5at Train

The 5AT Group - Steaming Ahead with Advanced Technology

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

2000/1 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.]

  • June-July 2000 - Locomotives International issue No 54 (p.1): Paul Catchpole, editor/proprietor of Locomotives International, was next to raise the subject of modern steam when he wrote an editorial titled "What Could You Do With £1.7 Million?" which challenged the enthusiast fraternity to forward with a 21st Century Steam Locomotive Project.

  • Aug-Sept 2000 - Locomotives International No 55 p.2, featured David Wardale's response to Catchpole's challenge with a page 2 lead article titled "What Could You Do With £1.7 Million? David Wardale's Answer" in which he carried forward his earlier ideas and set out his criteria for an economically viable modern main line locomotive for the tourist market. His criteria were (1) it must be aesthetically attractive, (2) it must give very high reliability and (3) it must offer high performance in terms of high power output and low fuel and water consumption. The locomotive was still called the 5GT at this stage, and the possibility of it being a 3-cylinder compound was still a possibility. David nevertheless warned that "if the very tepid published response which the deliberately provocative 'Whither Steam Now?' produced is anything to go by, it will remain simply an idea". Catchpole dedicated a second editorial to the subject, this time challenging people to come forward to take on the project.

  • Oct-Nov 2000 - Locomotives International Issue No 56 introduced the first of Robin Barnes's paintings of the 5AT which was commissioned by Paul Catchpole and donated to the cause by the artist. The painting appeared on the front cover of the magazine with the locomotive displaying a green colour scheme, and fitted with its original short tender and protruding feed-water heater in front of the chimney. The magazine's editorial encouraged readers to offer their comments.

  • Oct-Nov 2000 - Locomotives International Issue 56 p.23 also contained an article by Bob Butrims, Maintenance Manager of the West Coast Railway Company of Victoria, Australia titled "The World's Most Modern Steam Locomotive" in which he described the operation in regular service of the semi-Porta-ized 4-6-4 R711. The article concluded with a response to David Wardale's 5AT proposals in which he criticized several aspects of the proposed design - in particular the choice of a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement because of the necessity to use a narrow firebox and because of the poor ride quality that might be expected.

  • Butrims' letter prompted a response from Wardale in the Feb-Mar 2001 issue No 57 (p.29) in which he strongly defended his design noting that a narrow firebox was a far better arrangement for both for oil-firing and for a GPCS (Gas Producer Combustion System) and also facilitated locomotive operation by allowing fitting of a self-emptying ash-pan for quick ash removal. David also noted that Britannia 4-6-2s were rejected by GWR footplatemen because their ride quality was nowhere near as good as the 4-6-0 Castles and Kings. David also challenged Bob Butrims's definition of reliability as applied to R711. The same issue also contained further exhortations by Catchpole for readers to respond with offers to lead and participate in the project.

  • Jan 2001 - LOK Report (Germany): A German translation of David Wardale's article "What Could You Do With £1.7 Million? David Wardale's Answer" (written for Locomotives International, as mentioned above) was presented in the January 2001 issue of the Lok-Report under the title "Was könnte man mit 5.6 Millionen DM tun? Dave Wardale's Antwort". This drew a 3-page response by Jürgen-Ulrich Ebel in the following March issue titled "Plädoyer gegen ein Phantom" (English translation kindly provided by Gottfried Wild) which in turn drew a follow up response from David titled "Wirklick nur ein Phantom? David Wardale's Antwort" in the May issue 5/01 of the same magazine (see English translation "Is it just a Phantom?").

  • Feb 2001 Railway Magazine p.71: In Feb 2001 a "news" article appeared in Railway Magazine headed "Wardale reveals £1.7 million 'new steam' proposal for the heritage market" featuring a reproduction of Robin Barnes's "green machine" that had appeared in Locomotives International the year before. Railway Magazine's interest in the project was astonishingly short-lived, however since they declined to publish any responses to the article from their readership. Chris Newman's response was not the only one that did not get published.

  • April-May 2001 - Steam Railway's issue 257 ran an editorial which asked the question "What sort of main line will there be in five or ten years' time? The network is getting ever-more crowded and increasing safety demands have the potential to force steam off the core high-speed routes in the longer term".

  • The above discusssion drew a response from Alan Fozard in SR 259 June-July 2001 p.43 in which he questioned whether "old" steam will be allowed to run all at all in 5 or 10 years time, and suggested that "the only practical solution to this major problem is that suggested by David Wardale who proposes a new, modern, high-powered 4-6-0".

  • Steam Railway published a further letter from Chris Newman in SR 261 Aug-Sept 2001 p.40 in support of Fozard's view, stating that it would be a "huge and irredeemable loss if the opportunity is missed to take advantage of Wardale's (and Porta's) knowledge and experience whilst they are still actively involved in steam development".

  • May-June 2001 - Locomotives International Issue 58 p.1 contained an editorial announcing the Alan Fozard's involvement in the preparation of the Business Plan for the 5AT, while issue 59 (Aug-Sept 2001) published several reader responses including one from artist Robin Barnes.

  • 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.