The Guardian, 2 August 2003
The steam railway locomotive still works hard for a living across great tracts of China. It labours largely behind the scenes in Poland – and in Cuba, Zimbabwe and other pockets of the developing world. It climbs mountains, with tourists in tow, in Switzerland, the United States and Wales.
And now it is making a cautious return. A new generation of low-emission, thermally efficient, low-maintenance steam locomotives is being developed concurrently in Britain, Japan, Switzerland and the US that will offer a romantic, and surprisingly efficient alternative at the margin of railway operations. That new steam is being developed at all is due largely to the inspirational career of the Argentinian locomotive engineer, Livio Dante Porta, who has died aged 81.