How to Buy a Small Steam Engine

model steam tractor image by Christopher Dodge from

Steam engine enthusiasts are passionate about their hobby. Builders of model steam engines derive satisfaction from creating a beautiful working machine on their tabletop. Fans of small and full-size antique steam equipment visit regularly scheduled shows throughout the United States. Railroad buffs also travel to train museums to ride the steam locomotives and feel the power generated by the massive engines. There are a variety of options available for someone who has decided to purchase his own small steam engine.

Machine and build your own small engine. If you enjoy the process as much as the finished product, you'll be intrigued by the small steam engine kits available from Tiny Power Steam Engines (a link is provided in the References section). This online retailer stocks steam engine kits from model size up to 10 horsepower. All kits require machining and assembly. As with any online retailer, prepayment with a major credit or debit card is required.

Buy an engine from a hobby website or shop. If you want to enjoy your steam engine with only minimal assembly work, Tower Hobbies offers a model steam engine that can provide live steam power for a small model boat (see the Resource section for a link). Yesteryear Toys manufactures working stationary model steam engines. More than two dozen configurations are available (see the Resource section).

Visit an antique steam engine auction. The Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in San Diego, California, conducts tabletop auctions several times a year. Contact the museum for more information on auction stock and payment arrangements (see Resources).

Find a farm equipment show. The Farm Collector Show Directory website ( maintains a nationwide calendar of farm equipment, steam and gas, and antique machinery shows. Shows can be sorted by year, as well as by state. Each listed event can be clicked for information on the sponsoring organisation, including a website if available.

Search the Antique Enginads website ( If you're looking for an antique steam engine, browse the Steam and Traction Engines classified ads of this targeted website. You'll find a mix of large and small steam engines from sellers throughout the United States. Payment arrangements vary by seller.

Shop for a steam engine on eBay. This popular auction site features a diverse stock of small steam engines and parts. Payment is via the PayPal payment service, although some sellers will accept checks or money orders. Check in often as listings change constantly:

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