Locomotive Essay, Research Paper

In the beginning of transportation there were mainly horse and buggy, but then they developed a steam engine and they develop canals for steam boats. About five years later the people decided to start railroads because it was easier to lay and could be lain almost anywhere. So I will tell you about the steam engine, how it works, also about the steam locomotion, and I will present a model of an early British train.

The old reciprocating steam locomotive is driven by a steam engine. Steam from the boiler is fed to the cylinders to move pistons back and forth (reciprocating motion). Connecting rods from the pistons then move the driving the driving wheels. The firebox at the rear end of the boiler is fed with coal or oil, which in a large locomotive is stored in a separate tender. The tender also contains the water that is directed up the smokestack to create a heavy draft for the boiler fire. The discharge of the used steam from the cylinders is controlled by valves, and the intermittent release of the steam up the stack is responsible for the locomotive’s puffing.

Valve gearing plays a major role in the steam locomotive because a wide range of effect is required of the engine. If the load on the engine is increased, The engine would tend to slow down. The engine governor moves the location of the eccentric in order to increase the length of time during which steam is admitted to the cylinder. As more steam is admitted, the engine output increases. The efficiency of the engine decreases, however, because the steam no longer expand fully.

Some steam locomotives weigh 500 tons(450 metric tons) or more and can develop more than 6,000 horsepower. They can pull a long train or a passenger train at about 100 miles(160 kilometers) per hour. For extremely heavy loads or steep grades, two or more locomotives may be coupled to a train.



0 Apply brakes. Stop.

00 Engineer’s answer to signal.

000 When standing back..

000 When running stop at next station.

0000 Call for signals.

0000000000 Alarm for persons or livestock on tracks.

____________ Approaching station or junction at grade.

__00 A second station is following.

___000 Flag man protect rear of train.

__ __ Release brakes.

__ __ 0 __ __ Approaching public crossing at grade.

* 0 indicates short sounds, __ longer sounds


Railroads tracks had been in use in Europe as early as the 16th century, but early railroad cars were pulled by men and horses, not mechanical force. They were only moderate efficient and were used mostly to transport ores through mines. By 1804 inventors were trying, but finding impractical, to use steam power to move railroad cars. About 20 years later , the Briton George Stephenson, a former engine mechanic, made steam engines a practical method of locomotion.

George Steferson built a workable locomotive for the Killingworth colliery in 1815. In 1825 his locomotives ran at the rate of 16 miles per hour on the newly opened Stockton and Darlington Railway. In 1829 Stephenson and his son Robert devised a multi tubular boiler for the locomotive the Rocket (see model). This boiler gave power enough to maintain a speed of 25-30 miles per hour, and the rocket won a speed, pulling, endurance contest held by Liverpool and Rochester railroad.

The first American-built locomotive was the Tom Tub, constructed by Peter Cooper. In 1830 this locomotive lost a famous race with a horse drawn car on the newly laid tracks of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. American-built locomotives that were placed in operation in 1830-1831 were the Best Friend of Charleston, West Point, York, and DeWitt Clinton.

In conclusion, I picked the Rocket for my model because it was one of the strongest steam locomotives and was a fast one also. Also in my report was the way the steam engine was adapted to fit the locomotives and how hard it actually was, it took almost 20 years.

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