Steampunk engines


Forsaken Northern Builder
is there anyone who makes some? if not i will be the first to make some soon as i get some ideas to work with.
To the best of my knowledge nobodies done any steampunk here. This game has alot of room for fiction, but few have taken it that way, in the pursuit of correct detailing much the same as the actual Model Railroad hobby. I would be curious to see what you turn out. I do hope you don't go way over the top (Giant Clockwork Keys making fitting inside tunnels impossible and what not. Its long been a posit of mine that good Steampunk design has alot more to do with Scaling then most ever seem to be aware).

I like the idea of steampunk, but with a slightly less over the top feel. With a rewrite of history oil is simply not as plentiful and coal reserves vastly out number what we have today. What you will have is a world dominated by steam power.

The vision I have is cars are steam powered and service stations sell powdered or liquid coal and water to fire the cars boiler. Zeppelins would be the mode of air travel as light weight boilers could be used much like the steam powered airplane

Of course with steam being the only practical from of energy steam locomotive development would most likely accelerated far faster than what had happened in history. With that in mind larger and more powerful locomotives would have been developed much earlier in time. So say by 1900 or 10's we would have superpowered steam engines plying the rails instead of the 30's and 40's.

If you want to build a very steampunk looking steam locomotive, you could just build a model of the Zoelly steam turbine locomotive, a locomotive that actually existed! ;)


Though I can appreciate everyone has their own tastes (And encourage any one trying to create to follow their own, as without that often they'll find the work droll), I was thinking something a little closer to what the laws of physics dictate as viable. Im also a big believer in practicality, steam punk or otherwise. The two links you posted would be very impractical locomotive designs for a few reasons, and I'd have to believe that if anything like the steam punk genre had actually existed, operational efficiency would have to have been one of their key tenants.

That said, I was thinking something more along the lines of this:

Ultimately, I believe the key thing with making anything steampunk is styling (Materials can play as big a role as anything else, I saw a guy "Steampunk" a PS3, and at the end it looked thoroughly old worldly with brass and glass and Wood Paneling, but he didn't change the main design or function). We've already had a few industrial revolutions, and the designs to come out of these have been thoroughly tested ad nauseum, and were still widely accepted usually for one reason. Efficiency of what they did for the era in what they were created with the resources available. Lets say Oil didn't exist (unlikely, but we'll take it as a hypothetical), and our world was more steam punk.... Do you think Steam locomotive would have continued to get more efficient? Or less? I would believe the previous rather then the latter.....

Good Luck,
those two links i showed were models that are awarded to you by Jules Verne. whether or not he actually had diagrams of said locomotives is unknown to my knowledge but if he did make locomotives in his stories i will be focusing on those most


I can pretty much guarantee that Jules Verne never penned/drew/sketched anything "Steam-punk". Though the origins of the movement have some roots in his written works.

Jules Verne, if you ever read his stuff, was much less technology minded then it would seem you believe. His stories have more of a "Anything outside social norms box, even if it bends some physical laws" feeling to them, which for their time were rather revolutionary in the world of fiction. I highly encourage you to read them and form your own opinions. "20,000 leagues under the sea" is the one I personally like best, though most people seem to prefer "Around the World in 80 Days". In both however, the technology used are there mostly present as a mere vehicle (or perhaps as a Plot Device would be the better description), to be used by the characters, rather then as a story or genre defining trait. Even if they hadn't had the air balloon, Around the World would still be a fantastic journey, as would 20,000 leagues without the submarine. They just would have made less sense.....

Steam punk, or anything that could begin to be described as Steam Punk, didn't even exist until, at the earliest with its loosest definition, the late 1970s/early80s. Jules Verne Died in 1905.... And I promise he did not personally send you those drawings.

Anyway, I digress. As I stated before, by all means, build what interests you. However I highly encourage you to learn as much about the topics to which you have professed an interest before you do anything else, your works will benefit greatly from it.

Have Fun and Good Luck,

edited to add this:

I find the idea behind that version of an Allegheny pretty interesting. Though perhaps fewer superfluous smoke stacks....
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only one in trainz atm was bored one day made it.

I made a older models a wile back but it don't work well

1st one is a V2 super steamer and a failed project it don't work well at all and there no known errors as to why ( cursed ). 2nd one is a propane fueled steamer built to mach the modern day trains in speed and power it can reach 500 mph. 3rd unit is a funky one I made out of complete Borden for no real reason making a new look.

Mostly do custom modeling form time to time now days.
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A steampunk world is very possible.

Oh boy I feel a thread hijack coming on....

In a world where coal is the only real extractable form of energy, I would say, yes, it is very believable that steam power is the only real solution. I say this because industry needs to convert mineral energy into mechanical motion. With this in mind the R&D money would flow into to places that would make steam power more efficient. The Besler brothers were a good example of real life people that were on track to making steam power as efficient if not more than the internal combustion engine. In all probability inventors, engineers, or anyone in research would focus all their talents to taking steam technology to a level not seen today. Besides today most of the electricity produced is made using steam power. As you know coal was converted by Friedrich Bergius in 1913 or the Bergius process to make liquid fuel for the internal combustion engine. Though this process required oil to be mixed with coal it would simply be too expensive to make and use in a world with limited amounts of oil. In this world oil would be too precious to be used as a fuel as oils main purpose would be as a lubricant.

Another point I'd like to make is efficiency vs. practicality. In a world where coal is dirt cheap and extremely available then why would you waste money on making a steam locomotive super-efficient? What first comes to mind was an experimental aircraft that greatly reduced parasitic drag on the aircraft, but in doing so raised the operating cost dramatically because of the insane amount of labor needed after each flight. A steam engine, be it as is now, is not the most efficient way to convert coal into locomotion, but if you use money as a factor then the steam engine becomes a better option if the fuel it burns is simply cheap and plentiful. So I say practicality and cost would outweigh the efficiency argument in a steampunk world.

Last is culture. Living in Thailand has taught me that culture would have a large part in how the world is shaped. I have seen firsthand how many things could be improved here by simply applying proven new ideas and processes to everyday life. Truth of the matter is many of these new ways are ignored at best and generally vilified by most people here as they like the old way of doing things. For the most part not much has changed here in the last 100 years aside from electronics. With that said, think of a general mindset that after the industrial revolution people see their lives transformed for the better by steam? People get to work via train, streetcar or steam driven cars or buses. Homes could have their appliances run by steam or electric that is supplied much like we have electric, natural gas,water and in the case of NYC, steam is delivered to much of the city. Cities would have large plants that offer their customers electric, water, gas and yes, steam! In the home you would find steam driven washers and dryers, steam stoves, and steam powered heating and cooling. You could have the iconic NYC orange and white stripped pipes sticking out of the ground letting excess steam bleed off. Steam would as common as the utilities we have in our homes today.

So with a little twisting of history and some imaginengineering and pushing the laws of physics a little I believe a steampunk world is very possible and believable. Sure it will be a foggy smoky world, but is it much different from our smog covered world we have now?


You posit some interesting ideas. I really like the idea of a Cross Steampunk/Thailand culture mash-up. I'd be really curious to see what someone well versed in history and fiction writing could make with that premise.

I also agree that the idea of a steampunk world presents a wonderfully believable world. That said though, the best steam punk fiction, to me (IE, Fiction being subjective, to this readers tastes), are the stories that from genuine human history and spiral off the path into an alternate version of reality. Stories such as this one:

That said, I also disagree with you on a fair number of points as outlined below. Discussion of these points are meant in a respectful manner in an effort to perhaps share ideas. Please don't read further if this will bother you.

Thats a very short history of what you mentioned. I however do not see how it has any bearing on the creation of a steampunk world as the process was developed entirely as an alternative Fuel Sourcing Process to naturally occurring Crude oil for use with internal combustion engines..... No proliferation of Steam there....

You want to talk about Culture and Economy and Coal, start here. The Coal industry didn't dry up because there was a lack of coal. It dried up because people stopped using it because oil is so much more convenient and efficient. The above link is far from a complete history but rather a snapshot of a still surviving Coal Mining Town, the sort that are often popular in Steam Punk literature, sans Victorian Era clothes and Brass Goggles, and oh yea, steam engines.

I disagree that industry "Needs to convert mineral energy into mechanical motion". It certainly can and does, and I hope it continues at ever increasingly efficient levels, but industry doesn't need to do anything beyond fulfill what people want it to do, which to most people means making money..... Money and a desire for change is what drives industry, and all its beautiful ugliness. If you dissect the meaning of money to people you can even narrow that description down further. Regardless, for the purposes of this discussion, for a steampunk world, the industry will go where the money is. Much like the electronics your experiences describe.

Efficiency vs Practicality? They're the same thing.... (Definition 5)

As far as Industry, Culture, and Economy (Not to mention sheer human laziness), is concerned, they're the same anyway. What would you rather do, fill the back of your pick up truck with 1/2 a ton of coal and 90 gallons of water every week? Or fill your car's gas tank with 20 Gallons of Petrol? I know what I and many others would pick on any given day if given the choice. Industry, which is made up of humans, is much the same way.

Finally, to bring this full circle, Culture. The one constant in human history, including culture, is Change.... Sure, millions, probably billions, of humans over the course of our history have resisted change.... But it happens anyway. I don't know what to tell you about Thailand's particular culture, as I'm not overly familiar with it, but having grown up and lived in the US, I see lots of change. Further, the BBC, CNN, FOX, NPR, ANN, LeMond, and any other news agency (Or source of confirmable history for that matter) you care to name reports plenty of change in any major industrial nation. Hence I have to believe that change happens pretty frequently, particularly once you involve things like lots of industry.

Anyway, hope this was read with an open mind and perhaps a view of a chance to look into things.

I love this discussion as it helps not only me, but others that may want to create a steampunk world. Fleshing out a world is never easy,but part of the fun that makes Trainz different form the other sims on the market. Back in my old D&D days giving a character a good back story was necessary to have the full experience of playing D&D and the same can be said for Trainz.

So lets continue if you don't mind?

First and for most let's start from the premise of a world without vast oil reserves. Filling up the car with petrol would be on par of using a months salary or more to buy gasoline/diesel. Because of expense the old steam driven car makes more sense. Also there would be all the spin off companies supporting a coal fired world. In today's world a steam driven locomotive or car would be very rare, but flip the world around then the petrol driven locomotive or car would be out of place as there would be very limited infrastructure supporting it.

Now let's talk money. Again starting with a world without big oil coal will be king. Is industry going to use expensive oil for the fact it may be easier to deal with? I would say ,no. Again if coal is the number one commodity then there will be a whole infrastructure supporting the use of coal. My reason for using the efficiency vs practicality is to show that a steam locomotive not being the most efficient machine in the world would still be used because it is cheaper to operate than say an internal combustion locomotive that is fuel efficient, but it uses prohibitively sky high fuel prices. Although I could see where a locomotive that consumes less coal would be desirable would be worth the time and money to make one if the fuel is so cheap?

Now let's look at a steampunk economy. So the world revolves around the use of coal which is labor intensive. Governments have noticed that with large portions of the population busy at work there is little time to cause trouble :eek: . With that in mind governments would levy huge taxes on businesses that cut labor in favor of profit. If fact businesses would be given tax breaks for employing large numbers of people. This would kill the need to create less labor intensive machines that are more efficient. There would be a push to make better machines that breakdown less, but still require a lot of people to operate it.

Moving on the culture. Being an American expat I am well aware of the need for progress. The difference I've noticed here is the speed in which it happens. With the injection of huge sums of money and technology from the US during the Vietnam war Thailand made an enormous leap forward. On the other hand her neighbors Laos, Cambodia, and Burma are all years behind in almost everything. Thailand being Thailand still stubbornly holds on to it past very tightly killing progress in many areas. This can be seen in many cultures around the world as they hold on to their past and not wanting to move forward. We're taught we must always look for something better, always, but a large portion of the world does not see it that way and there for it is very alien to us. Now, let's jump into a steampunk world. The industrial revolution did the same for the world as the US did for Thailand and ended the need for backbreaking labor. Now steam driven machines do the hard physical work, but they need to be manned by armies of people to operate and maintain them. This is where the culture freezes and there is simply no will to progress further. Again I have seen this firsthand in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand where time seems to have stopped. Some expats believe there is a more sinister side to the freezing of the culture and the longer I live here the more I'm inclined to believe it too, but living under martial law I can not continue this thought publicly :(.

So I propose that a world dominated by coal and a mindset of change does not happen gradually, but stops or freezes until the next great breakthrough happens, say every 1 to 300 years.

I do hope you're enjoying this as much as I am:Y: .


I always enjoy a good discussion.

I do want to point out that, so far, pretty much every post I've made in this thread has been confined to what I'll term "Real World History". Jules Vern, Bergius Process, Coal Mining Industrial History. I haven't ventured into (Or even anywhere near) the "What if" of a Steampunk world till this post.

Before one gets too far into trying to build Cultural or Economic factors, it usually makes the most sense to me to have a think about the beginnings of whatever story you end up wanting to create. History is what shapes peoples experiences, and thereby the decisions they're likely to make. You can leave this blank and just pick random elements you like, but this can be a tricky balancing act. It usually works out better to have some kind of cohesive idea about where things came from, so that you're less likely to randomly introduce things that seem out of character for the story 1/2 way through it (Can be a total Story killer, like introducing a random new never before seen character as the perpetrator in the last chapter of a Murder Mystery. This has been done, but is rarely done well).

Along that line of thought, there seem to be 2 major avenues of "Beginnings" most successful Steam Punk stories seem to take.

The first is to leave the creation of the world a blank ambiguous never explained mystery. These kinds of stories tend to be more wildly random (Which often times makes them more fun to read, as long as the story never gets too detail oriented), and instead just borrow bits and pieces from our "Real World" (Coal, Steam Power, Physics, English, Victorian Era English Culture, Air Ships, Just to name the bigger themes generally). ALOT of Steam Punk Short Stories and Novella's use this method (If you're only writing 5-50 pages of a story, you probably don't want to spend too much time on back story).

The Second, more difficult approach, though I find thoroughly more satisfying, are the ones that take Real World history into account, but twist and edit it starting at a certain point. They'll usually pick a certain point, either in the entirety of Human History (Things like "What if Nazi Germany had won WW2 and this delayed the exploration of Oil Resources", or the "Earth never had much oil to begin with", as you've suggested), or my personal favorite, merely changing small things in a wide variety of ways (Such as, another suggestion of yours, Coal was just too plentiful to ignore).

The reasons that caused the development of the society you're trying to write about will play a huge role in whatever technology or culture they end up exhibiting. Steam Punk is perhaps the first genre of fiction where the Props can as often as not play an even larger role then the Characters, as such it makes sense to spend alot of time crafting their world in addition to the characters, though ultimately they will both affect each other. Steam punk just wouldn't be steam punk with out certain elements, its what defines the genre as separate from say, the works of Alexandre Dumas or Jane Austin.

All in all, as I said, I prefer picking a divergent point, and this can be almost anything. Ill use the Boneshaker as an example, where the setting was early 20th Century Seattle (Which I found hilarious, living in Seattle, and the author even got the landmarks correct, though she futzed with bits of the history, which was entirely acceptable as the result was such a great story), and through the course of the invention, theft, and misuse of a giant steam powered tunneling machine, a Zombie making gas is there by released from the bowels of the earth. The divergent point is the use of Steam Power in such a crazy scheme as this, and the result is a rip-roaring wild adventure with Zombies, Steam-powered Airships, daring characters, and all set in a Walled up deteriorating zombified Seattle. It sets the tone for a whole series of books, of which I've heard the Author has continued to work on.

Bringing this back into the world of Steam Trains, if you say, made a diverging point from history in the proliferation of Coal, then one can assume that there would be differences in the speed at which humans progressed through our cultivation of Steam Driven technology (Imagine if the Dark Ages has been an industrial revolution with the introduction of steam instead?). Further, the first major uses of oil may not have been the internal combustion engine at all, but perhaps plastics, or some other later discovery, say Solar Panels for instance. Part of why oil, diesel, and petrol development happened the way it did was entirely because a Steam locomotive consumes so many resources, and has but one path to follow, it has been long viewed as highly inefficient by the engineering field (not to mention the accountants) of our world. There are many reasons for this, and I only have at best partial data, but when one of the most efficient designs ever produced can eat several thousand pounds of coal an hour and hundreds or thousands of gallons of water, without ridiculously easy access to those resource, many will ask the question "Is there in fact not a better way"?

If the proliferation of coal was so prevalent, more efficient ways to acquire it surely could have followed much quicker, higher efficiency could have been attained sooner, to the point where oil may never have developed the prominent position it now enjoys in daily life if for no other reason then transportation. Nuclear technology (Which is essentially a Steam engine with perhaps the most efficient fuel source currently harnasable by man) may easily have developed along different tracts to become a more common source of transportation energy.

The places you can go with this kind of thinking are innumerable. But, they require a firm grounding in at least some basic history, and a basic understanding of Sociology (The study of groups of humans, the trends, beliefs, preferences, thought processes, and actions there-of) helps tons as well. Economies and Cultures are alot easier to read once you have some ideas about how sociology works, as long as you can acquire starting data to work with.

Regardless, the diverging point I just explored would pretty much require a world where coal was so prolific, you could pretty much trip over the stuff just walking out your door. It has to be so easy to attain (At least at the beginning of the divergence), that people have to ask themselves "What can we do to get rid of this stuff?".

You could go other directions, such as no oil, although thats a much more difficult proposition since coal itself comes from similar processes as oil geologically speaking, and itself can be made into an oil or a lubricant. Not to mention machinery requiring some kind of lubricant as well. Either way, the more you learn about the topic you're trying to write about, the more believable and interesting it will become, Promise, and this is especially true in a genre as varied, crazy, and in-animate object centric as Steam Punk can Be.

Anyway, food for thought,
:eek: i have seen a Decapod with the smokestacks like the Allegheny. however this model i have seen didn't have a tender.
This is really turning into a very cool discussion, but I feel we may have been derailed. Although your insight into writing and story development is extremely interesting to read and think about I think we have forgotten that first and foremost this is a train/railroad simulator. Trains hold the staring role in this story and I think instead of trying to write a novelette and just adding in trains and steampunk we need to find a way to make trains and steampunk work to have the lead role.

As route builders go they are storytellers using trains as their main focus. You see some people that knock out route is just a few hours, but not much fun to drive or look at. Next we have the prototype route builders of present or historical routes making them as true to life as possible. Last the fictional route builders that have an idea of "what if" to which I subscribe. The first one is easy just knock something out. The second, the builder has a lot of the information available to them to make the route. Now does the fictional route builder have a blank page to start from? Not really, they have either a full blown and detailed story or a vague idea where they want to go. With this in mind I feel everyone could use this thread as a springboard or knowledge base in helping to create a believable steampunk world.

So being that Trainz routes are in a sense stories to be told from a creative point of view how do we make trains or railroads omnipresent? Next what can we do to make steampunk a viable world? I think a simple steampunk skeleton should be enough for the route builder to be a Dr. Frankenstein and cobble together a believable world. Next the people that will operate these crazy routes will understand why the railroad does what it does and why the world looks the way it does.

I really do hope others will put forth their ideas on a Trainz steampunk world.

On a closing note I'll give Boneshaker try. It sounds like a lot of fun ;).


Believe me when I say that I have not forgotten that this is a forum dedicated to a Train Simulator. I went where I did because it seemed pertinent to the conversation. Steam Punk, as a Genre, will always be bigger then "Just the trains they used", as such, to build a believable Steam Punk Train, or Trainz, world, I feel it can't but be prudent to have an exploration of that genre. Particularly when it doesn't seem that too many people involved in such a discussion are overly well-versed in the origins, history, trends, or ideas, that tend to lie at the core of alot of what many people consider to be "Good Steam Punk".

I would also point out that, as you touched on, Trainz is more then just throwing some assets and a track down and driving a box on wheels through it. To be a really good route, there needs to be more detail, really regardless of where it comes from, as long as its thought out and pertinent to the experience of driving through it.... In this line of thought Id ask if you ever got the chance to play 3DTS' mini Expansion for MSTS "Donner Pass, the Storm of 1952"? That is probably one of the best pieces of Railroad simulation I've ever personally seen. Railroad Simulation based around the story of one of the worst storms ever to hit Donner Pass, with all the accompanying equipment, and menu pop-ups as you play to tell the story as you go. They even rigged a way to HAVE an avalanche occur while you're driving along in a Cab Forward. MSTS' limitations aside, it was an outstanding bit of Simulation Gaming. But the reason for this I believe was the time involved in creating the Route, the Equipment, and devising the method's through which they were going to tell that story.

Anywho, getting back to Trainz.... Trains will pretty much always be present in this simulator. Theres little getting away from it. The trick isn't "How to bring the Trains to Steam Punk", its "How to bring the Steam Punk to Trainz". As another example of this, have you ever played through the Marz Stuff? I think Ish and/or Vulcan keeps making? They have an entire site dedicated with it, and post regular updates, including story based updates (Or did to the last knowledge of this writer). I've never sat down and really played through it (Martian exploration not being my thing), but the ideas behind it I find interesting. They've brought Martian Exploration and Colonization (And indeed I think even Martian warfare) to Trainz..... Regardless, I think the bigger issue in what we're talking about, is if you're going to make a Steam Punk Trainz Model, you will start with some equipment and a world once you're into the Trainz bit. The ultimate point of most of my posts however has been to the effect of "If you're going to go that far though, why not stop and have a think about what form that equipment and world is going to take before you begin, because if you don't it'll be rather easy to butcher the whole attempt".

I'm a Graphical Engineering and Design Student, and this kind of topic has interested me most of my life (Though rarely through the traditional Design lens most end up using), and one of the tenants of Design is that "Design is Objective". This means, in short, that any random person will be able to look at a design and come up with an opinion about how sound a design is, and chances are Most of the population would agree with them, even if they have no background in Design, or understanding of the elements involved in it (There are caveats to this, particularly when you get into Mechanical design, and often in Steam Punk you see authors intentionally using ignorance as a way for some characters to avoid describing some devices). Point being, in theory, most Steam Punk Fans will look at your design of say, a Steam Punk Steam Locomotive , and come to a consensus (Probably not even consciously) on whether they like it or not if for no other reason then they consider it a good design or not..... Alot of the elements that go into design are things like available resources, efficiency of use of those resources, expended effort (Labor) involved in Operating and Maintaining these designs..... This is why some Steam Punk works and some doesn't. People look at it and recognize it as being something plausible or not (And part of why having some back story in mind during the creation of it can help tremendously). There is something to be said that, Steam punk is still defining itself, and there is no serious concensus about it in any large scale (And the reasons for this I believe are sufficiently complicated enough to deserve their own discussion). But I feel that that alone should not mean that we just throw some prime shapes together, add a few cogs, paint the whole thing Bright Colors, and call it "Steam Punk" (As some cheap game designers have been apt to do in recent years). Good Design is much more nuanced then that because it IS largely objective....

Steam Punk is a very difficult genre for alot of people to write in because its so constraining. Most Authors like the ability to write about whatever they want, but Steam Punk becomes very quickly mired in what usually ends up being highly detailed plot devices one has to spend time explaining, it leaves only so much room to take a story where you wish (And the amount of that room is certainly less then most genres). This is one of the reasons there is so little really good Steam Punk available.... This same effect will be present in any endeavor involving "Steam Punk" up to and including Trainz.

Either way, I have this discussion here in an effort to improve upon the results of any endeavor to create Steam Punk within Trainz. If its to be done, I would hope it to be more successful or better widely received then not. Its easy to just pound out a route without alot of thought, and you already mentioned about what tends to happen to those. The same is true for equipment. Compare Bdneals freeware Steam locomotives to almost any other Steam locomotive that came before, you can tell he spent time and effort creating those, and not just the design but the textures in particular. The end result were locomotives that have lasted this hobby something approaching a decade IIRC and are still heavily used by alot of people. I doubt anything steam punk would enjoy that kind of popularity in this simulation genre, but at least if its well thought out, designed, and implemented, its less likely to die in ignominy for a lack of those qualities.

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i actually have not falcus. i am familiar with the Marz stuff but never have i tried them out. as for the steam punk engines there is another game i play that has them and their normal designs but with steampunk flavor added to them