Triumph Herald

Triumph Herald

Wirral Pubs

Wirral Pubs

When Steam Ruled the Roads

A Traction Engine Archive

Publication Date15th March 2025

Book FormatPaperback





From a highly respected heritage author comes a nostalgic collection of images celebrating steam engines on Britain's roads.
Regular Price £15.99 Online Price: £14.39
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The period between the late 1800s and the late 1920s was the heyday of the road steam traction engine. Prior to that, ‘portable’ steam engines were pulled by horses from farm to farm to provide the power unit for belting to machinery for tasks such as the annual threshing. The invention of the self-moving traction engine brought many advances, always staying one jump ahead of amendments to the Locomotive Acts.

Fairground operators hauled their huge road train of rides to the next fair; ploughing engines and threshing engines travelled from farm to farm; road hauliers carried massive loads; and steam rollers laid and mended our roads.

The availability of cheap surplus First World War petrol vehicles saw road hauliers and fairground showmen dispense with the ‘hassle’ of operating steam vehicles, yet there were still manufacturers making steam wagons until the late 1930s and several councils still operating true steam rollers right into the 1960s.

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