Steam Locomotive

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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 ?
The standardization of diesel locomotive designs among different railroad customers created much greater economies of scale than were possible in steam locomotive production.
The engine would be mounted on the frame of the tender that carries the steam locomotive's fuel and water.
The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 'Mikados' were the most powerful express passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK.
Already famous for being the first mainline steam locomotive built in Britain in nearly 50 years, Tornado became a household name after starring in Top Gear's Race to the North.
The train on September 15 is being organised by the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) to assist in raising funds for the purchase of steam locomotive City of Wells, which is being bought as the railway continues to develop and grow its steam locomotive fleet.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway, which opened in 1896, now has four steam locomotives to operate the steam services which are frequently fully booked during the summer, plus four diesel locomotives.
Ten were built between 1950 and 1958 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns to work iron ore trains in the Midlands, becoming the last design of steam locomotive constructed in the North East.
At least 3 million [pounds sterling] remains to be raised to build the UK's most powerful steam locomotive, the head of the trust developing it has said.
A steam locomotive built more than 80 years ago will pull a train for the first time after its restoration in Bulgaria next weekend, the countryas state railways company BDZ announced on Sunday.
POPULAR steam locomotive Tornado is back on track after an eight-month absence.
PLANS to build a worldclass heritage centre and recreate the world's rst steam locomotive train journey in Merthyr Tydl have been unveiled.