The first self-propelled steam locomotive had its maiden outing at Pen-y-Darren, Wales UK in 1804.  Since then, the steam locomotive has evolved with awe-inspiring  results.  Here are some of the astounding achievements of the steam locomotive, as chronicled by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Heaviest train pulled by a single locomotive
The heaviest train ever hauled by a single engine is believed to be one of 15,545 tonnes (34,270,820 lb.) made up of 250 freight cars stretching 2.5 km. (1.6 miles) by the Matt H. Shay (No. 5014), a 2-8-8-8-2 steam engine which ran on the Erie Railroad in the US from 1914 until 1929.

Fastest steam locomotive
The highest speed ever ratified for a steam locomotive is 201 km/h (125 mph) by the London North Eastern Railway ‘Class A4′ No. 4468 Mallard, which hauled seven coaches weighing 243 tonnes (535,722 lb) down Stoke Bank, near Essendine, between Grantham, Lincolnshire, and Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK, on 3 July 1938

Longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive
Locomotive No. 4472 (the Flying Scotsman) completed a non-stop run of 679 km (422 miles), hauling 535 tonnes (1.179 million lb), between Parkes and Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, on 6 August 1989. The time was 9 hr 25 min 15 sec.

Most powerful steam locomotive
The worlds most powerful steam locomotive, measured by tractive effort, was No. 700, a triple-articulated or triplex six-cylinder 2-8-8-8-4 tank engine built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1916 for the Virginian Railway, USA. It had a tractive force of 75,433kg 166,300lb when working compound and 90,519kg 199,560lb when working simple.

Fastest steam car
On 19 August 1985, Robert E. Barber broke the 79-year-old record for a steam car when Steamin’ Demon, built by the Barber-Nichols Engineering Co., reached 234.331 km/h (145.607 mph) at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA.

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