Jim McLaughlin wrote:
> Anybody have pointers to books about the subject -- how a steam
> locomotive operated? Basic 2 - 4 - 0 up to tender stoker coal fired
There are many publications that cover this topic. Do you want the
basics, intended for the lay audience, or highly technical reference works?
Three very useful publications are as follows.
"The Steam Locomotive In America, Its Development in the Twentieth Century."
Alfred W. Bruce, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1952
An excellent overview of the topic, reasonably technical, but not so
much as to discourage the lay reader. Bruce discusses general
development, basic design elements, and the development of individual
types. Illustrated with builders photos and many diagrams, this is a
good introduction to steam loco design.
"The 1947 Locomotive Cyclopedia Of American Practice, 13th Edition."
Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation, 1947.
1418 pages on every conceivable aspect of steam loco design and
construction, from entire locos right down to nuts, bolts and washers.
The book is divided into 20 sections, dealing with boilers, running
gear, and appliances, etc. There are advertisements from builders and
suppliers, a comprehensive glossary, and AAR standards/specifications.
They're written for technically-literate railroaders, but are a goldmine
The first edition was published in 1906, the thirteenth was the last to
feature American-built steam for the domestic US market. If you can get
your hands on one of these, you'll never regret it.
"Guide to North American Steam Locomotives"
George H. Drury, Kalmbach Books, 1993.
This is a concise reference book written specifically for modellers and
enthusiasts, in the familiar Kalmbach style. It is ideally suited to the
newbie, or someone whose interest does not extend to techical minutae.
Well illustrated with photographs and drawings, it features roster for
most US class 1 roads, and descriptions of individual locomotive types.
Other useful books are the instruction pamphlets published by the
Westinghouse Air Brake Co, and other specialty suppliers, and the
engineer's catechisms published by individual railroads.