Porta’s Papers

Porta’s Papers

A large number of paper covering a whole spectrum of topics about Modern Steam were written by Ing L.D. Porta, however most remain in hand-written manuscript form. The few that have been published include “Porta L.D., Advanced Steam Locomotive Development – Three Technical Papers” published by Camden Miniature Steam.  The papers included in this publication are:

  • Steam Locomotive Developments in Argentina – its Contribution to the Future of Railway Technology in the Under-developed Countries“, presented to the Manchester Centre of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in March 1969 – commonly known as “The Manchester Paper”; (Note – the publication does not include the record of the large number of questions and answers that were recorded at the meeting.)
  • “Fundamentals of the Porta Compound System for Steam Locomotives”;
  • “Some Steam Leakage Tests of Locomotive Nora on the Ferrocarril Austral Fuegino” Oct 1999.

Two other papers by Porta were published in the Proceedings of a Fedecrail conference held in Barcelona in May/June 1998 titled “Lectures on Steam Locomotive Operation in the 21st Century“.  The papers included in the Proceedings are as follows:

Photocopies of several of Porta’s papers are circulated within the modern steam community, only a few of which have been made publicly available in digital format.  The list includes:

  • Steam Locomotive Boiler Water Treatment (type-written).
  • The Thermo-mechanical behaviour of the Steam Locomotive Boiler Firebox – An Overall View (hand written)
  • The Mechanical Design of Piston Valves (hand written)
  • Improvements to the Mechanical Design of Piston Valves and Pistons (hand written)
  • A Note on the Optimum Value of Lead in Steam Locomotives (hand written)
  • The Fischer Knuckle Pin in Advanced Steam Locomotive Engineering (hand written)
  • Steam Engine Cylinder Tribology 1975 version – Pt 2 Piston Rings (hand written)
  • Steam Engine Cylinder Tribology 1995 version
  • A Proposal for the Tornado Project (hand written).

Chris Newman is currently in the process of transcribing these papers into MS Word and PDF format to make them more easily read and distributed.  Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, the transcriptions are not being made publicly available, but they are being made available to members of the 5AT Group.

Porta’s 1987 paper “The Contribution of a New Steam Motive Power to an Oil-less World” has been transcribed into PDF format (by Chris Newman) from photocopied type-script, and is available for download from this website.

A bibliography of Porta’s papers (totalling 188 in number) was compiled by Geoff Lambert with additions by Hugh Odom and additional info from Shaun McMahon. An updated version compiled by John Wright in February 2004 is downloadable here.

Two other excellent sources of information about Porta and his work (and some of his papers) can be found on: