Michael Quin Heavener


Glossary of Steam Locomotive Terms

Hover over locomotive to see letter keys. Click any key to see its definition.

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No new steam locomotives have been built in the United States since the last was delivered in September 1957. A locomotive was constructed in Great Britain in 1979 for the movie The Great Train Robbery. The last new steam locomotive in the world was outshopped in the Peoples Republic of China in 1987.

With few exceptions, steam locomotives are now confined to tourist oriented excursion railroads, especially in Canada, Japan, South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom. China still operates some steam for revenue service (freight), but even China's steam locomotive manufacturing has ended.

Term and definition examples refer whenever possible to locomotives operated by privately owned Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or state owned Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, the remaining remnants of the now abandoned Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad narrow gauge system in Southern Colorado.

Terms and definitions used in this glossary are generally applicable to steam locomotives around the world (unless otherwise stated). See bibliography for more information. Errors and omissions, send noting correction. 


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