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National Railway Museum

How a steam engine works

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Take a look under the hood of Ellerman Lines and become an expert in the science of steam locomotives.

One of our knowledgeable Explainers will reveal the engineering innovations that make a locomotive work in this short talk. 

Illustrating the talk is our Southern Railway locomotive that has been carefully sectioned, allowing you a rare glimpse of the inner workings of this magnificent engine.

ABOUT ELLERMAN LINES

The Southern Railway locomotive Ellerman Lines was withdrawn from service in 1966, and 10 years later it was carefully sectioned on its right-hand side to reveal the internal construction and the workings of a modern steam locomotive.

To find out more about Ellerman Lines, explore our online collection.

HOW A STEAM ENGINE WORKS IS PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE HM GOVERNMENT’S YEAR OF ENGINEERING PROGRAMME MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF: