The Modified Bulleid Pacifics (ePub)
How Ron Jarvis Reconstructed the Bulleid Pacifics
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 It draws on previously unpublished material to describe their gradual evolution, which didn’t start or finish with the 1950s major rebuilding programme.
"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. "Bradford Railway Circle
Reviewed by Roger Hepworth
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.Midwest Book Review
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