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CSR is pleased to announce its new "White Paper Program." Working with the University of Minnesota (U of M), the Porta Family Foundation Archives, and other not-for-profit rail and biomass research organizations, CSR's White Paper Program aims to bring scholarly works pertinent to biofuel, modern steam locomotive and transportation research into the public discourse.

As its first White Paper, CSR chose "The Case for a Better American Steam Locomotive," written by foremost modern steam mechanical engineer L.D. Porta in the mid-1970's in response to the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo and two articles published inTrains Magazine during the 1960's .  Originally intended to be published in Trains, this paper deals with aspects U.S. and European locomotive design and the need for alternatively-fueled motive power (coal was popular at that time).

Of specific interest today, at a time whenUnion Pacific is discussing the possibility of rebuilding one of their "Big Boy" locomotives, this article discusses how, through careful thermodynamic design, a Big Boy could produce in excess of 10,000 drawbar horsepower.  Not simply a "pie in the sky" argument, similar engineering principles were applied to the South African Railways 4-8-4 No. 3450 a few years after this article was written, resulting in 40% higher drawbar horsepower, a 30% reduction in coal consumption and a 30% reduction in water demand, not to mention decreased maintenance cost.

So, enjoy this paper and look forward to other technical documents CSR will post on its website over the coming months.  And, if you have yet to join our email list or sign up as a supporter, please consider doing so in the closing days of 2012!  As with other not-for-profits, every bit of support helps CSR meet its goals and continue to provide innovative research and compelling papers.