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Railway Locomotive Engine Parts

Locomotive or engine? They are both shortened versions of the original ‘locomotive engine’, which distinguished them from static steam engines (as found in factories etc). It’s all to do with American versus British English. As a Brit, I prefer ‘engine’.

I love railway trains of all types, but steam still retains a romance all of its own. I took the video above on a chance visit to the South Devon Railway and had only a small hand-held camcorder at hand, but I did my best. However, much as I love steam, I realised that I didn’t know what all the component parts of an engine were called. So, here is a very clear diagram and key:

"Steam locomotive scheme new" by Panther - Own work Drawn by Panther using Corel Draw!. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steam_locomotive_scheme_new.png#mediaviewer/File:Steam_locomotive_scheme_new.png

“Steam locomotive scheme new” by Panther – Own work Drawn by Panther using Corel Draw!. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Steam_locomotive_scheme_new.png#mediaviewer/File:Steam_locomotive_scheme_new.png

Adapted from this page on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_steam_locomotive_components

This is a guide to steam locomotive components. The image is of a composite imaginary locomotive, not all components are present on all locomotives and not all possible components are shown or labelled in the picture. I have edited the text for language-learning reasons – please go to the Wikipedia page for more detail.

‘1. Firebox fuel is typically coal, but can be wood or oil etc.
2. Ashpan – collects spent ashes
3. Water – converted into steam to power the engine
4. Smokebox
5. Cab – from where driver and engineer operate the engine
6. Tender – carries fuel and water for the engine
7. Steam Dome – where steam is collected before delivery to the pistons
8. Safety Valve – prevents boiler from going over pressure
9. Regulator Valve – delivers steam to the pistons
10. Superheater – heats steam to beyond boiling point
11. Piston – driven inside the cylinder by the expansion of steam and providing the motive power of the whole machine
12. Blastpipe – directs exhaust steam up inside smokebox to increase draught
13. Valve Gear – uses rotation of the drive wheels to operate the inlet/outlet ports to the cylinders
14. Regulator Rod – connects the regulator lever to the steam regulator
15. Drive Frame – the chassis of the engine
16. Rear Pony Truck/Bogie – supports the weight of the cab
17. Front Pony Truck/Bogie – guides the engine along the rails
18. Bearing and Axlebox
19. Leaf Spring – provides suspension
20. Brake shoe – operates directly on the drive wheels
21. Air brake pump – pressure or vacuum
22. (Front) Centre Coupler – for connecting to other engines or carriages
23. Whistle – for signalling and warning
24. Sand box – contains sand to be deposited on the rails when slippery

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