Its purpose is to haul a train for freight wagons or passenger coaches along a railway track. The locomotive is usually fueled by coal, wood or oil. This fuel is burned to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine.
Both fuel and water supplies are carried with the locomotive, either on the locomotive itself or in wagons pulled behind. Beginning in Britain, steam locomotives dominated railway transportation from the start of the 19th century, until the middle of the 20th century. They were gradually improved and developed in their over 150 years of use. Starting in about 1930, other types of engines were developed, and steam locomotives were gradually superseded by diesel and electric locomotives.
First steam locomotive from George Stephenson
In 1813, George Stephenson became aware that William Hedley and Timothy Hackworth were designing a locomotive for the Wylam coal mine.
So at the age of twenty, George Stephenson began the construction of his first locomotive. It should be noted that at this time in history, every part of the engine had to be made by hand, and hammered into shape just like a horseshoe. John Thorswall, a coal mine blacksmith, was George Stephenson's main assistant.
George Stephenson - George Stephenson was born on June 9, 1781, in the coal mining village of Wylam, England. His father, Robert Stephenson, was a poor, hard working man, that supported his family entirely from wages of twelve shillings a week. Wagons loaded with coal passed through Wylam several times a day. These wagons were drawn by horses -- locomotives had not yet been invented. George Stephenson's first job was to watch over a few cows owned by a neighbor which were allowed to feed along the road; George was paid two cents a day to keep the cows out of the way of the coal-wagons; and also, to close the gates after the day's work of the wagons was over.
Steam Locomotive No. 844 - Del Rio, TX
"Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger trains."
80072 Steam Locomotive Company
80072 Steam Locomotive Company Limited former British Railways Riddles ‘Standard’ 4MT 2-6-4T locomotive number 80072 of Shrewsbury MPD and Princess Royal Class Steam Locomotive Trust former British Railways Riddles ‘Standard’ 4MT 2-6-4T locomotive number 80080 of Plaistow MPD on the Down Main line at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway with the 15:50 Heywood to Rawtenstall (1J73) formed of E4350, W9356, SC1848, M4937, M4933, M35452.
Princess Royal Class Steam Locomotive Trust 80080
Princess Royal Class Steam Locomotive Trust former British Railways Riddles ‘Standard’ 4MT 2-6-4T locomotive number 80080 of Plaistow MPD passes beneath bridge 19 (Knowsley Street) on the Up & Down Broadfield line at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway with the 13:20 Heywood to Rawtenstall (1J67) formed of E4350, W9356, SC1848, M4937, M4933, M35452.
Heilbronn - Class 38 Steam Locomotive
A class 38 (later class 038) steam locomotive in Heilbronn station. Class 38 was originally built as class P 8 of the Prussian state railroad (KPEV). It had a 4-6-0 (2 C) wheel arrangement. About 3,700 locomotives were built from 1908 to 1926. They were used for a great variety of passenger and freight trains. Top speed was 100 kph (62 mph). Some remained in regular service until 1974. A "Silberling" coach is in the background. Heilbronn was one of the few places where the Deutsche Bundesbahn operated a lot of steam locomotives in 1970. The main line south to Stuttgart had been electrified for many years. Other lines, including the line to Heidelberg along the Neckar River and the main line north to Würzburg, were not yet electrified.
NC&StL Steam Locomotive 576
Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway locomotive #576 sits rusting away under her shed in Centennial Park in Nashville, TN. This locomotive was built by ALCO in 1942 and is a Class J-3 Northern (or Dixie as we called them down here) and is the last remaining steam locomotive from the NC&StL.
More pictures of steam locomotives
Exhibit of steam machines and locomotives heritage park by historic silver mine in Tarnowskie Góry
Union Pacific Steam Locomotive # 844
Cuban Steam Locomotive