Pat's Steam Dream Comes True at Last


| November/December 1992



Traction engine

The death of close friend and fellow traction engine enthusiast Jim Link at the age of 56 focused Pat's mind.

We wish to thank the Kent Messenger Group Newspapers for their permission to reprint this article and photo, which appeared in their Kent Today April 9, 1992.

Mechanical engineer Pat Neilson has dreamed of owning his own steam traction engine for 20 years.

Steam is probably the most emotive form of transport and power ask any railway enthusiast who hankers for the days before the diesel and electric train.

The mighty traction engines which before the Second World War repaired roads, ploughed fields and provided the power to run farm machinery, capture the essence of steam in a form that affected everyone's life.

And the enormous showman's engines, with hundreds of decorative colored bulbs, once a regular sight slowly towing fairground rides from one town to the next, then carrying on their labors generating the electricity to run the rides, symbolize bygone days of innocent childhood, even in those too young to remember steam.

Pat, 45, who lives in Kennington, Ashford, was determined to own a traction engine and decided on a half-scale replica.