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    "Archeology is honored in every domain, except for building processes and arts; We know more details about the Egyptian and Babylonian civilisations that about the origins of our industries. Universities chairs exists for each History segment except for History of technical applications of sciences."

Anatole Mallet, introduction of his book "L'évolution pratique de la machine à vapeur" published in 1908.

Major changes January the xxth, 2011

You are at last !! ... !! Stay tuned.

Last news

I sincerely hope you'll enjoy and have a great time visiting this site. Frequent Very irregular updates for sure!

Compound locomotives, why...

Introduction to the advantages and benefits of (efficient) compound systems applied to locomotives based on Stephenson's concepts (well documented arguments and examples extracted from Andre Chapelon's books, conferences, experiments, reports and letters), as well as other reasons that research for greater efficiency was so strongly supported here in France. There are historic, scientific, economic, political, geographic, and even philosophical reasons.

& How

Brief historical information on the multiple expansion in general

Condensed technical history of French and foreign pre-Chapelon compound locomotive designers whose work led to the "du Bousquet-de Glehn" French standard arrangement for compound locomotives.


André Chapelon

Gaston du Bousquet

Anatole Mallet

Featured locomotives

Illustrated index of the French locomotives introduced - acces to galleries, technical data, historcal notices, ...

Text only version of the page above (for faster loading)

Technical data index

Index of technical drawings and graphs, indicator diagrams, ...


Short history and description of railroad companies in France

Typically French accessories visible on pics, for those who are curious

Audio files

Images of depots, sheds, crews, workshops...

A few words about French numbering systems

Glossary of french acronyms used

Live steam models of french locomotives


Steam locomotive basics (for beginners and children...)


Favourites links about steam:



Other links of interest to me...

along  a 
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All written material copyright © Thierry Stora 1997 - 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction, translation, total or partial on any media absolutely forbidden without preliminary permission and agreement.

First creation: July 1st., 1998
Last revision: January th., 2011

All the pictures, drawings and sound recordings contained on this site are believed to belong to the public domain (mainly from the archives of involved railroad companies), or to History of sciences and technologies. But if I stole anything unintentionally, I will remove the concerned material from these pages as soon as I am informed about it.

This site is and will be under construction for a long time, this is the kind of work than you never can complete...
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Visitors since 07/24/98

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