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The Modified Bulleid Pacifics (ePub)

How Ron Jarvis Reconstructed the Bulleid Pacifics

Colour eBooks Photographic eBooks Transport > Trains & Railways

By Tim Hillier-Graves
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
File Size: 114.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 274
Illustrations: 280
ISBN: 9781526721679
Published: 19th June 2019


£16.00 Print price £40.00

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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 It draws on previously unpublished material to describe their gradual evolution, which didn’t start or finish with the 1950s major rebuilding programme.

As featured in

Bulleid Society

If you are a fan of these locomotives I can recommend to get a copy.

Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

Very interesting and instructive.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

"In our opinion this is the best Bulleid-related
book for some time."

Tenderton Terrier

Review of the Month

Overall, this is a thorough and well-presented review of two enigmatic locomotive types.

Steam World, November 2019

"All in all, this 247-page, hard-backed volume is a gripping read, a fount of information and a welcome addition to the bookshelf of anyone who likes an in-depth study of a subject by an enthusiastic, thoughtful and well-informed author. "
Reviewed by Roger Hepworth


Bradford Railway Circle

Those enthusiasts fortunate to have known the machines first-hand, or nurtured a liking for them based on regional loyalty, will find much of interest in this work. Those to whom the SR's handsome fleet of Pacifics - air-smoothed or converted - are more of a mystery, will finally understand what all the fuss is about!

Railway Modeller, September 2019

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 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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