Selection of Papers by L.D. Porta – Volume 2

Adhesion, Compounding and the Tornado Proposal

The Argentinean engineer Livio Dante Porta (1922 – 2003) remains an unsung hero in the long history of steam development. Following in the footsteps of Chapelon, he rebuilt numerous locomotives in Argentina and elsewhere, and designed several revolutionary locomotives, both large and small. Like Chapelon, none of his designs were built and most of his rebuilds have been lost to the scrap merchants. He has however left a rich legacy in the form of several hundred technical papers covering a wide range of subjects and written in a variety of languages. A few of his papers were published in conference proceedings and some were left in typed format, but the majority were left as hand-written manuscripts.  Some were written for specific purposes such as his “A1 Paper” that was written in the
hope of influencing the design of Tornado, and his “Compounding” paper that was written to try to influence David Wardale’s design of the 5AT. Others were written for the purpose of ensuring that the development of steam locomotives would continue into the 21st century.  The papers that are left to us are mostly of poor quality, having been photocopied many times and circulated amongst the “modern steam aficionados”. These can be hard to read, and most contain “Porta-isms” (grammatical errors) that require interpretation.

Chris Newman has transcribed 19 of Porta’s English-language papers and is publishing them in three volumes through the auspices of the Advanced Steam Traction Trust and with the permission of the Porta Family Foundation. This second volume offers three Porta’s papers relating to: the principles of compounding; his A1 proposal (also a compound) and water treatment, the last of which should be of great interest to the 21st century steam community.

This volume titled “Adhesion, Compounding and the Tornado Proposal” includes just three papers as follows:

  • Adhesion in Advanced Steam Locomotive Engineering;
  • Fundamentals of the Porta Compounding System;
  • A Proposal for the Tornado Project.

Covering 250 A4 pages including numerous diagrams in black in white, this volume will be priced at £27 including postage within Europe and £30 for postage outside Europe.   (See below for members’ discount.)

If you would like to order a single copy of the book please place your order, please select the relevant postage option and click on PayPal button below.  Alternatively, payments can be made by cheque (pounds sterling only) or by direct transfer to AST’s bank account (please ask for details).


Book Price including postage



If you wish to order more than one copy, please write to the Webmaster to enquire about discounts.  Likewise, trade enquiries should be sent to the same address.

ASTT members wishing to purchase a copy of the book may click here to go to a separate payment page offering 20% discount on the above prices.  Please make sure you are logged in first.

PDF copies of Porta’s original handwritten manuscripts will be made available to buyers who would like to be able to check the accuracy of the transcriptions.

Please note:  Other than a 10% royalty payable to the Porta Foundation, all proceeds from the sale of the book will accrue to Advanced Steam Traction Services Ltd. (ASTS), and will be used to fund its work of fostering improvements to the performance, reliability and/or economy of steam locomotives.