There is nothing quite like the raw power inherent in the silence of a steam powered machine. A well tuned Steam Engine merely hisses as it turns over, none of the rumbles, explosions, and growls associated with an internal combustion machine. Of course a steam machine which incorporates both the engine and boiler co-located can get noisy as the bark of the exhaust up the chimney and the roaring of the fire give indication of their presence. Indeed you will often hear the phrase "The romance of steam" but never "The romance of diesel" - it just does not sound right.

The Steam Preservation movement around the world is probably at the strongest it has ever been, but with mostly older people involved the level of preservation may wane. On a personal level I try to keep my kids interested in steam hoping to introduce a new generation to the hobby. This is made a little easier by TV series such as "Thomas The Tank Engine" (© Britt Allcroft) which help our movement by encouraging kids to think of "good steam engine" and "bad diesel engine".


In Australia there have been some very public engine unveiling, the most notable being West Coast Railway's R Class No. 711 which has been rebuilt at considerable cost to be a more efficient running example of steam. Using South African technology and incorporating diesel controls the engine is now driven in much the same way as the companies diesel fleet, but there is no mistaking the attraction of the steam engine even in bastardised form like this one. WCR use the locomotive to run trains on their intercity mainline on Saturdays and have turned an empty train set into one which is always near full of enthusiasts, tourists, and more importantly kids. If more railway organisations take their preservation example we'll be well taken care of for this new millennium.

In this section of Steam & Engine you will find both details on the processes and engines, but examples of the usage of those engines.


Restoration of Ethel - A Marshall Portable - By Paul Wilson

I received a nice email from Paul Wilson regarding his Marshall portable in January 2003... I've reproduced it here with Paul's permission.…

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Huber #8213 Lives Again with Andy

Huber #8213 had its first show in June 2007 since restoration began back when Brice aquired the engine. This machine is no longer in the care of Brice - he and Andy Glines came to an arrangement and the engine was transferred to Andy. Brice felt that the machine needed to go to someone younger with more resources and the progress has certainly proven his feeling that Andy was the right person to take on the task. Well done Andy! Andy has done a fantastic job on the restoration of the machine to date as these photos will attest.…

Read more: Huber #8213 Lives Again with Andy

Huber Traction Engine #8213 Restoration

When I first met Brice Adams he had been bitten by the Stationary Engine bug in lieu of the Steam Bug. I'm pleased to say that in 1999 Brice became the proud owner of a somewhat derelict, but operational Huber Traction Engine No. 8213. Brice has started the long and arduous task or restoring this pocket version of a traction engine.…

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The Hazelman Collection

Some years ago I attended the Echuca rally and encountered exhibits (around 20) presented by members of the Hazelman family - local to the area. Before the 2003 event Lorraine Hazelman got in touch with me and gave me some more details on these engines owned by her family.  At the 2003 event I met Lorraine and Trev and of course, their monster Fowler Moses, I was looking forward to a ride on Moses, but things doing what things sometimes do this did not eventuate during the day - life is like that sometimes! This article comprises information sent to me by Lorraine, some gleaned from the 2003 rally program and my pictures from both the 1999 and 2003 events.…

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At 98 years old, New Zealand's TSS Earnslaw is the one of the oldest
working passenger carrying coal driven steam ships in the southern
hemisphere, still carrying up to 1000 passengers per day on the iconic
Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown.

Read more: TSS Earnslaw 100th Birthday

Manson's Steam Navvy

Working Steam Navvy

On a tourist visit to Alcatraz I came across this giant steam powered navvy floating crane helping out with the dockside construction. Being construction workers they were not exactly helpful about letting me get near the crane, and there was no way to talk to the crane driver to get more details...…

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Russell Ward Steamboats

Hi, one and all!, Paul has asked that I do a small profile on me and my mechanical marvels and I am happy to oblige. I am 52, married to Marie for 27 years (into injury time surely) and have three daughters aged 21, 18 and 16 none of whom is particularly interested in mechanical things although they can acquit themselves reasonably at the helm or throttle. I am a dentist with three practices and 20 staff and am quite busy. The last three years have been hectic. I am vice president of the Auckland Steam Engine Society Inc.…

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Elizabeth Anne Steam Boat

My living is computers in public transport, so I often had occasion to visit Melbourne's main train station Flinders Street which lies alongside the Yarra River. On some of these visits I took note of a small wooden steam boat working the river, but never had the opportunity to take a closer look.

This summer I took my family to Southbank (the name of the complex on, you guessed it, the south bank of the river opposite the station) to find the boat and have a ride.…

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P.S. Hero
Built 1874 at Echuca by G.Linklater. She measured 92' 2''x 17' X6' 5''. She was used as a tow boat as she had very little capacity space, working for a number of riverboat firms towing barges laiden with wool or logs for the local sawmill.

In 1957 the Hero was used to transport a barge load of cattle to higher ground due to flooding. After completing the job her crew left her while the engines were still hot. She caught fire and sank at Boundary Bend (near Swan Hill).…

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