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Oliver Bulleid's Locomotives (Hardback)

Their Design and Development

Transport Photographic Books Colour Books Trains and Railways

By Colin Boocock
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 250 colour & black and white illustrations & weight diagrams
ISBN: 9781526749239
Published: 2nd November 2020


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Oliver Bulleid’s locomotives guides the reader in the quest to understand what motivated Mr Bulleid in his work as a senior engineer and manager, and tries, with as little bias as is reasonable, to make sense of some of the more controversial aspects of his activities. For example, why did OVB not pursue the ideal of a 2-8-2 for the Southern Railway? How did the ‘Leader’ project go so much out of control? What role did Bulleid play in the massive dieselisation programme in Ireland when he was CME there? How did the 0-6-6-0T turf-burning steam locomotive fit in with Ireland’s traction policy, or did it? And why did ninety of his steam locomotives and ninety-four of ‘his’ diesels have to be rebuilt to make them either more economical or more reliable?

These are fundamental questions to which the book provides the reader with answers based on the author’s experiences or on those of people who knew Bulleid. OVB’s undoubted successes are illustrated in words and photographs, too, to provide a hopefully balanced picture of one of Britain’s more exciting railway engineers.

A fresh and pretensioned work.

Read the full review here

Miniaturas JM

Last word goes to a friend. I lent him the review copy - he liked it so much he bought the book. Can’t recommend better than that!

The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Journal, June 2021

All of the chapters in Boocock’s work are liberally illustrated using a very fine selection of black and white and colour images which have reproduced well on the book’s gloss art paper. A number of line drawings and technical tables are included to support the text, and appendices relating to CIE’s diesel tendering process and the disappointing reliability of their fleet in 1958 are provided.

This is an outstanding work which brings together all the disparate threads linking the locos designed and built under Bulleid’s oversight in both Britain and Ireland, and is highly recommended.

West Somerset Railway Association

Colin Boocock has produced a well-written and illustrated addition to the Bulleid book list.

Bulleid Express, Winter 2020-21

Bulleid and his steam locomotives remain matters of controversy and this book may not appeal to those whose loyalties lie other than at Eastleigh or Inchicore; but for ‘Southerners’ on either side of the Irish Sea it should prove worthwhile reading.

Tenterden Terrier (Col. Stephens Railway Museum)

Review by Roger Backhouse

Last word goes to a friend. I lent him the review copy - he liked it so much he bought the book. Can’t recommend better than that!

York Model Engineers newsletter

Pen and Sword have produced yet another superb book – excellent, well-written text, high-quality paper, and a superb collection of photographs. Highly recommended.

Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

About Colin Boocock

Colin Boocock is a life-long railway enthusiast and an experienced railway engineer. Brought up near the green electric multiple units that passed over the level crossing at Addlestone in Surrey, he was enthralled when his parents took him to watch steam expresses at nearby Weybridge. His love for steam traction extended to modern forms as the railways developed and modernised. The sight of the then-Canon Eric Treacys booklet My Best Railway Photographs gave Colin the idea that he, too, could take photographs of trains. Seventy years on, he is still doing this. He often wonders: is this a record?

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