Modern Steam

Modern Steam – An Introduction

The term “Modern Steam” appears to have been an invention of Ing Livio Dante Porta who, during much of his long career, worked single-mindedly and mostly single-handedly to promote the concepts that define the meaning of the term as it relates to the development of the traditional Stephensonian reciprocating steam locomotive through the application of scientifically-based engineering principles.

Porta nevertheless credited the great French engineer André Chapelon as the “father” of Modern Steam since he was the first locomotive designer to fully understand the principles of thermodynamics and to apply them to his locomotive designs.  Chapelon’s achievements in rehabilitating old and poor performing locomotives and turning them into star performers are legendary and well documented, even though his methods and successes were to a large extent ignored or misunderstood by his international contemporaries.

Porta’s achievements while being no less manifest, are less well known and even less well documented or understood.  The pages in this section of the 5AT website have been drafted for the purpose of promoting the “modern steam” technology developed by Porta and with the hope of making it more comprehensible and better understood by steam engineers and enthusiasts alike.  It is hoped that that these pages will complement rather than compete with the excellent “modern steam” websites set up by Martyn Bane and Hugh Odom.

This section of the website includes pages dedicated to the great proponents of Modern Steam:- André Chapelon and Livio Dante Porta, together with some of their better known disciples. It also offers an outline of the Principles of Modern Steam developed and implemented by them, which also serves as a glossary of the terminology.

An outline summary of modern steam options is also provided, with subsidiary pages offering further information on these options.

The section concludes with a section titled “Modern Steam Miscellany” which describes a few of the applications of the modern steam principles outlined in these pages.

“Outside” contributions to this section are most welcome – please refer to the Contributions page for details.