How Steam Locomotives Work

Brian Solomon
Item #01317

Follow along with accomplished railway author Brian Solomon as he guides you through the various components and evolution of steam locomotives. You’ll learn how locomotives were designed, how they work, their strengths and weaknesses, how they evolved, and more!

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Unlock the secrets of steam locomotives with this comprehensive book covering how they work, including their design, evolution, and construction. Learn about how they were designed, how they work, what each of the components do, and how the engines operated. Well-known railway author Brian Solomon covers their strengths and weaknesses, how they evolved, and how and why diesel locomotives were able to supersede them.

You’ll get an in-depth view of the fascinating and extremely popular steam locomotives used throughout history including:

  • How steam locomotive components work together to get a train into motion
  • The evolution of steam leading to more-powerful locomotives
  • The various wheel arrangements and what service each was designed for
  • Differences among coal- and oil-fired types
  • And more!

Featuring extensive photo coverage and drawings, this 208-page book is essential for any railfan or model railroader. Take the mystery out of these iconic living, breathing beings!

SAVE 15% when you buy How Steam Locomotives Work and the Introduction to Steam Locomotives DVD together!
Author: Brian Solomon
Size: 8.25 x 10.75
Pages: 208
Author Bio
Brian Solomon is an accomplished author with more than 60 titles to his credit, many of them covering international railway subjects. Since 1996, Brian has traveled extensively in Europe, much of it by rail. He divides his time between the U.S. and Ireland.
Table of Contents

Steam's Mystique

Chapter 1
Steam Locomotive History and Basic Operations

Chapter 2
Boiler and Firebox Design and Accessories

Chapter 3
Cylinder, Valves, and Valve Gear

Chapter 4
Crossheads, Rods, and Wheels

Chapter 5
Air Brakes

Chapter 6
Locomotive Accessories and Components

Chapter 7
Compound, Articulated, and Duplex Locomotives

Chapter 8
Geared, Narrow Gauge, Tank, and Specialized Locomotives

Glossary of Terms



If you’ve ever wondered exactly how a steam locomotive works, look no further than this explanation-filled 208-page softcover book. Author Solomon explains in great detail the workings of a steam locomotive, and he covers all the types of common engines that were manufactured. His well-conceived outline includes steam locomotive history, boiler and firebox designs and accessories, cylinders, valves and valve gear, crossheads, rods, wheels and air brakes, and locomotive accessories and components. There are also chapters on compound, articulated and duplex locomotives, geared, narrow gauge, tank and specialized engines. There's even a glossy of locomotive terms that will come in handy for the steam enthusiast.

I am not aware of another book that is so comprehensive on this subject. Besides the thorough explanation of the various components of various steam engines, there are numerous color and black and white photos to more thoroughly explain different aspects of the text.

Anyone wanting more information on the development and operation of a steam locomotive would be well served to pick up a copy of this very detailed work. It’s impressive.

—Don Heimburger, Heimburger House Publishing Co.

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