Steam engines are quite popular when it comes to model trains of all scales. Unlike diesels, which were often built to multi-task, most steam locomotives were specialized machines. So if you're looking to add steam to your roster, these links will help you match the right engine to the job and complete the story for your model railroad.
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Whether its the crack varnish or the local commuter, passenger steam locomotives needed to balance power and speed. The best did it with a style and flair that was bigger than life and left a lasting impression on our lives and our art. These locomotives will be the pride of your fleet too.
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Dual Service Steam
There were some locomotives that could cross the line between passenger and freight work. From lighter locomotives that could handle smaller "mixed" trains to the large high-speed freight engines that could pinch-hit on a heavy passenger train, these versatile iron horses could roam wherever needed.
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It wasn't all glory out on the mainline. Steam ruled the yards and the docks too. These smaller switchers toiled long hours making up freight and passenger trains and delivering freight to customers. While the big articulated monsters and streamliners stole the spotlight, there's nothing like the sights and sounds of a switch engine starting a heavy cut of cars.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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For power you could take anywhere, geared steam locomotives provided the perfect solution in an often unorthodox design. Most common in logging, mining and industrial operations, these interesting machines could climb hills and navigate tracks that would derail traditional steam. These locomotives have developed a sort of cult following among steam fans and modelers—once you see one in action it's easy to see why.
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Although the term is sometimes applied to all articulated steam locomotives, a true Mallet uses exhausted steam from one set of pistons to power a second set for added efficiency. Mallets came in a variety of sizes and wheel arrangements. Their ability to pull heavy loads and navigate tighter curves makes them a popular modeling choice.
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Steam locomotives are identified and named by their wheel arrangement. The Whyte system makes it easy to organize your stable.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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If steam had a downfall, it would be the nearly constant need for maintenance. Servicing steam locomotives required an army of workers and many specialized buildings. These can make for some interesting modeling projects as well.
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If you're serious about adding a steam engine to your collection, see if you can take a look at some of these models in person so that you can decide on your favorite one. Many areas have model train associations and clubs where you can learn more about these engines and other model train accessories. It's a great way to make friends with similar interests, too.