About Steam Locomotive dot Com

Why did I create this site?

Back in the late 1980s, in their quarterly news magazine, The Minnigazette, The Minnesota Transportation Museum published a list of surviving steam locomotives that had at one time operated in or near the state of Minnesota. I was fascinated by this list and couldn't help but to wonder: "Where are all of the surviving steam locomotives in the United States?". Using the information in this magazine and in a booklet published by the Camerail Club, I began to compile my own list. The list was very short. I added the locomotives that I had seen in museums and parks. After a while, I began periodically posting my list to the rec.railroad USENET newsgroup. People began to e-mail to me additions to the list. By the early 1990s I felt the list was substantial enough to be placed on this new thing I had heard about called the "World Wide Web". I was involved with the Web at a very early stage. The first browser I used was NCSA Mosaic. I was able to register this domain name at a time when it was easy to do so.

I created a web site that contained two things:

  1. My list of surviving steam locomotives
  2. A few pages containing photographs of steam locomotives at several museums that I had recently visited

To the best of my knowledge, my web site contained the first ever Virtual Tours (as they were called back then) of steam locomotives.

Why do I keep this web site going?

For each surviving steam locomotive there exists a unique story about it. I find it interesting to track the history of a steam locomotive from the time it was retired to where it is today. I find it interesting to hear how they were saved or resqued from the scrap yard, or how they were once used in excursion service but then later removed from service and placed in a park. Because it is difficult to remember the complete history of each locomotive, I need to document what I find out somewhere. This web site is the perfect place for that documentation. This way, others can read what I've found out and possibly provide more information.

Steam Locomotive dot Com Today

Over the years, this web site has has grown and gone through a number of face-lifts. I try to make the site professional looking and easy to navigate. It's almost funny how I get e-mail from people who think that Steam Locomotive dot Com is some sort of company. I guess I'll take that as a complement.

The care and maintenance of this site is one of my hobbies. I have collected a lot of information and placed it on this site. Several people have helped me immensely in this task. Those people include Richard Duley (wheel arrangement and railroad introductions), Steve Llanso (Locobase -- a massive database of steam locomotive dimensional data), and Brian Berthold (Roundhouses). They have helped to provide a wealth of information on the details of many locomotives and roundhouses. You will find much of the information they have provided under the "Wheel Types" and "Surviving Roundhouses" menus.

All material Copyright © SteamLocomotive.com
Wes Barris