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Gresley and his Locomotives (Hardback)

L & N E R Design History

Colour Books P&S History > By Century > 20th Century Photographic Books Transport

By Tim Hillier-Graves
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 295
ISBN: 9781526729934
Published: 6th December 2019


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History Hit

An article written by the author for Dan Snow's History Hit: 'The Talented Team Who Designed the World's Fastest Steam Train'

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The story of Gresley and his locomotives is a well-trodden path. But our view of his achievements is a blinkered one because it fails to recognise all the other people who played a part in his work. As the leading American aviation engineer Paul S Baker wrote in 1945 ‘the day of one-man engineering is long gone. You might as well print the organisation table of the engineering department when trying to assign credit for a particular design’.

To Gresley must go great credit for many of the LNER’s achievements, but those around him have faded into obscurity and are now largely forgotten even though their contributions were immense. To redress this balance, the author has explored the lives of Gresley and his team and sought to uncover a more expansive picture of these events. This in no way diminishes Gresley’s accomplishments, which are immense by any standards, but builds a more authentic view of a dynamic period in railway history.

The book draws upon many sources of information, some of it previously unpublished. This has helped present a fascinating picture of all that happened and all that was achieved, often in the most difficult of circumstances, by a very gifted team of engineers and their exceptional leader.

"The book, like the Thompson edition, covers the biographical and and social side as well as the engineering, which helps to place his career into a better context than other books on him that I have read."

Journal, November/ December 2022

What is refreshing is that the book deals extensively with Gresley's colleagues, shedding new light on their influences on his professional and social life. I am left with a sense of deep admiration for Tim Hillier-Graves, for the enormous amount of hours he must have put into the research for this book, his care in writing a very readable narrative and his faith in the publisher, Pen & Sword for a superb job of it's production. Highly recommended.

Allan Sibley - Great Northern Railway Society's "Great Northern News" issue 231 (May-June 2020)

As featured in

The Railway Magazine June 2021

In conclusion, this work is a superb biography, a must-have for LNER steam enthusiasts, and recommended reading for all railway-lovers. Highly recommended!

Featured in "The Circular", Bradford Railway Circle

Wholly recommended for students of the LNER and Gresley.

The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

... this work will find a place on the bookshelves of anyone with a keen interest in the life and work of one of Britain’s foremost locomotive engineers.

West Somerset Railway Association

A very interesting portrait of a time of great achievements for the British rail system.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

Listed in 'The best of this month's Hertfordshire-linked books and book news'

Hertfordshire Life, March 2020

Book about Nigel Gresley and his team who designed some of Britain's most popular steam locomotives, such as the LNER Class A4 Mallard which holds the speed record for a steam locomotive. They also designed the Class 76 electric locomotive, which influenced the design of electric locomotives for decades.

An excellent book living up to the great character he is dealing with, Nigel Gresley, who is probably the most important person in the railroad world after George Stephenson, the "father of the railways."

Read the full Spanish review here

Unos Cuantos Trenes Blog, Jorge del Valle

About Tim Hillier-Graves

TIM HILLIER-GRAVES was born in North London during 1951. On leaving university he served as an officer with the Royal Navy, seeing wide service on land and sea. For much of this time he specialised in weapon development projects, specifically missiles and heavyweight torpedoes, and worked alongside BAe, Marconi Space and Defence Systems and McDonnell Douglas in the process. In support of this work, he undertook prolonged periods of study and research at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham. Late in his career he changed specialisms to become Head of Investigations for the MoD’s Estates Organisation. From this he moved on to become Head of Finance and Planning and then into Human Resource Management where he specialised in outsourcing to industry. Then as an Assistant Director he took on responsibility of housing for military personnel. He retired in 2011 to focus more fully on writing biographies and books related to military, aviation and engineering matters.

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