About


The environmental performance of electrification without the cost.

Mackwell Locomotive Company Ltd, based in Canterbury, New Zealand, specialises in the design, development and construction of advanced steam locomotives. Environmental Sustainability is at the heart of the company’s purpose to create transport solutions for a world beyond fossil fuel.


Mackwell Locomotive Company Ltd was founded by Sam Mackwell in 2016 to design, develop and build sustainable steam locomotives.

Sam’s journey began at a young age with hydrogen, resulting in a decent dent in the ceiling of his parent’s garage – all in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel. When Sam completed his education, he forwent a normal career path and income in order to develop an environmentally sustainable turbine engine. But, this engine relied on liquid or gaseous biofuels which at a larger scale represented a tremendously inefficient use of land.

In 2015 and now with a much clearer understanding of the problem he was trying to solve, Sam directed his attention to solid wood fuel, realising that the energy yield per unit area of land was up to 10 times higher than liquid biofuel crops. Inspired by the work of Argentinian steam locomotive engineer, Ing. Livio Dante Porta, Sam set about investigating and developing advanced steam locomotive technology.