5AT Feasibility Study


The “Feasibility Study regarding the formation of a Steam Locomotive Development Company to produce advanced technology Second Generation Steam (SGS) Locomotives” was issued in May 2010 some nine years after the establishment of the 5AT Project.  It it represented the final throw of the dice by the project team in its efforts to generate interest from commercial investors in funding the project.

The study assumed that 5AT locomotives would find regular use hauling high speed cruise and excursion trains on the UK rail network. However even if such a market could be established (for which there were no certainties) the study faltered on the difficulties in putting together a commercial case for construction of such locomotives.  Indeed, commercial viability was only achievable if the development costs of a “demonstrator” locomotive (amounting to £10.4 million) were written off.

The study was circulated to a number of potential funding bodies but failed to generate any serious interest.  In consequence it was resolved to mothball the 5AT Project, and in 2012 members of the project team moved on to establish the Advanced Steam Traction Trust through which to continue the work of promoting and implementing the principles of Modern Steam.

The Feasibility Study covers some 230 A4 pages of which only the first 24 contain the the study itself.  The remaining 200-odd pages are comprised of sixteen supporting Appendices as follows:

  • Appendix 1:   21st Century Steam, The Day of Modern Steam Traction, (paper by L.D.Porta, 1997).
  • Appendix 2:  Technical Advances that Improve the Performance, Maintenance and Reliability of Modern Steam Locos.
  • Appendix 3:  Engineering Specification for the Proposed Class 5AT 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive.
  • Appendix 4:  The Fundamental Design Calculations.
  • Appendix 5:  Simulations of 5AT performance.
  • Appendix 6:  Estimated costs of development of the Demonstrator 5AT Locomotive.
  • Appendix 7:   Feasibility of Steam Traction for Coal Haulage in Developing Countries.
  • Appendix 8:   Advanced Technology Steam Freight Locomotive.
  • Appendix 9:   The 8AT – A Discussion of Alternative Design Strategies.
  • Appendix 10: Market estimate for Advanced Technology Freight Locomotives in Coal Haulage work.
  • Appendix 11: Estimated Profitability Potential of a Hypothetical 5AT Rail Cruise Organisation.
  • Appendix 12: Review of Carbon Neutral Fuels with Potential for Use in Modern Steam Locomotives.
  • Appendix 13: Comparison of Greenhouse Gas Emission Footprints for Different Railway Traction Systems.
  • Appendix 14: Sample estimates of post development pre-tax profitability (from the business model).
  • Appendix 15  Design Processes and Methods.
  • Appendix 16: Recruitment and Training of the Engineering Design and Project Management Team.

The purchase price for the book is £35.00 including postage and packing to most countries (£25 to ASTT members).

The book is printed by Ingram’s Lightning Source on-demand printing service which arranges each print order to be sent to their print works nearest to a buyer’s postal address, from where the book printed, packed and posted.  Buyers who live in countries that involve higher delivery charges will be notified when their orders are received.  A PayPal invoice will be sent to cover the extra costs.

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£35.00 including packing and postage to most countries (see above)

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Please note:  All proceeds from the sale of the book will accrue to Advanced Steam Traction Services Ltd. (ASTS), and will be used to fund its work improving the performance, reliability and/or economy of steam locomotives.