- This article relates to European tram engines. For U.S. tram engines see Steam dummy
Steam tram engines
In the steam locomotive era, tram engines had to comply with certain legal requirements, although these varied from country to country:
- The engine must be governed to a maximum speed of 16 km per hour (12 in the UK)
- No steam or smoke may be emitted
- It must be free from noise produced by blast or clatter
- The machinery must be concealed from view at all points above 10 centimeters from rail level
- condensing the exhaust steam and returning the condensate to the water tank
- Reheating the exhaust steam to make it invisible
- Beyer, Peacock
- Henry Hughes
Hughes's Locomotive & Tramway Engine Works, Loughborough started building tram engines in 1876. His engines were of the saddle-tank type and exhaust steam was condensed in a tank under the footplate by jets of cold water from the saddle-tank.
- Kitson & Co
Kitson & Co. started to build tram engines in 1878. They used a roof-mounted, air-cooled, condenser of thin copper tubes in which the exhaust steam was condensed. This is rather like the radiator on a modern road vehicle. The air-cooled system eventually became standard for steam tram engines.
- William Wilkinson
William Wilkinson of Wigan patented the exhaust steam reheating system about 1881. It now seems bizarre to re-heat steam after, rather than before, use because it would involve waste of fuel. Despite this, the Wilkinson system was popular for a time and engines of the Wilkinson type continued to be built up to about 1886. Similar reheaters were also used for road steam wagons, such as the Sentinel.
Other British builders of steam tram engines included:
- Aveling and Porter
- Charles Burrell & Sons
- Dick, Kerr & Co.
- Thomas Green & Son
- Manlove, Alliott & Co. Ltd.
- Manning Wardle
- Merryweather & Sons
- Kitson 0-4-0 steam tram engine (Portstewart Tramway No,1) at Streetlife Museum of Transport, Kingston upon Hull
- Kitson 0-4-0 steam tram engine (Portstewart Tramway No.2) at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, County Down.
- Kitson 0-4-0 steam tram engine (Christchurch Tramways No.7) at the Tramway Historical Society of New Zealand, Ferrymead, Christchurch, New Zealand.
- Beyer Peacock 0-4-0 steam tram engine at National Tramway Museum, Crich, Derbyshire
- Krauss 0-4-0 Gamba de Legn tram engine at the "Leonardo da Vinci" National Museum for Science and Technology in Milan, Italy.
In popular culture
The character Toby the Tram Engine, from The Railway Series children's books by the Rev. W. Awdry, and the spin-off TV series Thomas & Friends, was based on the LNER Class J70 tram engines that were to be found on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway.
Other types of propulsion
Diesel tram engines
Electric tram engines
There are a few examples of electric tram locomotives designed to pull traditional railway carriages through streets.
Stored energy types
Tram engines have been built to run on stored energy in various forms, including:
These engines have not met with great success because of their limited range.
- History of the Steam Tram by H. A. Whitcombe, published by the Oakwood Press in 1961
- The British Steam Tram by J.S. Webb
- A History of the British Steam Tram, volume 1, by David Gladwin, 2004
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