Guys, Have just read an article in the latest edition of Australian Railway Digest about the numbers of operating steam engines. It says: "Australia has a staggering 576 surviving steam locomotives of which an impressive 123 are operational. The number of locomotives in the USA, generally accepted to be about 300 for many years, is close to half that figure (161) now." The sources they quote are : Australian Steam - Preserved Steam Locomotives Down Under www.australiansteam.com/index.htm and "Serviceable U.S. Steam Locomotives, 2004" compiled by Jim Wrinn and Jeff Terry in Railfan & Railroad July 2004. Considering that Australia is about the same size as continental U.S., yet less the 10% of the population of the U.S. and the penetration of railroads that would imply, I find it rather astonishing that there are so few (comparitively) operating steam locos in the U.S. Any comments of why there would be (relatively) so few operational steam locos in the U.S.?