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New built steam

New built steam, an introduction

Everybody "in the street" is convinced that building steam locomotives has ceased. Has it? No it has not. After a pause of almost fifty years, in Europe at least, locomotive builders and workshops are gradually coming to the realisation that building new steam locomotives is not nearly so impossible as generally thougt.

The A1 Tornado at its rollout in 2008

With the ever ageing fleet of heritage steam locomotives the question arises if we must perpetually restore "original" steam locomotives to working order. This question was especially spurred by the building of the A1 "Tornado" and its subsequently coming to the rails in 2009. In the case of the Tornado matters were relatively straight forward: none of the original locomotives made it into preservation so if there was to be one it should be newly built. And so it was. This created an open door though for the matter of restoration. Restoring a mainline steam locomotive to full operational order costs dearly and after that you end up with an engine which basically still is over fifty years old, no matter what. Financially it could be wiser to invest in building an entirely new engine for operational purposes and store the original engine for eternity. Time will tell, but maybe a trend in this direction is developing. In these pages I hope to collect information on new built steam locomotives.

Some thougts

What is "new built"??

It seems trivial question but the answer is not so obvious. The area between restoration and building is not clear. I discern four different categories which each will need a definition

  • Preserved, is a locomotive that survived from the pre-preservation era

    I distinct two sub-classes

    • Restored; a more or less complete existing locomotive from that is being returned to operational condition whilst retaining as much original parts as possible.
    • Reconstructed; an exisiting locomotive from the pre-preservation era that survived incomplete and main components, such as frames, wheels, cylinder blocks etc need new fabrication.
  • New build is a locomtoive when it is erected after the regular steam era ended in the country for which it is destined without pre-existing main components like frame, cylinders or complete driver wheelsets (built "from the drawing board")

    Again I see two sub-classes

    • Replica; which is a locomotive that is built to the original design as much as possible
    • New build proper; which is a locomotive that is designed from scratch or that is based on an exisiting design but strongly and intently adapted to meet modern day demands.


As a consequence a locomotive that is assembled for 95% of new parts around e.g. an existing frame with the intention of depicting the original locomotive is NOT a new built locomotive, though technically maybe nearly so, but a reconstruction. I must admit this is arbitrary.


In my considerations I excude minature steam locomotives. I consider 600 mm (2 feet) gauge as the narrowest practical gauge to be serious business track. Anything narrower than that is out of scope. I know light railways and miniature railways build new steam locomotives in dead earnest but I have to draw a line somewhere.

Relation to Modern Steam

Modern steam is a collection of techniques and improvements which greatly enhance the performance and maintenance characteristics of the classical steam locomotive. In this respect not every new built steam locomotive can be considered to be "modern steam". In fact most new built steam locomotives are not. Most are classical steam locomotives, if not entirely built to original designs than at least built to the same design principles. I consider a steam locomotive to be "modern steam" only when it incorporates at least one of the features mentioned here.

Having said that let's turn our attention to the pièce de resistance, a list of new built steam locomotives. No it's not complete. It will be <<under continuous construction>>.
If you know a locomotive not on the list please contact me!



Type/class Name/number Operator or owner Builder Wheel arr. Year Ref.
Double Fairlie Earl of Merioneth Ffestiniog Railway Boston Lodge Works 0-4-4-0 1979 Home
Firefly none Didcot Railway Center, UK The Firefly Project 2-2-2 1987 Home
Double Fairlie David Lloyd George Ffestiniog Railway Boston Lodge Works 0-4-4-0 1992 Home
No class designation 12, 14-16

Brienz Rothorn Bahn, Switzerland

SLM/DLM 0-4-2 1992, 1996

Martyn Bane

No class designation Z11 - Z14 Schafbergbahn, Austria SLM/DLM 0-4-2 1992, 1996


Single Fairlie Taliesin Ffestiniog Railway Boston Lodge Works 0-4-4 1999 Home
KM class 6 FCAF, Argentina

Barries Engineering,
Port Shepstone

0-4-0+0-4-0 2006


99.23 99 2324-4 Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn Molli Damplokwerk Meiningen 2-8-2 2008 Home
A1 "Peppercorn" Tornado A1 Steam locomotive trust, UK   4-6-2 2009


Saxon IK 54 Verein zur Förderung Sächsischer Schmalspurbahnen,
Presnitstalbahn, Germany
Dampflokwerk Meiningen 0-6-0 2009

Modelleisenbahner nr 9/2009, p29

Saddle tank Wren Kew Bridge Steam Museum Hunslet (mainly) 0-4-0 2009


Projects on hand

Backer & Rueb Boxcab No 37 RTM, NL Planningstage, fund raising has started 2009 0-4-0 -- RailMagazine 268
5AT none so far   Design stage 4-6-0 -- Home
4MT 82045 The 82045 Locomotive Fund, UK Component production stage, various suppliers 2-6-2 -- Home
Patriot, LMS 45551 "The Unknown Warrior" The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd. , UK
Llangollen Railway Works 4-6-0 -- Home
GWR Grange 68xx 6880 "Betton "Grange The 6880 Society

Llangollen Railway Works
Various main components completed

4-6-0 -- Home
NS6000 6027 ?? Stoomtram Goes Borssele, NL Frame plates have been cut (2005). Since then the project has disappeared 4-6-4 --


None Lyd Ffestiniog Railway Boston Lodge Works 2-6-2T -- Home
Unknown unknown Fries StoomtreinMaatschappij, NL Abandoned 4-8-4T -- Home


Last update Oct 5, 2009
Still working on further completion of this list


Hunslet are producing steam locomotives again!!
See: and specifically the page for their saddle tank steam locomotives