About


Resilient Rail, Regenerative Future

Mackwell Locomotive Company Ltd., based in Canterbury, New Zealand, specialises in the design, development and construction of advanced steam locomotives. Energy resilience, pragmatic design and environmental regeneration drive the company to create transport solutions for a world moving beyond fossil fuel.


Mackwell Locomotive Company Ltd was founded by Sam Mackwell in 2016.

Sam’s pursuit of low emission energy began with an early foray into hydrogen. An enthusiastic high school experiment, that culminated in a small explosion and sizeable dent to the roof of his parent’s garage, marked the end of that journey. After Sam completed his high school education, he forwent a typical career path and income in order to develop a zero emissions turbine engine. Whilst a successful prototype, the engine relied on liquid or gaseous biofuels, which are a hugely inefficient use of land at scale. The technology didn’t make biophysical sense so the project was put aside.

In 2015 and now with a much clearer understanding of the problem he was trying to solve, Sam directed his attention to solid-biofuel, realising that the energy yield per unit area of land, per annum, was up to 10 times higher than for liquid biofuel crops. The inspirational work of Argentinian steam locomotive engineer, Ing. Livio Dante Porta demonstrated to Sam that advanced steam engines are the most efficient means of converting the suns energy into traction. Sam has been investigating and developing advanced steam locomotive technology ever since.

Mackwell Locomotive and ZeroLoco™ are the culmination of Sam’s extensive research and design journey into advanced steam technology. AgLoco®, a Mackwell subsidiary, is developing advanced steam tractors for the primary industries. The short documentary “Loco” tells the AgLoco story.