The ideas and things explained in the hardback books are:
Peter’s Railway, (Book 1 hardback series)
Why railways don’t have steep hills? How a spirit level works; How track is constructed, including how the joints allow the rails to expand on hot days; How the wheels keep the train on the tracks; Couplings and buffers; How the boiler makes the steam; How the steam is used to drive pistons and turn the wheels to pull a train. At the end of the book is a glossary of special words which have been used in the book. Find out more about Peter’s Railway Book 1
Peter’s Railway and the Moonlight Express, (Book 2)
The boiler with its safety valves and water gauge; Wheel arrangements for locomotives; Points; Turntables and ball bearings; Turning loop to turn the trains: More on pistons, cylinders and valves. Special Words – glossary. Find out more about Peter’s Railway and the Moonlight Express (Book 2)
Peter’s Railway and the Forgotten Engine, (Book 3)
Brakes; Fail Safe principle; Gears and gear ratios; Pressure gauge; Traction engine; Drive belts; Governor; Saving steam and coal. Special Words – glossary. Find out more about Peter’s Railway and the Forgotten Engine (Book 3)
Peter’s Railway to the Rescue, (Book 4)
Snow plough; Ice and why it floats and bursts boilers; Electricity, lamps and switches; Watermill; Energy and power; Electric motor and generator; Driving a locomotive; Boiler and cylinders. Special Words – glossary. Find out more about Peter’s Railway to the Rescue (Book 4)
Peter’s Railway Hits the Jackpot, (Book 5)
Energy useage and fuel consumption; Electricity supply to trains; Area, volume and scaling to different sizes; Tunnel boring; Bridge construction; Brakes, friction and regenerative brakes to save energy; Business Studies!! Find out more about Hits the Jackpot (Book 5)
The paperback books
The paperbacks concentrate on one aspect, either a railway story or a technical story.
Of course the level of detail is less in the small books but they still have a little engineering!
A Bit of Energy. A technical story book.
One day when they are having a steam up on the farm railway, one of the visiting children asks where all the energy comes from to make the engine work. This seems quite a simple question, but in the answer a lot of science is explored: Heat, coal, mechanical energy, but where does the coal get its energy from…….. Paperback with 32 pages.
Find out more about A Bit of Energy
When Peter is given an old electric scooter, the motor and battery are used to make a new electric locomotive. This is handy because it can run instantly, whereas Fiery Fox takes at least an hour to get up steam. Quite a wide range of engineering topics are covered, including making castings by melting scrap iron, making the mould from sand and machining the rough castings in the lathe to finish them. Paperback with 32 pages.
Find out more about Molten Metal