithick and G. Stephenson, respectively. The first steam locomotive designed in Russia was built by E. A. Cherepanov and M. E. Cherepanov in 1833. Steam locomotives remained the most important means of transport for over a century, until replaced by electric and diesel locomotives everywhere in the 1950’s. Although the production of steam locomotives ended in the USSR in 1956, the locomotives are still used on some minor railroad lines and in industrial enterprises. Low efficiency was the principal reason for the replacement of steam locomotives by other types of locomotives; thermal efficiency of the best models did not exceed 9 percent, with average efficiency measuring 4 percent.

References in periodicals archive ?
Tanfield Railway director, David Watchman, said: "It's almost 195 years since the first steam locomotives were built in Forth Banks and looking at the city now it's hard to believe that literally thousands of engines were constructed there and dispatched to every corner of the globe.
That change was a very bad idea for steam locomotive boilers simply because the feature, known as a telltale, is the best indicator of when the staybolt breaks.
Steam locomotives dominated railway travel from their beginnings in the early 19th century until diesel and electric railways took over in the mid-20th century; in 1951, diesel had taken over, and this Worcester site was for sale.
The presence of raw fire that fires raw power in the belly of steam locomotives attracts tourists, and the unique sound, the rocking gait, the shrill whistle, the throbbing body and an open design.
Tyseley Locomotive Works is the engineering subsidiary of the Birmingham Railway Museum, which was established to preserve and demonstrate steam locomotives in the Tyseley collection.
The second details the events leading to the victory of Robert Stephenson's Rocket at the Rainhill locomotive trials of 1829, arranged by the directors of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway to help choose the mode of locomotion for the new line; aside from allowing the directors to select a supplier for their locomotives, the trials proved conclusively that the steam locomotive was a viable mode of transport.
Today is the first time in nearly 15 years that a working steam locomotive engine is being seen on the Kenyan mainline.
These SY class locomotives are China's standard steam locomotive for industrial service, and were the last steam design built in large numbers for commercial service anywhere in the world.
Sights in Asuncion, include the museum in the Casa de la Independencia, the botanical garden and the central railroad station, from which runs a firewood-fueled steam locomotive 2,230 miles to Encarnacion.
1) Yet ALCo produced its last steam locomotive only three years later in 1948; and by 1969 the company had been driven from the diesel locomotive industry as well.
Richard Trevithick had failed in his attempt to make a commercial success of the steam locomotive (see 1804).
The author rightly discusses the evolution of the turntable, required by the technology of the steam locomotive and in turn making the "round" of the roundhouse a logical design.