Painting by Robin Barnes 2014
Starting in 1925, André Chapelon began applying the principles of thermodynamics to the steam locomotives of the Paris-Orleans Railway. By doing so, he doubled the maximum power output of certain rebuilt types, despite the locomotive’s overall dimensions remaining unchanged.
Chapelon’s work inspired a young locomotive engineer in Argentina, Livio Dante Porta, whom at the age of 27 extensively rebuilt a locomotive based on the principles laid down by Chapelon. This locomotive, rebuilt in 1948, reached a level of performance that has not been matched since.
The importance of Livio Dante Porta to the survival of steam into the 21st century…is difficult to exaggerate.G. W. Carpenter
In his lifetime, Porta wrote well over 250 papers on the subject of advanced steam locomotive technology, modernised countless engines and inspired many to continue his work. Three key technologies developed by Porta define modern steam today, these are:
It is without any doubt that had it not been for the work of Ing. Livio Dante Porta, Mackwell Locomotive Company Ltd. would not today be building a brand new modern steam locomotive, and would likely not exist at all.
Further information about modern steam can be found at the websites below:
- Advanced Steam Traction Trust
- Coalition For Sustainable Rail
- International Steam
- The Ultimate Steam Page
- Martyn Bane
- International Association for the Advancement of Steam Power
Porta in Paraguay, 1987