The AST Group is actively seeking to involve itself in any project where its knowledge and experience can be used for the benefit of steam traction, with a particular view to improving performance, reliability and economy, while reducing operating and maintenance costs and emissions.
Projects that AST are currently involved in are as follows:
- The Revolution project: the design and building of a 10¼” gauge demonstrator/test-bed locomotive that will be used to test out new ideas and to demonstrate the successful ones. The locomotive’s chassis is a complete innovation which has been successfully tested on the Stapleford Miniature Railway. It is hoped to complete the locomotive in time for the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton & Darlington Railway in September 2025.
- Testing of Low-Carbon Coal Substitutes: ASTT is taking a leading role amongst other industry players in conducting trials of various low-carbon coal substitutes.
Past projects include:
- Successful development of an electronic system for measuring and recording the performance of steam locomotives including cylinder performance and smokebox vacuum.
- Successful design, manufacture and installation of a Lempor exhaust system onto a S160 locomotive on the KWVR.
- Providing ongoing technical assistance to new-build “Clan Project“.
- Helping prepare a Feasibility Study for the George the Fifth Locomotive Project.
The 5AT Group (whose members established and manage the AST group) was responsible for one or two commercial studies that were not directly related to the 5AT Project. These included:
- a study into the costs and feasibility of operating (ex-China Rail) steam locomotives on a coal haulage railway in Indonesia, and
- a study into the feasibility of using of steam traction for a major new tourist railway that was planned for construction in Mexico.
The Group welcomes inquiries from steam locomotive projects and owners, and from railway planners who would like to know more about the possibilities of using steam traction.