here for the International Stationary Steam Index
here for the Surviving Steam Road Engine Index
Even in 2009, China has active
'real' steam locomotives and these are very
well documented. However, to my knowledge nothing in the stationary steam
line has ever been reported here. In January 2009, I stumbled on two preserved
duplex pumps at the Yunnan
Railway Museum (9th February 2009), early 20th
century relics of the Yunnan-Vietnam railway.
India was always going to be the best bet for variety in
operational 21st century stationary steam. Unfortunately, it's quite a large
country and there is a limit to what one impoverished couple can achieve on
their own. It would be nice to have some help from all you sad, arm-chaired and
slipper bound fellow enthusiasts, but your loss is our gain even there is
every chance that many good things will be missed as a result. If you've never
seen steam hammers at work, then maybe your life is less than complete.
Certainly mine was, what do I mean? (25th
February 2008) There is now a
video clip available (2nd March 2008).
A few years back (2008) an over-boiler engine was offered for sale on http://www.smokstak.com
but that site was blocked in China so I I never found it. Anyway, the engine
is still available (29th April 2012), click
here for some pictures and more information.
Not 'real' but preserved and well presented are a number of steam engines at
the Digboi Centenary (Assam Oil Industry) Museum
(updated with a full description of the museum 30th
January 2013), less well conserved are some North Eastern Coalfields Relics
21st century appropriate technology (updated
23rd May 2014) - TinyTech
Plants of India are now producing small stationary steam engines with boilers -
the short report contains pictures and links (two more pictures added, 26th
2008). If you are interested in such items, I have a list
of their current products, with specifications and prices, as of August 2008
(21st August 2008). They have now sent me a press
release (10th August 2010) to celebrate the
inauguration of a small scale mustard oil mill in Jharkand state which also
provides electricity for the local community. It's unlikely that anyone reading
this will be passing by but I would love to see some pictures of it at work and
the benefits it is bringing.
Yuehong and I did a further bash into the unknown and the end of 2006. What
did we find? Some wonderful engines at work and rest, just click here.
A video clip of this first engine at work
is now on the site (5th July 2007) and many more are being added in stages on my
YouTube Channel (28th December 2013).
Thanks to Margaret Hacking and Chris Hodrien for forwarding pictures
of old kit in Gadag, Karnataka (18th September 2014).
It is not impossible that some tea estates still use stationary engines or at
the very least some are still present.
The ISRS Yahoo Newsgroup email@example.com
has been quite helpful. Harsh Vardhan circulated this information a few years
"You will find a lot of them if you visit any state owned sugar/paper/pulp mill in
UP and Bihar. In fact during my work in India I found that a reciprocating steam engine is
more commonly used in Indian sugar industry than a steam turbine or diesel generating set.
Lawrence Marshall's Video, 'Indian Steam Sunset' also shows one of these engines at
To which I would add that many of the mills in UP and Bihar have not operated regularly
for some years and when they did had a very short season (in the January/February/March
period). Many are state owned and to visit them permission from the Bihar State Sugar
Corporation in Patna, based in Boring Canal Road would be a good idea.
Mani added; "There was a steam engine (I think it was a
Crossley) running a
generator at the Wimco match factory at Clutterbuckgunj near Barielly. It should still be
there as I had seen it 3 years back and it was in excellent condition."
Some 20 years ago, Geoffrey Hill wrote an article for the Bulletin of the International
Stationary Steam Engine Society recording what he had seen in Indian sugar
mills. No doubt much has now vanished, but it should provide a wonderful jumping
off point for future visitors. Check it out (30th
I visited a number of these mills in February 2004 (note added 8th April 2004).
There are pictures available of Saraya Sugar Mill and also a list of equipment I found in other mills.
In addition to my comprehensive reports below, please read Stefan Iseli's
report of 2013 visits - http://www.drehscheibe-foren.de/foren/read.php?30,6657205
(added 26th November 2013).
There are literally hundreds of stationary steam engines at work in Java's
sugar mills during the season, use the links below to other pages on this
Gondang Sugar Mill (added 29th October 2002)
Olean Sugar Mill - a candidate for a World Heritage Site (updated
29th October 2002)
Steam Equipment in Javan Sugar Mills (a record of the
equipment present, mostly still in use, updated 7th
An introduction to Java's sugar mills and their stationary
steam engines (added 29th October 2002)
As part of my steamy Java Tour blog,
I included pictures of every mill visited, but the link pictures there are not
very helpful. Instead you may want to use the mill names below (final update
2nd August 2010) - note there are extra
(older, from 2002) pages for Gondang and Olean.
An amazing survivor in Jakarta is a Dutch 1916 steam crane - read Chris
Capewell's account (updated 21st October 2008
with (converted) Wilson hand cranes from the UK).
There are a number of portable engines and steam rollers 'preserved'
in the country, these are now listed on the surviving
road engine page.
Thomas Kautzor points out (4th May 2016)
that there is surviving stationary steam at the railway workshops at Rayak:
These are three vertical Weir boiler water feed pumps at work recently at Southern Malay Palm Oil Mill in Simpang
picture is courtesy of Ng Keng Phoy (4th March 2012).
A visit to an oil palm mill in Lower
Perak found two disused Weir vertical boiler feedwater pumps (20th December
Ross Ibbotson has sent me some pictures of an out of use stationary steam
engine in East Malaysia -
click here (21st June 2008).
More information would be very welcome.
There are a number of portable engines 'preserved'
in the country, these are now listed on the surviving
road engine page (latest addition 20th December 2016).
Chris Cairns has sent me pictures of an active
steam roller near Lashio, Shan State, 11th December
There are hundreds of working stationary steam engines in the rice mills
here, the first page is mainly technical and contains a list of known
manufacturers with links to pictorial examples:
Temples of Steam - The Rice Mills of Burma, 7th
Temples of Steam 2010, 12th
Green to Gold, Rob and Yuehong in the Golden Land 2009, Part 2
- yet another voyage of discovery with
many non-steam items, 7th November 2009.
Yuehong in the Golden Land 2009, Part 1 - yet another voyage of discovery with
many non-steam items, 9th February 2009.
of Steam 2007 - a further voyage of discovery, 26th February
Mohnyin's steam crane - mobile stationary
steam, 26th February
of Steam 2006 - a further voyage of discovery with updated builders' list
etc, 10th February 2006, updated 26th April 2006.
of Steam 2005 - completely revised and updated, 10th February 2006
The reports above contain links to more detailed information about
stationary steam and travel in general in Myanmar.
It is also likely that some tea estates use stationary engines - see this
http://www.greentea.net/tea_process.html.(link dead by
25th October 2016)
As I long suspected some sugar mills here still have stationary steam
engines. Bernd Seiler's Far Rail group saw a couple of Corliss valve engines
from Fulton Iron Works and Lima/Hamilton working at La Carlota Mill on
Negros in early 2007.
They are used as a back up for the main mill line which is steam turbine
powered. There are also two steam powered Java pumps from 1919, but the steam
engine vacuum pump was scrapped in 2005. Later on an independent visit separate from the tour, Thomas Kautzor
saw a Skoda engine at C.A. Don Pedro, Nasugbu (Luzon). For some pictures of
the engines at La Carlota, check the Far
Rail February 2008 report (26th May 2008).
Thomas Kautzor recorded this unidentified portable engine (left) on display at Fort Santiago in
Intramuros, the old Spanish city in Manila in 2007 (22nd
It is likely that some tea estates use stationary engines - see this site
active but link dead by October 2016)
Fam Deelen has an Aveling and Porter steam roller which
belonged to the Sri Lanka railway until ca 1983, he would very much
appreciate pictures of it in the country preferably working.
Incidentally a quick Google search shows that the UK is host to a Fowler
roller and at least one other A&P (added 12th
June 2011). James Waite and Thomas Kautzor were
here on a visit in January 2010 and have provided a comprehensive survey of relics
in Colombo which includes non-railway items such as a steam roller and steam
lorries (last updated
Rob Berkavicius has made a survey of Thai rice mills in much the same way
as I have tried to in Burma. There are quite a few steam powered mills and he has provided a
tantalising glimpse. This was more than enough for me to decide instantly
to book a trip here for late 2005. I found a brand
new stationary steam engine and saw a wider range
of machine types than I expected although they were all tandem compounds
(both links added 14th December 2005). We got a
bargain flight to Bangkok in February 2006 and came back earlier than planned
for more. See far
from the madding crowd, Thai stationary
steam's last hurrah and more 21st century
stationary steam engines in Thailand (all links added 9th March 2006).
Rob's one hour programme (from 2004-5) together with clips of seven individual mills have
now appeared on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xThexQtaNCs
- this is the 'main feature', it's easy to track down the other clips from it.
Although it is clearly not current, it's a fascinating watch (29th
Alas, like all nearly our voyages of discovery, these reports have provoked
almost no response let alone others to 'boldly go' and add to them. An
honourable exception is Jack Neville who has visited a
mill near Sukhothai (10th May 2008). We went to the same mill and found one
or two interesting little extras in the area (3rd
Mark Robinson has now taken on the baton of research, he's found a fair
number of disused engines but now and again some which are still active, if
not daily, I believe this is the first one he saw actually working - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYatUoUT0tU
(10th April 2018).
As we (and others) have wandered around the
country, it has become apparent that there is much preserved and extant steam
kit, particularly steam rollers which tend to be monuments outside provincial
highway departments. I prepared an initial list
which has been added to over the years, further additions will be very
welcome, I am sure it is woefully incomplete.
Michael Pass has found a magnificent Garrett portable near Ubon Ratchathani,
read his illustrated report (8th
It's history now in an operational sense, but a wonderful Davey-Paxman
Lentz cross compound engine miraculously survives in Bangkok - after a glimpse
though a hole in the corrugated iron in 2009, I got
full access in December 2010 (15th December 2010).
Not working steam but Chris Hodrien has let me use an
account of preserved steam kit in Istanbul - the article originally
appeared in the ISSES Bulletin in Autumn 2006. Thomas Kautzor was here in
April 2016, and he has sent news and pictures of two extra exhibits, which
have been added to the original report. (18th May
One of the rice mill owners I spoke with in Myanmar in 2005 had recently been here.
He had seen 'one or two' steam powered rice mills although they were very much
in the minority of those visited.