Steam’s Last Gasp

By the 1930’s steam power for transportation was looking at the road to obsolescence. People were still experimenting with it and trying to get the efficiencies up, but with the Diesel and gasoline engines being improved so quickly and so much money was being invested it was obvious where things were going.  Frankly I think that only the Great Depression and World War 2 kept diesel road locomotive from taking over until after the war.  To say nothing of electrification.  So here are some videos of steam technology at it’s limits more or less. Henry Bessler  was an industrialist who was a steam advocate and built several remarkable vehicles including:

A steam airplane:

A steam car:

A self propelled railcar with a Budd body:

And the largest project, converting two New Haven RR passenger cars for the Waterbury  dink, a service that has seen some exotic equipment over the decades and is still run by Metro North:

The Bessler train did not last long in service due to maintenance issues and the coaches were converted back to conventional cars.