These locomotives are fueled by burning combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler. Have you ever watched a teapot bubbling? You probably noticed lots of steam coming out of the teapot, this works in the same way a steam locomotive works.
Every steam engine locomotive has a fire box and a water tank. The heat from the coal burning in the fire box causes the water to boil. As the water boils, and steam builds up in pressure it causes pistons to move. The pistons are attached to rods and the rods are attached to wheels. As the pistons move, the rods and wheels move to push the train forward.
This series of shorts filmed at EnterTRAINment Junction is always full of info teaching children the history of railroading and trains and tends to always end in a very silly way! Be sure to check out all of Tiny Ted’s previous youtube episodes if you’ve missed them!