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Steam Locomotion in the 21st Century

The Recent History of Steam Locomotive Development

Modern Steam Videos

updated 15 February 2022

The following links are to, and feature videos of various modern or modernized steam locomotives mentioned elsewhere on this site, in operation.

Argentina (the country AND the locomotive!)- This video recently surfaced on youtube showing footage of the construction of L. D. Porta's first experimental locomotive, La Argentina.  Not only does it feature a young, handsome Porta, but Andre Chapelon as well!

La Argentina

South African Railways Class 26 4-8-4 No. 3450- Officially L. D. Porta, but far better known as the Red Devil.  This locomotive was extensively modified by David Wardale in the early 1980's.  The locomotive still exists, and has been operated sporadically, but unfortunately some of the modifications have been removed or negated by subsequent work on the engine.

No. 3450 on Freight in 1991

"Steam Fever" Video- Showing steam in South Africa including a 25C condenser.  No. 3450 shows up at about 3 minutes, 30 seconds in and features some excellent high speed footage with a razor-sharp exhaust.

Alfred County Railway Garratt No. 155- A Former SAR NGG16 class Garratt improved by Phil Girdlestone.  Video from 1996 showing 155 and other un-modified Garratts on the line.

Alfred County Railway Garratt

Mt. Washington Cog Railway, New Hampshire USA- Nigel Day has worked for several years modernizing locomotive No. 9, affectionately called "Vickie" (short for "the victim") but officially known as "Waumbek".  The video segment below shows the engine after the installation of a Lempor exhaust system and improved exhaust "plumbing".  More recently the locomotive has been converted to burn biodiesel fuel.

No. 9 Waumbek passes at stopped train

The Golden Eagle Luxury Train in Russia, featuring P36.0032 which was fitted with a dual Lempor exhaust by the late Phil Girdlestone.


Modern SLM rack steam locomotives in Austria and Switzerland- These locomotives were built by SLM in Switzerland in the 1990's (the steam division has since become DLM).

Brienz Rothorn Bahn in Switzerland

Brienz Rothorn Bahn in Switzerland

DLM Modernized 2-10-0 52.8055- This 2-10-0 was modernized extensively by DLM predecessor SLM and is now owned by DLM who operates it in excursion service.

52 8055 excursion

52 8055 on Freight (excellent exhaust sound)

52 8055 excursion

RFIRT in Argentina- A narrow gauge coal-hauling railway at the southern tip of South America. Locomotives are 2-10-2's built by Mitsubishi in Japan.  The first series of locomotives were modernized by L. D. Porta after delivery; the second series of locomotives were built with these improvements and others incorporated at the factory. 









Tren del Fin del Mundo, Ushuaia, Argentina- "The Train at the End of the World", also known as Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino (FAF). A tourist railway in southern Argentina, the line features 3 modernized steam locomotives: two 0-4-0+0-4-0 Garratts and a 2-6-2T. 

FAF #1  Short video featuring shots of all 3 steamers

FAF #2
  Long video with lots of non-train footage, but it features some nice shots of the "Ing. L. D. Porta", one of the line's two Garratts.

FAF #3  Nice shots of 2-6-2T "Camila".

FAF #4  Video includes all 3 steamers and one of the line's diesels as well.

Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona, USA- The two of the lines steam locomotives were modernized with Lempor exhaust systems and improved oil burners designed by Nigel Day. Feedwater heaters were subsequently fitted.  Unfortunately, the railway management changed in 2008 and the steam locomotives have been taken out of service.

GCR #1  Video shows a double header with both modernized steam locomotives, 2-8-0 #29 and 2-8-2 #4960.

Puffing Billy Railway, Australia- Nigel Day designed a Lempor exhaust system for their 2-6-2T no. 6A. The exhaust system was since moved to no. 14A when it was converted to oil firing by DLM. At least two other Puffing Billy locomotives have also had improved exhausts installed in recent years.

PBR No. 6A with Lempor

PBR No. 6A with Lempor

PBR No. 14A after conversion

Duke of Gloucester, UK- A modern 3-cylinder 4-6-2 constructed in the late days of steam in England, equipped with Caprotti rotary cam actuated poppet valves.  In regular service, the locomotive never lived up to its promise and proved little, if any better than contemporary conventional Pacifics.  The locomotive was relegated to the scrap yard after its outside cylinders and valve gear were removed for display in a museum.  Years later, a group of dedicated railway enthusiasts rescued the locomotive.  On top of that, they fabricated replacements for the missing cylinders, including the complete Caprotti valve gear system.  Study of the locomotive's design during the restoration revealed an undersized exhaust system and errors in the fabrication of the ash pan.  The exhaust was replaced with a new, properly sized Kylchap system and other deficiencies in the engine's construction were corrected.  It proved a tranformed engine in excursion service.

DOG #1 A high speed run.  The audio track provides an interesting sample of the ultra-sharp exhaust characteristic of a poppet valve equipped steam locomotive.

DOG #2 More impressive audio.

DOG #3 Climbing a grade at speed; impressive audio.

DOG #4 Close up shots of engine running tender-first; good low speed exhaust sounds.