5at Train

The 5AT Group - Steaming Ahead with Advanced Technology

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

1998/9 Published Articles and Letters relating to the 5AT and Modern Steam

The following is a list of published articles relating to the subject of Modern Steam and/or the 5AT Project.  [Note: a similar listing of articles can also be found in the Project Promotion section of this website.]

  • Apr 1998 - Steam Railway - Issue 216 p.36: Wardale first broadcast his idea for a new steam locomotive in an article in Steam Railway's April 1998 issue titled "Whither Steam Now" by when the locomotive had changed its name to '5GT'. The article presented a very forceful case for an economically viable modern steam locomotive to take over main line duties from "classic" steam, and including the observation that "arguably the most celebrated British steam haulage feat of all time was A4 Capercaillie's wartime run between Darlington and York when 75 mph was averaged over 24.9 miles pulling 730 tons, requiring only some 2200 dbhp, which is not more than 85% of the power output that the much smaller 5GT would be able to sustain at the same speed".

  • 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.

  • Nov 1999 - Railway Magazine - p.35: The Railway Magazine followed a year later in November 1999 with an article on modern steam titled "Clean Steam" and written by Chris Milner. Instead of the 5GT, this article focused on Roger Waller's work with Sulzer Winpro in Switzerland, with particular reference to his spectacular rebuild of Kriegslok 2-10-0 No 52 8055. The only correspondence that resulted was a letter from John Hine which was published in RM's March 2000 (p.39). Chris Newman's letter to RM written in response to John Hine's did not get published.