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The Modified Bulleid Pacifics (Hardback)

How Ron Jarvis Reconstructed the Bulleid Pacifics

Transport Photographic Books Colour Books Trains and Railways

By Tim Hillier-Graves
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 274
ISBN: 9781526721662
Published: 19th June 2019

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Oliver Bulleid’s Pacifics were perhaps the most controversial steam locomotives ever built in Britain. They seem to been loved and loathed in equal measure and the debate over their strengths and weaknesses took on a new dimension when BR decided to modify them in the 1950s. It was argued that they were too costly to operate and maintain, by comparison to other types available. Their time out of service, due to breakdowns, was also increasing to an unacceptable level, and some of Bulleid’s innovations were believed to be more hindrance than help. Rightly or wrongly BR were faced with a costly scrap and build programme or seek to make the engines more reliable. To Ron Jarvis, an engineer of note, fell the job of saving Bulleid’s enigmatic locomotives in a bid to satisfy the demands of the service. And he displayed a master’s touch in the programme that followed, saving the best of Bulleid’s work and adopting other established design principles. What emerged was described by Bert Spencer, Gresley’s talented assistant, as taking ‘a swan and creating a soaring eagle’. This book explores all the elements of the lives of these Pacifics and their two designers. It draws on previously unpublished material to describe their gradual evolution, which didn’t start or finish with the 1950s major rebuilding programme.

Profusely illustrated thoroughly, "The Modified Bulleid Pacifics" is an extraordinary and singularly informative study that will prove to be an enduringly valued addition to personal, community, and academic library British Railway History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

About Tim Hillier-Graves

Tim Hillier-Graves was born in North London in 1951. From an early age he was fascinated by steam locomotives. In 1972, Tim joined the Navy Department of the MOD and saw wide service in many locations. He retired in 2011, having specialised in Human Resource Management, then the management of the MOD's huge housing stock as one of the department`s Assistant Directors for Housing. On the death of his uncle in 1984, he became the custodian of a substantial railway collection and in retirement has spent considerable time reviewing and cataloguing this material. 'The Turbomotive, Staniers Advanced Pacific' is the first result of this work.

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