5at Train

The 5AT Group - Steaming Ahead with Advanced Technology

Enhancing Performance -- Improving Reliability -- Reducing Costs -- Controlling Emissions

Published Articles and Letters about Modern and Tourist Steam Traction - Non-Railway Press

Section 4: Non-Railway Press Articles

Interest in "Modern Steam" activities extend beyond the railway press. From my own observations and from an abbreviated search of a few newspaper archives on the Internet, the following articles are listed:

  • Dec 1998 - The Economist ran an article in its December 17th 1998 issue titled "A Blast from the Past" which described oil-burning and other developments undertaken by SLM in Switzerland, noting that "although they consume slightly more fuel, steam locomotives are simpler to maintain and repair (than diesel locomotives), making them especially suitable for use in poor countries. They last longer, too. And they are also less smelly: because they rely on external combustion (the burning of fuel at a constant rate outside the engine's cylinders, rather than explosively inside them), they produce only a fifth of the noxious emissions of diesels of comparable power. That is especially desirable in such applications as shunting, when locomotives spend 70% of their time idling, often in built-up areas in which pollution is particularly unwelcome".

  • April 1999 - The Economist ran another article titled "In praise of old technology" in its Apr 15th 1999 issue which reviewed the revival of several old technologies in modern guises. The steam locomotive was offered as one of many examples: "Filthy, soot-belching steam locomotives were rejected in favour of diesel and electric ones decades ago. Now new, modernised steam engines are sometimes more efficient and more environmentally friendly than diesels. ....The lesson of history is, in short, that even apparently moribund technologies such as clockwork have a persistent habit of, well, springing back to life. That is worth remembering next time you hear the death-knell being sounded for a supposedly outmoded way of doing things. Last year's habit can often turn out to be next year's habit too".

  • July 1999 - Another article on the subject of new steam called "Back on track" appeared in New Scientist" on 17 July 1999 (page 42, vol 163 issue 2195) also covering developments by SLM in Switzerland.

  • 2001 - The Independent ran at least three articles in the second half of 2001 specifically on modern-day steam events (as opposed to "new steam"). The first of these appeared on 10th June 2001 described the operation of the Steam Dreams rail charter service, and that of 2nd Dec 2001 gave a very positive report on a days outing on the Catherdrals Express. Prior to that, on 4th Nov 2001, the Independent ran a story about the steam loco driving courses offered by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

  • Sept 2002 - More recently on 8th Sept 2002, the Daily Mail ran an article on "The Wolsztyn Experience" in which Ray Hankin described his week's driving experience course in Poland. "Better than sex" was the verdict of one of his fellow-trainees!

  • Dec 2002 - Stuttgarter Zeitung (Germany): On 27th Dec 2002, a full page article by Andreas Geldner titled "Mit Tempo 200 die Gleise entlangschnaufen" (displayed here in PDF format) was published in the German daily newspaper "Stuttgarter Zeitung". I hope to be able to present an English translation of this shortly.

  • March 2003 - The Engineer Vol 16 Issue 03 (published by Institution of Mechanical Engineers) published an article titled "Steam Ready to Ride again on the Rails".

  • April 12th 2003 - The Guardian ran an article by Jonathan Glancy on the The Wolsztyn Experience titled "All Fired Up".

  • Aug 2003 - The Guardian: On 2nd August 2003, the Guardian published an obituary to L.D. Porta titled "The Engineer who transformed Steam Technology".  (Original article can be seen here.)

  • August 28th 2003 - Cambrian News published an article on a presentation to be given by Chris Parrott about modern steam developments on the FCAF railway in Argentina, with brief reference to the "designing and building of a new steam locomotive to 21st century standards" (i.e. the 5AT).

  • Sept 2003 - The Engineer published an article called "Full Steam Ahead?" by Max Glaskin in its 12th Sept issue, advocating a return to steam traction, and listing instances where this is already happening. The article includes mention of the 5AT project.

  • 11th October 2003 - The Guardian: In an article titled "Steam power on track for great renaissance", Jonathan Glancey published an article on Page 8 of The Guardian which reported on the first public airing of the 5AT project by Dr Alan Fozard at the 1st International Steam and Tourist Train Congress, Brienz, Switzerland. A scanned copy of the article is reproduced here as well as a transcription of the text from the article.

  • 14th October 2003 - BBC Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Alan Fozard on the 06:20 Business Report of their Today program.

  • 23rd July 2006 - BBC Radio 4 broadcast a radio program titled "Steam Driven" in which Dave Wardale, Shaun McMahon, Roger Waller and other steam engineers express their views on modern steam..

  • July 2007 - Professional Engineer published a brief article on the 5AT following the press release about the "hand-over" of William Powell's model.

  • Oct 2009 - Solar Action Bulletin covering the topic of New Zealand Rail published three articles by members of the 5AT Planning Group:  "Could there be a place for Steam Traction for Rail Transport in a 'Sustainable Energy' World?"; "A Vision for the Future" and "Considerations relating to costs of 'Sustainable' Railway Traction Options".

  • July 2010 - Professional Engineering magazine published a full-page article on the 5AT Project by Ben Sampson.  The 28th July edition included a letter of response from Bob Rainbow, and the 18th August edition contained a further response from Nick Marsh and a clarification by 5AT Group member, Jamie Keyte.  Finally the 22nd Sept edition included a letter from 5AT Group member Chris Newman.  The text of the article and subsequent correspondence are combined in a single PDF document that can be downloaded by clicking here.