| November/December 1978

  • Steam engines
    Robert Most collects 1880 style steam engines of which he has three that are being renovated. ''With a steam engine, it takes five minute to find the problem and a week to fix it,'' he says. Tribune photo by August Staebler.
    August Staebler

  • Steam engines

Reprinted with permission of Leland Hawes, Features, Editor, Tampa Tribune. Submitted by William L. Hetzer, 2309 West Comanche, Tampa, Florida 33603

Robert Most collects steam engines.

Not scale models, but real coal burning, fire-breathing, 87-ton, 1880 style steam engines. He has three of them which are being renovated and readied to ride the rails once again.

'The total purpose of my interest is to save and restore the steam engines so that one day, they can be enjoyed by the public, young and old alike,' the Tampa insurance man said.

'MY INTEREST is not in trains. Trains, per se, do not interest me. The steam is what holds my interest.

'The steam locomotive is, in my opinion, the most fascinating piece of machinery ever invented. It is a fascinating invention and holds more universal interest than anything else ever built.