Starting Up: Steam Show Season and Old Iron

Our editor expresses his enthusiasm for the coming season of steam shows and shares a few stories about "old iron" steam engines that contributors have found and restored.

| March 2005

  • steam show, old iron
    The 2005 steam show season looks promising, as do the many ongoing old iron restorations contributors have in the works.

  • steam show, old iron

We're hardly out of the woods yet, but it's gratifying to realize the dark days of winter will soon be behind us.

Winter, at least here in the Midwest, presents serious challenges to steam engine owners, limiting many owners' ability to keep on top of equipment maintenance for the coming season.

And the coming season is certainly reason for optimism, as we all look forward to another round of shows across the country. The steam show season is our chance to educate, inform, and entertain — not only ourselves and each other, but new attendees previously unaware of the glory days of steam and agriculture, but lucky enough to take in one of the hundreds of shows scheduled across the country.

The 2005 season should also present more than a few opportunities for many of us to witness some of "Steam Engine Joe" Rynda's old engines at play. Since the May 2004 auction of Rynda's engines, at least six of his engines are back in the fold, and most of those will be up and operating at various shows as the new season progresses.

We've shared a few of those engines with you already, and a few more are waiting in the wings, engines we'll feature in coming issues of Steam Traction.

This issue we're lucky to feature a fabulous assortment of old iron, ranging from Wayne Murphy's recently acquired Farquhar Ajax portable engine to Dean Fischer's recently restored 1904 Case compound. Wayne's Ajax was literally cut free from an encroaching forest and the engine promises to be a challenging restoration — Wayne's looking to Steam Traction readers for information to aid him in his campaign to get the engine back to running condition.