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Traction Engines

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Scroll down for video clips.

These steam powered engines were
used for various duties including general
haulage and for powering other machines such
as threshing machines, saw mills and many other things.

They were available in several sizes and were a development
from the "portable engine".  Portables were simply a
steam engine and flywheel mounted on wheels.
This was moved around by horses.  One
day someone had the brilliant idea of
connecting the engine to the wheels
so that it could move itself!

The power was usually
transferred to other machines
via a long flat belt.  This is very often
demonstrated at steam rallies with the engine
powering a saw bench or other machine.  Careful
alignment is required to ensure both wheels are exactly
in line otherwise the belt will keep falling off, stopping production.


NMSR_Traction Engine 01_.jpg (122894 bytes) This photograph shows a traction engine at Netley Marsh Steam Rally in Hampshire.  This rally is very near to where I live.  In fact it's so close that we can hear the public address system at times.
NMSR_Traction Engine Entering Arena.jpg (121726 bytes) This is the same venue and shows an engine entering the arena for the grand parade of engines.
NMSR_Traction Engine Elizabeth.jpg (119922 bytes) Here's another traction engine.  Notice that some have a canopy, whereas other do not.
NMSR_Scale Traction Engine.jpg (119841 bytes) Look at this one closely.... Oops! It shrank!
There are some superb scale models around.  The result of many hundreds our hours of painstaking work.  Well worth a close look when at a rally.
DSF_Traction Engine Driving Saw Bench.jpg (121325 bytes) Back to Dorset here and a traction engine driving a saw bench.
DSF_Traction Engines In Heavy Haulage.jpg (124423 bytes) These engines are demonstrating their power in the heavy haulage arena at the Dorset Steam Fair.
This huge arena is fascinating as all kinds of "heavy haulage" is in action.  I could sit here all day watching it!
This is a Wallis and Steevens traction engine at Netley Marsh steam rally in 2009.
I was lucky enough to be allowed to steer this one around the arena.  What a thrill!
Netley Marsh (Saw Bench)_25Jul2009.JPG (117868 bytes) This traction engine is busy powering a saw bench at Netley Marsh.
It's interesting to hear the change of note as the engine is put under load.
Netley Marsh (Wallis & Steevens Traction Engine 03)_25Jul2009.JPG (120272 bytes) This is the running gear of the Wallis and Steevens traction engine, taken from the footplate.

Video Clips...

This clip was taken from the footplate of the Wallis and Steevens engine at Netley Marsh in 2009.

In this clip there are a couple of traction engines.  One is driving the saw bench which is in use.