2020 Steam Schools Announced

Beginners and seasoned veterans can benefit from attending one of several steam schools held in several states. Be sure to register early because classes fill up quickly!

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by John Johnson
Butch Biesecker, president of the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. and the show’s steam traction engine chairman, demonstrates proper procedure at his club’s steam school in Kinzers, Pa.

It may be mid-winter, but it’s time for steam engineers to start thinking about going back to school. Steam schools for both novices and old hands have been announced by groups all over the U.S. Classes begin as early as April.

Among the concepts presented by experienced professionals in the two-day courses are steam engine basics, engine maintenance, safety precautions and emergency procedures. Meals and course materials are provided, and some schools offer credit towards a license. As always, register early as classes fill quickly! FC

Did we miss your group’s steam school? Please contact us at (800) 678-5779 to get your program included in future listings.


Heritage Park of North Iowa Steam Engineer School
When: May 16-17, 2020
Where: Heritage Park of North Iowa, Forest City
Tuition: $75

The Heritage Park steam school offers two classes: one for beginners and one for advanced students. As part of the course, attendees 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 beginner and 25 advanced students. Materials, lunch and refreshments are included. Tuition is due on the first day of class.

For more information: Jerred Ruble, Heritage Park of North Iowa, P.O. Box 27, Forest City, IA 50436; (641) 797-2697; email: antiquepowershows@heritageparkofnorthiowa.com; www.heritageparkofnorthiowa.com.

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion Steam School
When: April 25-26, 2020; May 2-3, 2020
Where: Midwest Old Threshers grounds, Mount Pleasant
Tuition: $75

Responding to increased demand, Mt. Pleasant is offering two sessions of its steam school this year, with each session covering the same material. The class begins at 8 a.m. on the first day and continues through the day with lunch provided at noon. On the second 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. Students must be 14 or older to attend the steam school. Each class is limited to 25 students.

For more information: Julie Scott, 405 E. Threshers Rd., Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641; (319) 385-8937; email: info@oldthreshers.org; www.oldthreshers.org.


Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion/University of Rollag Steam School
When: June 20-21, 2020
Where: Steam Hill, Rollag
Tuition: $50

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.


Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. Steam School
When: May 16-17, 2020
Where: Rough & Tumble grounds, Kinzers
Tuition: $80

Enrollment is limited to Rough & Tumble members. New members must join prior to the event in order to operate equipment on the R&T grounds. The school is limited to the first 20 applicants, age 14 and older, and fills quickly.

Classroom 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. Conditions permitting, students also may operate two railroad engines (Shay and Little Toot) as well as custom engines and a large variety of steam traction equipment.

For more information: John Johnson, P.O. Box 9, Kinzers, PA 17535; (717) 442-4249; email: steamschool@comcast.net; www.roughandtumble.org.


Somerset Steam & Gas Engine Assn. Somerset Steam School
When: April 18-19, 2020
Where: Fairfield View Dairy Farm, Somerset
Tuition: $100

The course is divided into classroom and hands-on sessions with qualified and experienced instructors focusing on 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.

For more information: Gil Roberts, P.O. Box 492, Somerset, VA 22972; (540) 672-3429; email: info@somersetsteamandgas.org.


Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School
When: Sept. 25-26, 2020
Where: Antique Steam & Gas Engine Club Inc. grounds, Edgar
Tuition: $65

Topics covered include steam theory, boiler construction, safety, maintenance and operation with hands-on experience. Materials (a textbook and Case Steam Engine Manual) and lunches on Saturday and Sunday are included in the registration fee. Free primitive camping is available on the show grounds. Class size is limited to 40 students, 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.

For more information: Jeff Bloemers, Wisconsin Historical Steam Engine Assn. Steam School, 5903 Cart Path Rd., Sheboygan, WI 53081; (920) 287-1146; email: jwbsteam@gmail.com.

  • Published on Jan 7, 2020
Tagged with: steam school
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