Steam & Steel
In the shuffling madness of the locomotive breath runs the all-time loser headlong to his death. He feels the piston scraping, steam breaking on his brow. He sees his children jumping off at the stations one by one. His woman and his best friend in bed and having fun. He’s crawling down the corridor on his hands and knees. He hears the silence howling, catches angels as they fall.
And the all-time winner has got him by the balls. He picks up Gideon’s Bible open at page one. Old Charlie stole the handle, and the train it won’t stop going. No way to slow down …
Lyrics by Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull, Locomotive Breath.
The pictured locomotive is Austria’s oldest and functional narrow-gage steam locomotive. The research on the steam train history and technical data on the steam locomotive was done for the British ‘Railway Magazine’ .
Brief history : Steyrtalbahn, Austria, Europe. The vintage railway track is located alongside the ‘Valley of the River Steyr’ (hence the name), and marks Austria’s oldest narrow gage railroad track (track width 760mm). The first railway section was opened in 1889 between the towns ‘Garsten / Steyr’ and ‘Grünburg’. The railroad track was extended in the upcoming years up to a range of 55 kilometers (finished in 1909) . But in 1933 a section of the railway was already closed. 1967 to 1980 other partial closings followed, and in 1980 the railroad track was discontinued.
Since 1985 a section of the railroad track (17 km , between ‘Steyr’ and ‘Grünburg’) is operated by ‘ÖGEG – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Eisenbahn Geschichte’(Austrian Society for Railway History) as ‘Museum-Railway’ with permanent extra tours. The pictured antique steam locomotive 298.102 is owned, serviced and operated by ÖGEG.Antique steam locomotive 298.102 (298 = series , 102 = the 2ndone built). This is the oldest operational vintage steam engine of Austria with a narrow-gage of 760mm (this fact makes it special in some kind). The pictured steam locomotive was built in the year of 1888 by ‘Krauss & Company’ in Linz, Upper Austria. Three steam tender-locomotives (.101 to .103) were ordered by ‘Steyrtalbahn’ at the Krauss factory for the opening of their new narrow gage railway track of 760 mm.
Exactly the pictured vintage steam locomotive was used for the opening of the historic railroad track back in the year of 1889. Built in 1888 by Krauss, Linz, Austria. The antique steam locomotive was nicknamed ‘Sierning’ (named after a small town alongside the old railway track). At a later time three more of these steam locomotives were ordered (steam locomotives numbers .104 to.106) for the use on the ‘Steyrtal Track’ . The ‘Steyrtalbahn’ based the track-width for all narrow gage railroad tracks in Austria.
Steam locomotive construction
2-cylinder steam engine for saturated steam, outside controls ( System ‘Heusinger’ ). ‘Krauss-Helmholtz-Chassis’ with three driven axles and one trailing truck. The trailing truck is mechanically ‘clutched’ with the 3rd driven axle, which can move sidewards, giving an optimal handling in curves (down to a radius of 60 meters) and less abrasion of the wheel flanges . Forward and rearward speed of the steam locomotive is identical. The trailing truck construction is located in an external frame below the driver’s cab , permitting a more generous fire box for the steam engine.
Steam locomotive 298.102 technical data
- Steam locomotive model type (order of axles) : C1t-n2 (the British designation is 0/6/2, 6 driven wheels, 2 trailing wheels)
- Steam locomotive driving wheel diameter : 820 mm
- Steam locomotive trailing wheel rear diameter: 570 mm
- Steam locomotive overall length (incl. ‘bumper’) : 7680 mm
- Steam locomotive top speed: 40 km/h
- Max. axle load: 6.0 tons
- Steam locomotive gross service weight / weight in working order : 22.0 tons
- Steam engine output: 180 HP
- Steam engine cylinder diameter : 290 mm
- Steam engine stroke: 400 mm
- Steam engine boiler pressure: 12 bar (174 psi)