About the book
The book is the authors thesis for the degree of Ph.D. of the University of Sheffield, U.K. It describes the historical research into the subject of smoke ejection by steam locomotives. Within the smokebox of a steam locomotive two gas flows meet, the one is the exhausted steam from the blast orifice, the other is the smokegas from the firebox which is drawn through the boiler by the artificial draught caused by the exhaust steam.
The title of the thesis is after the written observation by Richard Trevithick in 1804. The first five chapters treat the historical development of locomotive chimneys and exhaust systems from 1804 to 2004.These chapters are accompanied by thirty Appendices with excerpts of the original publications, translated into English where necessary.The sixth chapter treats the research and developments outside the railways. A number of these could have influenced the design of proper chimneys.The seventh chapter is a theoretical approach which uses data of the historical tests of British Railways of the 1950s, among others.The optimal dimensional ratios of chimneys and blastpipes, the front end, are derived. An explanation of the function of the chimney system is given, leading to suggestions of improvements like multiple orifices. A present day theory, expressed in non-dimensional parameters, is presented and used for calculations of different front ends. Chapter eight describes the tests with the 0-6-0 steam locomotive RTM 54 which was used for verification of a number of assumptions.
In the conclusions of chapter nine it is stated that any present day steam locomotive front-end could be improved, leading to a decrease of water and coal usage and air pollution.
The final two appendices are meant for the live steam locomotives of model engineers.
Reviews of the thesis by Geoff Lambert of Australia, Michael Guy of Canada and Hugh Odom of the USA can be found at the website Ultimate Steam Pages of Hugh Odom:
Book dimensions, l x w x h : 240 x 172 x 24 (mm)
Weight: 910 gr.
Figures: 224 b&w
The revised second printing:
Weight: 1060 gr.
Figures: 225 b&w
This version has an extra Appendix C with a very elaborate description of the functioning of the front-end including the proof of the improved behaviour of a front-end with multiple orifices.
The book can be bought from Camden Miniature Steam Services of the U.K
Contact about the book contents and its availability:
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About the author
Born 1940, married, four children, nine grandchildren
Studied Naval Architecture at Delft University 1959-1968,
Royal Netherlands Navy, sublieutenant 1968-1970.
Naval Architect, IHC Holland 1970-1979.
Self employed, Computer sales 1979-1990
Senior Logistics Engineer with Frans Maas: 1990-2005
Retired since 01-10-2005
Writing and publishing the Ph.D thesis lasted from 1987 to 2006.
Since 2005 self employed consultant on Steam Locomotive Front-ends.
Hobbies:classical music, trains, trams.
President of Dutch Tramway Foundation (heritage trams) 1996 - 2016.