Steam Locomotive Design: Data and Formulae: {1936} DIGITAL EDITION


This book has been out of print for a little while, and is now reintroduced as a digital book for viewing on a computer, iPad or the like. Not downloadable on to a 'Kindle' or similar reader.

 Ever since the English language edition of Andre Chapelon’s “La Locomotive a Vapeur” was published, we have been asked for a book which goes in detail into the various factors affecting the design of the steam locomotive. This particular title was mentioned frequently, and I am very grateful to Mr. Simon Marshall for his generosity in lending me his copy from which to make this facsimile reprint.

This book was first published in 1936 and hence pre-dates both editions of La Locomotive a Vapeur, but the parameters with which it is mainly concerned - ie stresses, forces etc were established by then and whilst the book largely revolves round British and Empire practice, American and European variants and developments are covered.The Chapter titles are: 1 - Extraneous Considerations, 2 - Tractive Force, Power, Adhesion and Resistance, 3 - Determination of other Leading Dimensions, 4 - Cardinal Points of Design, 5 - The Boiler, 6 - Boiler Mountings and Steam using Auxiliaries, 7 - Superheaters and Feed Water Heaters, 8 - The Smokebox, Blast Pipe and Chimney, 9 - The Engine, 10 - Valves, Ports and Valve Gears, 11 - Compound Expansion and 12 - Frames. Springs. Brakes. Flexibility on Curves. Tanks. Bunkers and Tenders. Superstructure. An Appendix then gives Ultimate Tensil Strength and other Particulars of Materials for Locomotive Construction, as specified by the British Standards Institution.

If you want details of a ‘modern’ exhaust, Chapter 8 will be a disappointment, although the underlying information and formulæ are still correct. Conversely it does include quite a lot of information on conjugated valve gears and Caprotti and other poppet or rotary valve gears. By its nature this book contains a lot of maths, but it also contains numerous drawings and diagrams, 27 were in the form of fold out pages which were tipped in by hand. These are included in this Digital Edition, but most have had to be reduced in size to fit this format; the greatest reduction is to 65% of original size.

As the steam locomotive was at its zenith in 1936, it seems unlikely that a better book than this was published subsequently on the parameters of designing them - I am certainly not aware of one, so if you want to know how to calculate horsepower, driving wheel and cylinders sizes for a given power-output, the bearing surfaces required throughout the design for the intended power-output, the heating surface, hammer-blow, etc., etc. then this is the book for you. 448 text pages plus drawings.

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