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The Ultimate Steam Page

Steam Improvements of the Last ~50 Years

updated 11 July 2018


Despite the apparent deterioration of steam fleets around the world, there have been many projects to improve or modernize existing steam locomotives in the last 40 years. The following table provides a listing of these modernization projects, which continue through the present day.

Note- some links to photographs lead off-site (indicated by *)

Notable Steam Locomotive Modernization Projects of the Last 50 Years

Year Location Locomotive Type No. of Loco.s Work performed by Summary of work
1969 Britain National Coal Board Hunslet 0-6-0ST's 50 ? L. D. Porta Underfeed stoker, Gas Producer Combustion System (GPCS), Lempor exhaust
1969 Argentina Belgrano Railway
4-8-2 No. 1802
1 L. D. Porta Improved water treatment, exhaust, and valve events
1979 South Africa Class 19D
4-8-2
No. 2644
1 David Wardale GPCS, double Lempor exhaust, detail improvements
1979-
1985
Zimbabwe NRZ Class 14, Class 15, Class 16, & Class 20 Beyer-Garratts ~90 RESCCO Roller bearings on all axles, increased coal & water capacity, mechanical lubrication, improved exhaust on some engines
1981 South Africa Class 25NC
4-8-4
(changed to Class 26)
No. 3450
1 David Wardale GPCS, double Lempor exhaust, increased superheat, improved valves, feedwater heater, detail improvements.  Many of the modifications fitted by Wardale did not survive after he left South Africa. 

Update June 2018- the locomotive is currently being restored for excursion service. 
1982 South Africa Class 25NC
4-8-4
No.3454
1 Dr. P. Le Seur Double Lempor exhaust - transverse arrangement
1983 Wales Mountaineer
2-6-2T
1 Boughey, Gibbard, Girdlestone, Walker Piston valve cylinders, superheat, etc.
1985? Southern Pacific Railway,
United States
Daylight 4-8-4 No. 4449 1   Improved boiler insulation, firebox circulator tubes
1985? Wales Linda
2-4-0ST+T
1 Phil Girdlestone GPCS, Lempor exhaust, superheater, improved valves
1985 Sudan Class 310
2-8-2
10 Hugh Phillips Eng. Lmtd.

Phil Girdlestone

Lempor exhaust, detail improvements
1986 Poland Ty 2 2-10-0 1 (?) INTERLOK GPCS, stoker, improved exhaust. More information on this project is available at: http://www.interlok.info/Experimentef.htm (in French & German).
1986-
1990
Snowdon Mountain Railway, Wales 0-4-2RT No. 7 1 Nigel Day Kylpor exhaust, lubrication modifications
1987 China QJ 2-10-2 2 David Wardale GPCS (one cyclonic)
1987 (?) China QJ 2-10-2
#291
1 China Rail (?) Combustion air pre-heating system
1990? Paraguay Ferrocaril Presidente Carlos Antonio Lopez
4-6-0
No. 286
1 L. D. Porta GPCS (wood burning), Lempor exhaust, detail improvements
1991 South Africa NGG16
2-6-2+2-6-2
2 Phil Girdlestone GPCS, Lempor exhaust, improved valves, mechanical lubricators
1991 Vale of Rheidol Railway, Wales 2-6-2T No. 8 1 Shaun McMahon, Nigel Day Kylchap mixing cowl added to existing exhaust
1991 Brazil Teresa Christina Railway 2-8-2's, 2-10-2's 3 ? L. D. Porta, Phil Girdlestone GPCS, Lempor exhaust
1991 Snowdon Mountain Railway, Wales 0-4-2RT No. 4 1 Nigel Day Kylpor exhaust (photo shows locomotive in current condition with Lempor exhaust)
1992 Snowdon Mountain Railway, Wales 0-4-2RT No.'s 2, 5, & 6 3 Nigel Day Lempor exhausts
1992,
1996
Switzerland, Austria 0-4-2RT 8 SLM (New construction) Lempor exhaust, improved valves, improved insulation, all sealed roller bearings, light-oil firing, single man operation
1993-
1995
Britain
Welshpool & Llanfair
Light Railway
"The Countess" (No. 2), "Sir Drefaldwyn", (No. 14) 3 Day & McMahon Steam Technical Services Lempor exhaust
1995 Britain
Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
0-4-0ST Peckett "Annie" 1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust, brick arch.  Note- this locomotive is no longer listed on Embsay & Bolton Abbey's website, and may be located elsewhere.
1997 Grand Canyon Railway,
Arizona, USA
2-8-2
No. 4960
1 Robert Franzen Welded staybolts, improved exhaust, firebox circulators, oil firing, enlarged tender, improved lubrication, remote bearing monitors.

See update July 5, 2005 below.

1997 Cuba Ferrocarriles de Cuba
2-8-0
No. 1816
*
1 L. D. Porta Lempor exhaust, increased boiler pressure, increased superheat, supplementary air compressors
1997 Isle of Man, Dubbs 0-6-0 "Caladonia" 1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust
1998 DLM, Switzerland Kriegslokomotiv NG 52 2-10-0 #8055 1 SLM Originally modified for the Eisenbahnfreunde Zollernbahn in Switzerland, now owned by DLM.  Lempor exhaust, lightweight motion work, improved valves, improved insulation, sealed roller bearings, increased superheat
1998 Great Smokey Mountains Railway, Dillsboro, NC, USA U.S. Army S-160
2-8-0
#1702
1 Great Smokey Mountains Railway Roller bearings on all axles. Read here for more info.
http://www.azom.com/news.asp?newsID=346

Update Feb. 9, 2004- Unfortunately, the bearings failed after a short time and were replaced with conventional bearings in 2003.

1998 West Coast Railway, Australia R711 4-6-4 1 Phil Girdlestone/
WCR
Dual Lempor exhaust, "swirl" oil burners, improved valves, detail improvements.  Lempor exhaust has since been removed and the original "waffle iron" single exhaust restored.
1999? Blonay-Chamby Museum Railway, Switzerland 0-4-4-0 Mallet tank engine
No. 105*
1 ? Kylchap exhaust, flexible accordian-type S.S. steam lines to front cylinders
1999 Snowdon Mountain Railway, Wales 0-4-0RT No. 4 1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust, efficient light oil burner system
1999 Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino,
Ushuaia, Argentina
2-6-2T
Camila
1 Shaun McMahon Lempor exhaust, enlarged steam passages, improved oil burner
1999 Welshpool and Llanfair Railway, Wales "The Earl" 1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust
1999 The Netherlands RTM56 1 Dr. Jos Koopmans Mutiple-nozzle exhaust system
2000 Britain "Duke of Gloucester" 4-6-2 1 71000 Trust Double Kylchap exhaust, improved exhaust cams, altered firebox arch, altered ashpan dampers, and numerous small improvements
2000 New Zealand former SAR Class 24 2-8-4 1 Mainline Steam Trust Modifications to cab and tender to suit Queensland loading gauge, conversion to heavy oil firing, addition of air brakes, sanders, and drain cocks. Installation of train control system and radio. Instrumentation has been fitted to allow evaluation of multiple-jet exhaust nozzle.
2000 Britain Large Pecket 0-4-4ST 1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust
2000 Welshpool and Llanfair Railway, Wales Tubize 2-6-2 1 Day & McMahon Technical Services Lempor exhaust
2000 Yorkshire Britain 0-6-0 Hudswell Clark Tank 1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust
2001 West Coast Railway, Australia R766 4-6-4 1 Phil Girdlestone/
WCR
Dual Lempor exhaust, oil burner, detail improvements (see R711 listing above for photo of nearly identical R711).  Lempor exhausts evidently have since been removed.  Engine under overhaul and being converted from broad to standard gauge in 2014; current status unknown.
2001 Bodmin, Cornwall, UK 0-6-0T Austerity
"Swiftshaw"
1 Nigel Day Modified Kylpor exhaust
2001 Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino,
Ushuaia, Argentina
0-4-0+0-4-0 Garratt No. 2 "L. D. Porta" 1 Shaun McMahon Lempor Exhaust, enlarged steam passages, improved insulation, improved valves, numerous mechanical and thermodynamic detail improvements
January
2002
Puffing Billy Railway, Australia 2-6-2T NA 6A 1 Nigel Day Originally fitted with modified Lempor exhaust.  This exhaust system was moved to NA 14A in 2018 as part of a conversion to oil firing by DLM.  Original exhaust system was reinstalled on 6A at this time.
October 2003, Nov. 2004
The Mount Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire, USA 0-2-2-0 (rack)
No.9 Waumbek
1 Nigel Day Lempor exhaust. Very notable for being the first Lempor installation in the USA. Feedwater heater, steam circuit improvements, and other modifications also installed.  Oil firing successfully trialed.  However, it was later removed.
November 2003 The Talyllyn Railway, Wales 0-4-0T No. 6 1 John Scott,
Julian Stow
and
Peter Mintoft
3 nozzle exhaust stand designed according to Dr. Jos Koopmans' exhaust research.
~2003? Bure Valley Railway No. 10 2-6-4T
"Mark Timothy"
1 Alan Keef Ltd Winson-built "ZB" (similar to Camila on the FCAF) heavily rebuilt by Alan Keef; Lempor exhaust installed
Winter 2003/2004 Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway Sandy River No. 24
2-6-2
1   15" gauge 2-6-2; Lempor exhaust installed
2004
Greenfield Village
Dearborn, Michigan, USA
4-4-0 No. 1 "Edison"
1
Jason Sobczynski
Originally an 0-4-0; rebuilt by Henry Ford to 4-4-0 in 1932.  Lempor exhaust stack liner installed in 2004 to improve steaming.
May 2004 Trans-Siberian Express
GW Travel Limited
4-8-4 P36.0032 1 Phil Girdlestone Russian P36 4-8-4. Fitted with dual Lempor exhaust.
July 2005, November 2005 Grand Canyon Railway,
Arizona, USA
2-8-2 No. 4960

2-8-0 No. 29

2 Nigel Day Lempor exhausts, improved oil burners, and feedwater heaters fitted.
January 2006 Strasburg Railroad, Strasburg, Pennsylvania, USA 2-10-0 No. 90 1   All-welded 304 stainless steel tender tank.
May 2006 Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino,
Ushuaia, Argentina
0-4-0+0-4-0 No. 5
'Ing H. R. Zubieta'
1 Phil Girdlestone New Garratt for FCAF. Combination of Argentinan-fabricated parts intended for a duplicate of No. 2 and new parts fabricated by Girdlestone & Associates in South Africa.  Features all the improvements previously fitted to No. 2, "L. D. Porta", plus superheating and others.
2008
Welshpool & Lllanfair Light Railway, Powys, Wales
0-6-2 Joan
1
Nigel Day
Lempor Exhaust
2008
Welshpool & Lllanfair Light Railway, Powys, Wales 0-8-0 Resita
1
Nigel Day
Lempor Exhaust
2008

Monticello Railway Museum

Monticello, IL, USA

2-8-0 No. 401 1

Dr. Jos Koopmans

(design of exhaust system)

Sweney/Armstrong Exhaust Nozzle with modern tapered stack liner and mixing chamber, all-welded boiler, welded tender, oil firing.
November 2008 Perrygrove Railway,
Coleford, Gloucestershire, UK
2-6-2T Lydia 1 Steam Loco Design New 15" gauge 2-6-2T for tourist railway.  Designed by Steam Loco Design and fabricated by Alan Keef.  Features Lempor exhaust and roller bearings.
2009
Welsh Highland Railway, Wales
2-6-2+2-6-2 No. 87
1
Phil Girdlestone, Steve McCallum, and Shaun McMahon
Lempor Exhaust (installation is not mentioned on the WHR's webpages, but photo here shows the Lempor).   Thanks to Shaun McMahon for information on this installation.
2011
West Coast Wilderness Railway, Australia
0-4-2RT* No.s 3 and 5
*(Abt rack and conventional adhesion drive on locomotives; 2 sets of cylinders)
2
Nigel Day
Lempor exhaust.  Details of installations available on Martyn Bane's page at:  http://www.martynbane.co.uk/modernsteam/nday/wcwr/wcwr-home.html
2011
Scottish Railway Preservation Society Steam Group
J94 "Austerity" 0-6-0T No. 7
1
unknown
Lempor exhaust- curiously, a photograph showed this appears to be sort of a cross between a Kylpor and a Lempor featuring a Lempor 4-nozzle arrangement, but with a separate, very tall intermediate petticoat pipe. This photo shows the intermediate petticoat.
2011
Rent-A-Lok
2-10-0 44 225
1
Dampflokwerk Meiningen
Former Deutsche Reichsbahn Class 44 2-10-0.  In the process of being rebuilt; improvements will include bio-fuel firing, sealed roller bearings and a Lempor exhaust.  Work is being done by Meiningen in Germany.  Intent is to rebuild the locomotive and offer it for rental, primarily to the Danish market.  The group had a webpage but it is now inactive.
2012
West Coast Wilderness Railway, Australia 0-4-2RT* No. 1
*(Abt rack and conventional adhesion drive on locomotives; 2 sets of cylinders)
1
Nigel Day
Lempor exhaust.
2012
Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway
0-6-0T Beatrice
1
Unknown
Rocking grate, hopper ashpan, Lempor exhaust.  This locomotive previously worked for the National Coal Board and was one of those modified with GPCS, under-fire stoker, and Kylpor exhaust in 1964 by L. D. Porta.
2013 Keighley & Worth Valley Railway 2-8-0 No. 5820 "Big Jim" 1 5AT Group /
Advanced Steam Traction Trust
USATC S160 WWII design locomotive. Lempor exhaust added.
2014
Rhaetian Railway
G 3/4 No. 11 2-6-0T "Heidi"
1
DLM
1902 SLM steam locomotive modernized by DLM, included new boiler with superheater, new pistons and piston rods, new valves and valve rods, modern light oil firing system, and electric preheating system.
2016
Great Western Society
King Edward II 4-6-0 No. 6023
1
Dr. Jos Koopmans
Due to the reduced height loading gauge the locomotive must now operate within, a new, shorter stack had to be fabricated and installed which apparently adversely affected the drafting.  A new 4-nozzle exhaust and extended stand was fitted, designed by Dr. Jos Koopmans. The locomotive is currently undergoing trials on the Severn Valley Railway which are so far very successful.
2018
Waterloo Central Railway
Essex Terminal 0-6-0 No. 9
1
Dr. Jos Koopmans, Michael Guy
New 4-nozzle exhaust and extended stand fitted below existing stack.  Design by Dr. Jos Koopmans and fabrication by Michael Guy.  (Photos courtesy of Michael Guy.)
2018
Puffing Billy Railway, Australia
2-6-2NA 14A
1
DLM
Conversion to oil firing.  New 5 burner system fitted (one pilot burner and 4 main burners), similar to the new construction 0-4-2RT rack locomotives built by DLM predecessor SLM in the 1990's.  Lempor exhaust previously designed and fitted to 6A by Nigel Day was transferred to this locomotive at the same time.
2018 (?)
Scottish Railway Preservation Society Steam Group J94 "Austerity" 0-6-0T No. 19
1
unknown
Lempor exhaust
2018
Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway
River Esk 2-8-2
(photo by Nigel Day)
1
Nigel Day
New main steam pipe, exhaust system, Kordina and Lempor. New valves, piston rings and cylinder liners done to Porta type standard with modifications by Nigel. Full air brakes, two whistles and a full set of new boiler fittings. Steam sanders and improved lubrication.
2018
Doe River Gorge
Crown 4-4-0 (3 foot gauge) No. 3
1
unknown
New inner exhaust chimney and "Porta-style" exhaust nozzles.

There are many other steam modernization projects which aren't included above. Some of these include Giesl installations on several locomotives in Britain and Giesl "copy" exhausts on locomotives in China. Several U.S. steam locomotives which were restored have been fitted with modern air brake control equipment (26-L brakestands). At least three small scale "live steam" locomotives have been fitted with the Gas Producer Combustion System, including one in Great Britain, one in South Africa and one in the United States.  Numerous live steam locomotives have been fitted with Lempor exhausts in recent years.

If you know of other steam locomotive modernization projects that I have omitted, please write me at whodom2001@yahoo.com