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SIX DECADES OF STEAM

The 1960s to the 2010s – six decades that began while steam locomotives were still being manufactured in a number of countries, and ended with their almost complete eradication from normal service around the world. Of course, through the efforts of countless dedicated volunteers and paid employees, many remain to be enjoyed today, but while some pictures from the preservation era are featured here, the focus of this website is firmly on the declining years of ‘real’ steam working, with the work-stained locos and often gritty environment that preservation can never fully recapture, and indeed usually tries hard to avoid. So although I have now started to add some pictures from the 2020s, the title will not change because it reflects the main emphasis and purpose of the website.

The stimulus for this – my first online venture since the collapse of Fotopic about ten years ago - came about through sad circumstance, with the sudden death in August 2019 of my friend and occasional travelling companion, David Moulden. Dave’s family asked me if I would look after his photographic collection, and I was honoured to do so; at the same time, I thought it only right to share it with a wider audience.

This, then, is a perspective on six decades of steam around the world through two sets of lenses, Dave's and mine. Dave’s collection is the more extensive, as I took a 14 year “sabbatical” from overseas steam between 1982 and 1995 for family reasons. Indeed, a significant part of Dave’s collection covers trips that I might well have gone on if circumstances had been different, but as it turned out our shared travels were limited to India and Pakistan in 1981, China in 2000, 2002 and 2004, and Romania in 2016.

The pictures displayed here are the rapidly emerging tip of a very large iceberg, and are added to on a regular basis. They are arranged as two separate collections which can be accessed from the links below, but there are links within each collection to facilitate easy switching from one to the other. New additions are placed in their appropriate country galleries and duplicated in separate ‘Recent Additions’ galleries, so that returning visitors can easily see what has been added since their last visit.

Richard Stevens

April 2021


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