If you’ve been captivated by the giant steam traction engines rolling around the grounds at a show and wanted to explore a new corner of the old iron hobby, consider enrolling in a steam school during the 2018 show season.
Attending a steam class is a great way to gain hands-on experience in the cleaning and operation of steam engines under the supervision of qualified instructors, and connect with others with varying levels of steam experience. Most schools provide meals and materials, and some schools even offer credit toward a license. As always, be sure to register early as classes have limited space and fill up quickly! FC
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Heritage Park of North Iowa Steam Engineer School
When: May 12-13
Where: Heritage Park of North Iowa, Forest City
The Heritage Park steam school is targeted toward beginners, but anyone with prior experience is also encouraged to attend. As part of the course, attendees will help prepare one or more steam traction engines for steam up. Students who complete the class will receive 16 credit hours toward the 50 hours required for a Minnesota Hobby Engineer’s license. Class size is limited to 50 students. Materials, lunch, and morning and afternoon refreshments are included.
For more information: Jerred Ruble, Director of Shows, Heritage Park of North Iowa, PO Box 27, Forest City, IA 50436; (641) 797-2697; email: email@example.com; www.heritageparkofnorthiowa.com.
Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Steam School
When: May 5-6, April 28-29
Where: Midwest Old Threshers grounds, Mount Pleasant
The class begins at 8 a.m. on the first day and continues through the day with a short lunch break at noon. The next day, all class participants will operate working engines for a hands-on educational experience. The session ends at 2 p.m. with a noon meal provided for all participants.
Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion/University of Rollag Steam School
When: June 16-17
Where: Steam Hill, Rollag
The two-day course offers classroom instruction and hands-on experience using a wide range of steam equipment, including stationary, traction, miniature and railroad engines. The class is certified for Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio steam hobby licenses. WMSTR is the only training approved by the State of Minnesota not provided by a state-run entity. Materials and two meals are included.
Class size is limited to 70; early enrollment is suggested as the course typically fills by March 1.
For more information: Tom Hall, University of Rollag, P.O. Box 999, Moorhead, MN 56561; (218) 233-1771; www.rollag.com.
Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. Steam School
When: May 19-20
Where: Rough & Tumble grounds, Kinzers
Enrollment is limited to Rough & Tumble members. New members must join prior to the school in order to operate equipment on the R&T grounds. The school is limited to the first 24 applicants, age 14 and older, and fills quickly.
Class time is limited to half of the first day, with remaining time dedicated to practical, hands-on operation, including cleaning, inspection, maintenance and operation of numerous steam traction engines. Operating and conditions permitting, students also may operate two railroad engines (The Shay and Little Toot) as well as custom engines and a large variety of steam traction equipment.
Somerset Steam & Gas Engine Assn. Somerset Steam School
When: April 14-15
Where: Fairfield View Dairy Farm, Somerset
The course is pided into classroom and hands-on sessions with qualified and experienced instructors focusing on the education, familiarization and safety in the operation and maintenance of steam engines and boilers. All course materials and two lunches are included. Class size is limited to 20 students.
Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School
When: Sept. 21-23
Where: Rock River Thresheree show grounds, Edgerton
Subjects include steam theory, boiler construction, safety, maintenance and operation with hands-on experience. Materials include a textbook and Case Steam Engine Manual, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday is included. Free primitive camping is available on the show grounds. The American Society of Power Engineers test will be offered (but is not mandatory) on Sunday for an additional fee of $55. Class size is limited to 40, and preregistration is required. Completion counts for 16 hours toward the required number to obtain a state operator’s license in Minnesota and Ohio. Youth scholarships are available.