Brian Reed (1906-1982)

Brian Reed was an extremely difficult author to characterise, but see the biography generously provided by Phil Atkins. Part of the problem lay in Brian Reed being reluctant to mention anything of himself in his blurbs used on dust-jackets or in his prefaces. In the Acknowledgements to Profile 8 he noted his "old friends on Clydeside: Donald H. Stuart, Alan G. Dunbar and R.B. Haddon, the last-named being with the author at N.B.L. at the time the Scots were being built, and 'on them', while the author, in another wing of the office, wasted his time on Rhodesian 4-8-2s and the like". The preface to one of his last works is highly business-like yet fails to characterise its writer who clearly regarded the development of alternatives to steam traction as "far more important" in maintaining railways as a transport system. In an attempt to catch the worth of the man an analysis is made of the 59 citations (references) of this last work: 13 are to Patents; eight are to his own Locomotive Profiles; 2 are Transactions of the Newcomen Society; a few are to recent historical literature, e.g. Cox; and the remainder to (mainly nineteenth century) contemporary material: Pambour, Clark and Booth. Some are poorly cited. Michael Rutherford has a high regard for his work, and especially for the Locomotive Profiles (which being part-works were in a format unsuited to the excessivley tidy habits of most librarians). In part this failure to publish in a "reputable format" must be held against Brian Reed, but authors have to earn a living and librarians should have been capable of recognizing material of lasting value, instead of buying tawdry Thomas the Tank Engine by the tonne
On 16 August 2013 KPJ found a major fault in this page and in Steam locomotive development in that some works by Reed were missing: notably British locomotive classes..

Professional paper
Reed, Brian. Running tests of a 500 h.p. diesel-mechanical locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1953, 43, 366 - 411 (Paper No. 522)

Comment on Haworth and Hornbuckle ILocoE Paper 400 on diesel railcar


British locomotive classes: principal 'Big Four' locomotive classes at 1945. Brian Reed. Ian Allan. 62pp.
Reviewed Rly Wld, 1991, 52, 346 . According to York University OPAC still being marketed by Ian Allan in 1991. Presumably originally conceived as competitor to Railway Gazette's Modern locomotive types (often listed under Lake (editor of that journal)
Crewe locomotive works and its men. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1982.
Includes excellent short biographies of the major engineers associated with Crewe Works.
Crewe to Carlisle. London: Ian Allan, 1969.234pp. incl plates. 19 maps/diagrs. 19 tables. Bibliography [company minutes consulted]. List of Parliamentary Acts.
Dedicated to the Archivist of the British Railways Board
Locomotives. London, Temple Press, 1958. [vi], 138 p. 16 plates. 43 illus., 18 diagrs. (The power and speed series for boys).
This is also suitable as an introductory work for adults.
Locomotives: a picture history. London: Pan Books, 1971 (originally Ward Lock, 1970). 160pp.
Picture per page (mainly from photographs); slightly over half of the book is devoted to British steam. Other steam locomotives and brief coverage of electric and diesel locomotives pp. 85 on. Two to three lines of descriptive text, followed by leading dimensions.
Locomotives in profile. Profile Publications, 1971-
This is a problem work bibliographically as it was produced both as a part work, and subsequently as bound sets: the latter is/are listed as Ottley 10398. The parts are liable to be available separately, and are often cited as monographs. Most conform to a standard format with a centre page of coloured diagrams. They include some illustrations and some tables. A few had an additional author, Rutherford [rightly] appears to have a high opinion of the series. Presumably, those volumes to which others contributed (Atkins and Haresnape, for instance) must have been judged to be bordering on comparable competence by Reed..
Modern railway motive power. London, Temple Press, 1950. vi, 170 p. + front. + 10 plates. 21 illus. 25 diagrs., 8 tables. Bibliog. (Technical trends).
This forms a good introduction to the subject (in 1950 steam was still modern enough to dominate this study). The most appreciable defect is the author's assumption that the reader will be able to cope with his technical terminology. A glossary and a few introductory diagrams would have aided clarity. It was, of course, published prior to Riddles' British Railways' Standard Classes, and it could be argued may give some support to to British Railways choice of motive power..
Modern motive power types and fundamentals
Some locomotive limitations
Some modern steam types
Locomotives selected to "represent" British practice: Gresley A4, Peppercorn A1; Stanier/Ivatt Princess Coronation, Collett King, Bulleid Merchant Navy and West Country, Gresley V2, Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 and 8F 2-8-0
Steam locomotive power
Compound propulsion
Mainly French, but Midland 4P compounds also included
Boiler and firebox
The front end
Valves and valve gear
Chassis and driving gear
The steam locomotive as a vehicle
Special forms of steam locomotive
Turbine, high-pressure, Velox boilers, the Leader and condensing
Testing methods and plants
Dynamometer cars and testing plants: Swindon, Vitry, Rugby, etc
Electric locomotives and trains
Reed showed a marked enthusiasm for high voltage AC.
Diesel traction
Gas turbine locomotives
150 years of British steam locomotives. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1975. 128pp.
A paradigm for how books should be prepared: clearly defined references and excellent index, lucid overall structure: this should have been a model for the miserable compilers of the Oxford Companion who failed to note one of the best organized authors to have written about railways (although Rex Christiansen did note his history of Crewe Works in the entry for Crewe). It is remarkable that some scribes who imagine themselves to be learned can cite Clement Stretton and yet ignore this major authority. His fifty or so references on page 124 are listed links to fuller citations elsewhere on the steamindex website..
1 Some Fundamentals
2 From Trevithick to Stephenson
3 The Stockton & Darlington Phase
4 The Liverpool & Manchester Stage
5 Five Great Types
6 Fixed Cut-off to Variable Expansion
7 From Coke to Coal [far more than a discussion of fuel as it also includes boiler construction and types]
8 From Iron to Steel
9 The Infinite Variety
10 The Years 1896-1922
11 The Group Era
12 National Finale
Index (interesting "error" in index reference to page 85 (from Hawthorn in index) to page where no explicit mention is made (but should have been to Durn and Snaigow of the HR).  
Railway engines of the world. London : Oxford University Press, 1934. 159 pp.,
Ottley 3033 "pp. 20-41 cover British locomotives"
A source book of locomotives. London: Ward Lock. 1970. 160pp.
Ottley 10454: same as Locomotives: a picture history

Locomotive Profile [series]

The follwing information has come from Ottley 10398 (Volume 3 has also been inspected by KPJ at New Barnfield and some of the original parts publshed as Loco Profiles are in his possession). All information, including that relating to British locomotive development is reproduced herein. The original part series were produced by Profile Publications who also produced series on aircraft, weapons, warships and classic cars. To quote their own criteria they were intended to be "objective in style; clinical in presentation; accurate in detail..." From the outset, the publisher intended the series also to be available as annual hard-back editions. Some of the fascicules are available through at absurd prices. The numbers and exact titles of the parts in Volume 4 are uncertain, but from an examination of abebooks the titles may vary from those quoted below.

REED, B. Locomotives in profile; general editor, Brian Reed, with illustrations by David Warner, Peter Warner, Arthur Wolstenholme. Windsor: Profile Publications. 4 vols.
Volume 1, 1971. pp. 292, with 428 illus (54 col.), 60 drawings, 117 tables, diagrams, maps & graphs.
This is a far more important series than might appear to be so from external appearances. Contents:
1. LNER non-streamlined Pacifics. Brian Reed
24pp: 5 tables. centre colour spread drawn by A. Wolstenholme shows A1 4472 Flying Scotsman as exhibited at British Empire Exhibition in 1924 and A3 2501 Colombo of final series.
2. New York Central Hudsons  Brian Reed
3. Great Western 4-cylinder 4-6-0s. Brian Reed.
pp.49-72: centre coloured artwork drawn by David Warner (restricted to King & Castle types).
4. American Type 4-4-0 . Brian Reed
5. British Single-drivers. Brian Reed. pp. 97-124
Pays considerable attention to the Jenny Lind type
6. The Mallets. Brian Reed
7. The Rocket. Brian Reed
Skeat's George Stephenson. oberves (page 122 with footnote) that "pain-stakingly written and superbly illustrated"
8. Royal Scots. Brian Reed. pp. 173-96.
Colour centre pages feature both unrebuilt locomotive in original condition and rebuilt Scot in BR green livery with smoke deflector plates.
9. Camels and Camelbacks. Brian Reed
10. The Met Tanks. Brian Reed
11. Norris Locomotives. Brian Reed
12. BR Britannias. Brian Haresnape.

Volume 2, 1972. pp. 288, with 434 illus (42 col.), 120 tables, diagrams, maps & graphs.
13. Nord Pacifies. Brian Reed
14. Pennsylvania Pacifics. Brian Reed
15. The Crewe Type. D.H. Stuart and Brian Reed.
A very  important fascicule in this series as the extent of Allan's involvement in this type is brought into question. Commended by Rutherford
16. Union Pacific 4-12-2s. Brian Reed
17. Jones Goods & Indian L. Brian Reed
18. German Austerity 2-10-0. Brian Reed
19. Gresley A4s. Ron Scott and Brian Reed
Notable for its colour centre spread (the work of David Warner) which depicts No. 2509 Silver Link in its as built condition and No. 4468 Mallard in its National Railway Museum condition. The text is notable for its incorporation of a great deal in a few words. Acknowledged assistance from Peter N. Townend, Arthur Wolstenholme, Eric Trask and Kenneth H. Leech.
20. The American 4-8-4. Brian Reed
21. ROD. 2-8-0s. Brian Reed.
Pp 193-216 (February 1972): centre spread (col. drawing: s & f els). 9 tables. illus. selected to be informative rather than decorative. Densely packed informative text.
22. Merchant Navy Pacifies. Brian Reed
23. Darjeeling Tanks. Brian Reed
24. Pennsylvania Duplexii. Brian Reed

Volume 3, 1974. pp. 148, with frontis & 106 illus (22 col.), 44 tables, drawings, maps, graphs & gradient profiles.
25. Locomotion. Brian Reed. pp. 1-24
See below
26. The Hiawathas.  Brian Reed
27. Tilbury Tanks. Kenneth H. Leech. pp. 49-72
Table VII gives LTSR headcodes.
28. S.P. Cab-in-Fronts. Brian Reed
29. Austrian 2-8-4s. Dr.-Ing.Fr. Altmano and B. Reed
30. G.N. Large Atlantics. Ron Scott. 125-48.

Volume 4, 1974. pp. 288, with triple frontis, 221 illus (24 col.), 46 tables, diagrams, maps & graphs.
31. Lima Super-Power. C.P. Atkins and Brian Reed
32. The Brighton Gladstones. Brian Reed
Very thorough examination of previous "authorities" and notes that 0-4-2 arrangement was uniquely suitable for the Brighton line at that time
33. BR Class 9F 2-10-0. Brian Reed
34. Caledonian 4-4-0s. Alan G. Dunbar and Brian Reed
35. Canadian Pacific Selkirks. C.P. Atkins
36. South African 4-8-2s. Brian Reed
37. LMS Pacifics. J.W.P. Rowledge

Locomotion by Brian Reed

This is part of the opening page (it more than meets the publisher's criteria!):

Early English writers all passed over the first five or six engines of the S. & D. Nicholas Wood said nothing of the design of any of them in any one of the three editions (1825, 1831 and 1838) of his Treatise on Railroads, though in the 1838 edition he commented on their work during the 1830s. Perhaps the omission was due to his first edition being 'censored' in 1825 shortly before Locomotion was completed.
De Pambour (1835) gave some S. & D. working results, but did not cover design. Lecount (1835) passed them by. Tredgold did not describe them in any of his variations. Whishaw (1840) said little of early designs. D.K. Clark (1855) omitted them; and Zerah Colburn, with a predilection for Hackworth, wrote not a thing, though he made incorrect statements about Wood's alterations to early Killingworth engines, and generally was not too reliable on the very early locomotives. Deghilage did not deal with them in his Origines de la Locomotive (1883) though he described the slightly later six-wheeler Royal George.

Of later authors, W.W. Tomlinson in his highly accurate The North Eastern Railway; Its Rise and Development (1914) gave some particulars, but was in technical error in stating that Locomotion had two eccentrics—it had only one. In this he seems to have followed Joseph Tomlinson, who in his Presidential address to the 'Mechanicals' in 1890 gave 'memories' of some of the older S. & D. engines. The other four of the first five S. & D. engines did have two eccentrics, but not on the axles.
J.G.H. Warren, in A Century of Locomotive Building (1923), apart from reproducing the pre-1825 'project' drawing, accepted the Prussian engineers' account of 1827, as the remaining records of Robt. Stephenson & Co. were so scanty, and he did not enter into conjectures. Dendy Marshall (A History of Railway Locomotives Down to the Year 1831, published in 1953) followed the methods of Warren, but had the advantage of the Stephenson first ledger.

Biography provided by Phil Atkins

BRIAN REED (1904-1982)

A quietly spoken Geordie, Brian Reed was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1904.(information supplied by Andrew Reed, (son) One of his earliest memories, through family connections, was of the controversial Dickman Murder, whereby a colliery cashier was shot dead and robbed on an NER train between Newcastle and Almouth in March 1910. Brian's father had served an apprenticeship with R Stephenson & Co. in Newcastle before that enterprise moved to Darlington c.1901, but then went to sea. Brian commenced an apprenticeship with R & W Hawthorn Leslie & Co in 1920 (which for years had been Stephenson's next door neighbours and later took over the former RS works in order to expand on a notoriously cramped site on a steep slope above the River Tyne. Towards the end of his life BR wrote a detailed account of life as an apprentice at HL, which could only have been written from first hand experience. Attempts to get this published as a book in its own right by the late Michael Harris regrettably failed and the account was eventually published posthumously in serial form in the SLS Journal during 1989.

BR was particularly proud of the fact that he had turned the handrail pillars for the 1921 batch of Highland Railway 'Clan' 4-6-0s, a design which he greatly admired. He always retained a particular interest in North Eastern and Highland locomotives, and was amazed when the present writer (i.e. Phil Atkins) told him, as a result of recent research, that F G Smith, of H R 'River' notoriety, had lived in retirement in Newcastle in Nuns Moor Road, which turned out to be the same road and at the same time as BR's father! Both had died in the later 1950s.

Brian Reed left HL c.1925 for the North British Loco Co in Glasgow, and was there when the LMS 'Royal Scots' were built, but was not involved with that contract. He then went into (seemingly freelance) railway journalism, but was particularly connected with the Railway Gazette. He had developed a particular interest in diesel traction, possibly realising that was where the long term future lay, and he instigated the Diesel Railway Traction Supplement of the RG in 1933, which ran for some 30 years. During the 1930s he had contacts with the leading CMEs of the period, and was personally acquainted with George Lomonosoff, the Russian steam locomotive designer and diesel pioneer (who was then resident in Hampstead, and who, although he died in Montreal in 1952, his remarkable archive is held by the University of Leeds).

Brian Reed was also in involved in diesel loco development, supervising the road trials on a prototype Hunslet 0-8-0 between Leeds and Lancaster in 1951 (which was the last time the NER dynamometer car was used). He was appointed the editor of the new Loco Profile series in 1970, which in addition to British loco types, also covered American, French, German and Austrian classes. The author of several books, these included some of the first historical studies of British diesels, eg the WR Diesel Hydaulics, on which account he was sometimes confused with the author Brian Webb. Sadly he died in the summer of 1982, shortly before the publication of one of his finest, a history of Crewe works and its men.

It may be noted that Phil Atkins was involved in writing some of the Loco Profiles (KPJ)

Reed, B. An apprentice at Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. Ltd, 1921-1925. J. Stephenson Loc. Soc., 1989, 65, 5-12; 46-62; 84-92; 125-33; 165-9.

Reed references

1. Birmingham & South Staffordshire, or Illustrations of the History, Geology & Operations of a Mining District.W. M. Hawkes Smith. 1838
2 Patent No 2599, 24 March 1802. Richard Trevithick & Andrew Vivian
3 Patent No 2632, 28 June 1802. Matthew Murray
4 Life of Richard Trevithick. Francis Trevithick. 1872
5 Patent No 3431, 10 April 1811. John Blenkinsop
6 Watson Collection; North of England Institute of Mining & Mechanical Engineers, Newcastle
7 Patent No 3632, 21 April 1812. Wm & E. W. Chapman
8 Patent No 3666. 13 March 1813. Wm Hedley
9 First in Practical Treatise on Rail Roads. Nicholas Wood 1825
10 In the Science Museum
11 Observations on the Comparative Merits of Locomotive and Fixed Engines. Robert Stephenson & Joseph Locke. 1830
12 Patent No 3887, 28 February 1815. Ralph Dodds & George Stephenson
13 Patent No 4067, 13 September 1816. Wm Losh & George Stephenson
14 In the Science Museum
15 Early Wooden Railways. M.J.T. Lewis. 1970.
16 Locomotive Profile No 25
17 Trans. of Newcomen Society, Vol VII, February 1927
18 Archiv fur Bergbau und Huttenuiesen, Vol XIX, 1829; translated and reproduced in part in A Century of Locomotive Building 1823-1923. ]. G. H. Warren, and in Trans. Newcomen Society 1953.
19 Notebook of John Urpeth Rastrick. 1829
20 LIfe of Robert Stephenson. Vol I. J. C. Jeaffreson
21 Locomotive Profile No 7
22 An Account of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Henry Booth. 1830
23 Practical Treatise on Locomotive Engines. G. de Pambour. 1836
24 Technics and Civilisation. Lewis Mumford
25 Description of Patent Locomotive Steam Engine. W. P. Marshall. 1850. (Written 1838)
26 Locomotive Profile No 15
27 Patent No 7745, 26 July 1838. John Gray
28 'Diaries of David Joy'. The Railway Magazine June 1908
29 The Railway Magazine August 1899, p. 104
30 A Century of Locomotive Building 1823-1923. J.G. H. Warren. 1923
31 Patent No 8998, 23 June 1841. Robert Stephenson
32 Railway Machinery. D. K. Clark. 1855
33 Patent No 9261, 15 February 1842. Thos R. Crampton
34 Patent No 14107, 25 October 1884. David Joy
35 Act 7 Geo IV cap 49
36 Society of Engineers 1862
37 The Engineer, 1 October 1858, p. 255
38 Glasgow Institution of Engineers, 1862
39 Inst. of Mechanical Engineers, January 1861 40 Proc. Inst. Civil Engineers, Vol XVI, 1856
41 'Coal Without Smoke', paper to Soc. of Engineers 1862
42 A Study of the Locomotive Boiler
43 Proc. Inst. Civil Engineers, Vol XVI, 1856
44 Proc. Inst. Mech. Engineers 1866
45 Patent No 6484, 7 October 1833. Robert Stephenson
46 Locomotive Profile No 1
47 To patent No 11086 of 1846; George Stephenson & Wm Howe
48 Report to canal shareholders Present & Future Prospects of the Monmouthshire Canal. Jas Brown. 1847
49 From 'Railway Accidents'; paper by Mark Huish. Proc. Inst. Civil Engineers, Vol 11, 1851-2
50 Locomotive Profile No 15
51 Locomotive Profile No 27
52 The Stirling Singles. K. H. Leech & M. G. Boddy
53 The Engineer, 5 September 1862, p. 142
54 Engineering, 11 May 1894, p. 611
55 Locomotive Profile No 31
56 The Decapod Locomotive of the GER. W. O. Skeat. Trans. Newcomen Society, Vol XXVIII, 1952-3
57 Proc. Inst. Mech. Engineers, 14 December 1945
58 Locomotive Profile No 22
59 'A Modern Locomotive History'. E. S. Cox. Journal Inst. Loco Engineers, 1946

Wylam Puffing Billy of 1815 as it was around 1864; the two sons of William Hedley alongside to left.

Killingworth locomotive rebuilt with new wheels and other parts, as it stood for many years on the High Level bridge, Newcastle.

The first locomotive to run at Wylam was a single-cylinder Trevithick type built in 1813 by Thomas Waters of Gateshead, who by then was the north-eastern agent for Trevithick-type engines generally. It had gear drive, flywheel and a single-flue boiler, and was the first Trevithick-type locomotive to do useful work, for it was in opera- tion, at least intermittently, for a year or so. Presumably it had exhaust blast up the chimney; if so, the Wylam people did not see the advantage.

During its operation a two-cylinder four-wheel locomotive later to be known as Puffing Billy was put in hand at Wylam. This locomotive was com- pleted around March 1814, and soon after was supplemented by a generally similar unit now known as Wylam Dilly. A third was built subsequently. Possibly Puffing Billy was the first locomotive to have a wrought iron boiler and the first to have cylinders outside the boiler. Corresponding with the facilities at the Wylam shops the cylinders were of plate, and though at first they were lagged with wood they seem to have been un- lagged in later years. At first the exhaust went straight from cylinder to atmosphere; after a short time a silencer or exhaust box was inserted and the outflow from that taken to the chimney.

From the beginning these 5-ton locomotives broke too many tramplates, and during 1815 they were rebuilt as eight-wheelers. The illustration often reproduced since 18259 has purported to show the Wylam locomotives in their eight-wheel form, but is almost certainly Chapman's drawing of his own eight-wheel double-bogie Lambton engine. The Wylam locomotives must have been rebuilt on Chapman's principles, though neither Hedley nor his family in later years gave Chapman any credit.

In 1828 the Wylam way was again relaid, and in the process was reconverted from a tramway to a railway with edge rails of cast iron. The eight-wheelers were then converted back to four-wheelers, but other substantial modifications were made coincidently, additional to the provision of flanged wheels. In this revised form two locomotives worked intermittently until about 1862, when they were held for preservation; one is now in the Science Museum at South Kensington and the other in the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh.

The one thing definitely known about perfor- mance at Wylam is contained in Timothy Hackworth's notebook 10 under date August 1828. From this it appears that one eight-wheel locomotive could handle about 10,000 chaldrons a year in 820 journeys at a total cost of £372, and that all the gear wheels and half the road wheels normally needed renewal within the year.

George Stephenson first appeared on the locomotive scene at the time Chapman's and Hedley's two-cylinder locomotives were coming on to the rails. He began to build his first locomotive Blucher in the autumn of 1813 at Killingworth and it was in steam at the end of July 1814, Therefore he could have had little of that help from visits to Wylam always claimed by protagonists of Hedley and Hackworth, for in 1813 all Wylam had running was the single-cylinder Trevithick-type locomotive, and Puffing Billy was on the rails only some four months before Blucher. His useful pre-knowledge must have been gained from inspections of the Blenkinsop rack locomotives on the Ken- ton-Coxlodge and Willington waggonways, and perhaps because of this his initial locomotive does not seem to have had blast-pipe exhaust when built. Writing in 1830 Robert Stephenson and joseph Locke recorded: 11 'This [augmenting of fire temperature] was affected shortly after the first Locomotive Engine was tried on the Killingworth Railway by conveying the steam to the chimney where it escaped in a perpendicular direction up the centre.'

Blucher was the first flanged wheel adhesion locomotive to do any work; otherwise it was not of very notable design, and had Murray's type of drive to two gear shafts with cranks at right angles, from which further gears led to two axles in place of Blenkinsop's rack drive, The boiler was of single-flue type. Apparently there was a water chamber round the chimney that acted as a feedwater heater, and from which a mechanically- driven feed pump drew the water for the boiler. Ac- cording to Nicholas Wood it also had a chain drive from one axle to the axle of the tender or convoy carriage to gain extra adhesion weight. This engine pulled six times its own weight up 1 in 450, but was recorded to be very noisy and rough, as would be the Blenkinsop, Chapman and Hedley locomotives.

How slow, cautious and uncertain were the steps from Trevithick's first locomotive to the later con- ventional steam locomotive drive is shown by Stephenson's second locomotive, completed in March 1815, which incorporated improvements out- lined in his joint patent of that year." Though the patent included the driven tender the mechanism was not applied, as experience with Blucher had shown it was not worthwhile, The distinct