Locomotive design

This section is not yet complete: it is based on Jones and thus predates: Bond; much of the output in books by Cox, Holcroft and H.A.V. Bulleid and more questionably by Tuplin. Bonavia neatly summarizes the duties of the CME in a way which has probably seldom been equalled (as a bright young man in the Chief General Manager's office he was capable of how a great corporation operated, and which younger readers used to a post-Major minor railway system shirks any responsibility). The more recent output by Rutherford and Atkins; both of whom add a pinch of new material to stir into the basic pot, can be traced in Backtrack. There was a large literature on materials: Sir Henry Fowler and F.W. Webb were both major contributors and this has still to be gathered together:it is possible that searching through Chemical Abstracts for the period would produce still more: presumably people like Turner, the Chief Chemist to the LNER, contributed widely as well as to the specialist locomotive literature. The increasing depth of the entries based on the Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers, and the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is also improving this aspect of the website. The Transactions of the Newcomen Society are also significant..

The first section is limited to four main categories of material, namely:
1. Theoretical design
2. Comparative design
3. Limiting factors: e.g., hammer-blow and adhesion
4. Economic studies: mainly comparisons with other forms of motive power
5 Practical design (overlaps with operation.

Sections 1 and 2 overlap and are surveyed together. Further theoretical work is considered in the sections on individual mechanical engineers

Related topics considered elsewhere:

Braking systems
Specific designs {Leader/Paget, etc}
Testing & performance
Turbine designs


valve gears


Theoretical and comparative design

Anwell, B.W. An introduction to loco. design. Trains ill., 1948, 1, (10), 3-6: 1949, 2, 13-17.

Anderson, D.S. The future development of the locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1929, 19, 193-212. Disc.: 212-21; 630-40. 3diagrs. (Paper No.242).

Atkins, Philip Dropping the fire. 1999
Interesting for its excellent final statistical analyses which show that steam locomotive stocks reached their peak in 1924 in Great Britain and the USA, but not until 1964 in India. It also shows the importance of Britain as a steam locomotive manufacturer (over 110,000 units): only the USA (177,000) and Germany (155,000) exceeded this. The LMS expected express passenger locomotives to have a 30 year life; mixed traffic locomotives 40 years; superheated goods 45 years and non-supperheated goods and shunting locomotives 50 years. The LNER renewal rate for various components was: tyres 6 years; boilers 12 years; cylinders 15 years; frames 20 years; crank axles 30 years and wheel centres 60 years. The exceptional life achieved by Webb's 2-4-0 Charles Dickens is noted. The cost of locomotive building is noted by quoting costs for the NER/LNER J72 class which was constructed over a long period.

The BALANCE of loco. design. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1941, 47, 205.
How the proportions for efficient design were reached in Britain.

Beaumont, J.W. Some suggestions on steam locomotive design. J. Inst. Loco. Engrs, 1936, 26, 417-24. Disc.: 424-37 (Paper No. 355).
Survey of current development.

Bell, A.M. Tare and load compared in modern locomotives and rolling stock. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1927, 17, 398-422. Disc.: 422-38. 13 illus., 2 diagrs., 2 tables. (Paper No. 216).

Bell, A.R. Modern locomotive design [in:]
Bell, A.R. and others.
Railway mechanical engineering: a practical treatise by engineering experts. London, Gresham, 1923. 2 v. (xii, 290 + x, 284 p.)
V. 1.: pp. 19-83: a comparative analysis.

Bonavia, Michael The four great railways. 1980.
There is now a vast literature on the extent to which a Chief Mechanical Engineer's designs were his own work. Bonavia gives an excellent portrait of the CME's affairs:
"A point sometimes overlooked is that when a locomotive is described as having been 'designed' by Mr X as CME, the actual extent to which Mr X was personally involved in the design though not, of course, his official responsibility for its success or the reverse – could vary enormously. A Chief Mechanical Engineer was the manager of a very big department in which the design office was only one component and, in terms of staff numbers, not a very large one. By far the greatest work load on the CME's department was not new construction at all, but maintenance. Light, intermediate and heavy repairs to huge fleets of steam locomotives constituted a major industrial activity.
Again, carriage and wagon construction and maintenance, with much the heaviest load falling on maintenance, was a major responsibility of the CME, together with a vast amount of ancillary machinery including cranes and pumps and so forth, all over the system. For example, on the LNER the Docks Machinery Engineer and the Road Motor Engineer, controlling a huge fleet of collection and delivery vehicles, came under the CME.
So any view of a typical CME as a man devoting most of his time to dreaming up designs for bigger and better locomotives would be unrealistic. One has to envisage a busy departmental manager, supervising the overall performance of very large workshops, settling staff problems, and frequently dealing constantly with policy questions with such colleagues as the General Manager, the Chief Accountant, the Operating Superintendent and – very important – the Motive Power Superintendent. In addition the Board and the Locomotive Committee would need his presence, perhaps every month, to enlarge upon reports and to justify proposals for expenditure.
Conferences and discussions, examination of drawings and instructions to draughtsmen certainly took place whenever a new type of locomotive was required, but the imprint of the single individual mind of a CME had to be transmitted through a departmental organisation in which modifications and even quite substantial changes might originate. The most successful compounding system used in Britain was devised by W.M. Smith, the influential Chief Draughtsman of the North Eastern Railway, and adopted by Wilson Worsdell on the NER, and by Johnson, Deeley and Fowler on the Midland Railway. In this special case, the real originator's name, and not that of the CME, is applied to the system, but that is exceptional.
A CME, in short, had to be a businessman and not merely a technician, and the little publicised but vital work in the drawing office would often be guided mainly by the Chief Draughtsman, working of course on lines agreed with the CME if not always originating from him.
Lord Chandos, who was trained as an engineer but rose to the Chairmanship of a huge combine, once remarked that a top manager in an engineering business was unlikely to be able to devote mote than about 10 per cent of his time to purely engineering matters; 90 per cent was likely to be taken up by administration. A CME, even if a dedicated locomotive engineer, always had to struggle against this tendency for paper work to tie him to his desk.
This creeping trend to bureaucracy was much accentuated By the size of the four group companies compared with their predecessors. It is therefore perhaps surprising that the great CME's of the inter-war years and their show pieces – the new designs of express passenger locomotives – caught the public imagination as much as was the case. It was no doubt partly due to the enterprise of the railways' publicity departments or public relations departments as they began to be called – in exploiting the publicity value of new locomotives and in claiming, on the rather dubious basis of the formula for calculating nominal tractive effort, to have produced 'the most powerful passenger locomotive in Great Britain'.

Bond, R.C. Fundamental considerations in the design of locomotives. J. Instn Loco.Engrs, 1928, 18, 389-401. Disc.: 402-6. (Paper No.231).

Chapelon, A. La locomotive a vapeur. Tome 1. Paris, Bailliere, 2eme ed. 1952. xiv, 648p. + 15 plates. 304 illus., 183 diagrs., 73 tables.
A comparative and theoretical design study.

Collins, G.H.H. An outline of railway locomotive engineering practice. J. Rec. Trans. Jr lnstn Engrs, 1934/35, 45, 139-42.

Cocks, C.S. Modern steam locomotives. Coventry Engng Soc. J., 1937, 18, 39-47. Disc. 47-5 2

Diamond, E.L. The development of locomotive power at speed. Proc. Instn mech. Engrs, Disc.: 41 7-43. 48 diagrs., 11 tables. Bibliog.

FACTORS in the design of steam locomotives. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1927, 33, 159-60; 231-3, 267.9; 323-5; 399-400: 1928, 34, 25-6; 131.2; 305, 334-5.

50 years' progress in design. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1944, 50, 18-19.

Glasgow, H.R. The probable trend of steam locomotive design. Rly Engr., 1931, 52, 453-4.

Grime, T. Steam locomotive performance (theoretical and actual). J. lnstn Loco. Engrs, 1926, 16, 588-618. Disc.: 619-52. (Paper No.200).

Haresnape, B.
Design on the railway. Part 4. Trains ill., 1961, 14, 348-55. 17 illus.
This was a very early contribution by this author: see the books and authorship sections for a fuller listings and assessments. NB this is design mainly in the artistic sense. Haresnape condensed this material into many excellent books.

Harley, C.B. Steam locomotives for express traffic on the railways of Great Britain. J. jun. Instn Engrs., 1948, 58, 233-49.
Wheel configurations. Considered that mechanical friction was unimportant in the steam locomotive. Superheating. Compounding. Multi-cylinder designs, noting the observations made by the Bridge Stress Committee in their favour. Side tanks. Advocated Belpaire fireboxes and conical boilers

Holcroft, H. Railway steam locomotives [in:] KEMPE'S engineers yearbook, 1964. and other years.

Hulme, H.J. The trend of modern steam locomotive design. Trans. Manchr Ass. Engrs, 1944/45, 189-224. Disc.: 225-42. 9 illus., 3 diagrs., 4 tables.

Hunter, D.M. Notes on developments in the design of the steam locomotive. J. Rec. Trans. Jr Instn Engrs, 1952/53, 63, 356-61.

Irving, B. The modern locomotive. Trans. NE. Cst. lnstn Engrs Shipbldrs, 1936, 52, 207-14. 3 diagrs., 3 tables.

Jarvis, R.G. Steam locomotive design [in:]
St. John, J., editor.
Britain's railways to-day. London, Naldrett, 1954. 192 p. incl. front. & 46 plates. 98 illus., 17 diagrs., 2 tables.

LOCOMOTIVE engineers' pocket book. London, Locomotive Publishing Co., 40th ed. [19 ]. [ii] , 356. p. + xv p. advertisements. 72 diagrs., 79 tables.
Data book.

LOCOMOTIVE Manufacturers Association of Great Britain.
L.M.A. handbook. London, L.M.A., 1949. 464 p. mcI. 16 plates+ 11 folding plates. 24 illus.
Data book.

Loewy, R. The locomotive. New York, Studio, 1937. [106] p. 125 illus.
Design in the artistic sense. Includes a critical study of eight British types.

Low, D.A. Heat engines: embracing the theory, construction and performance of steam boilers, reciprocating steam engines, steam turbines and internal combustion engines: a text-book for engineering students. London, Longmans, 1958 (1920). viii, 592 p. 656 diagrs.

McArd, G.W. The design of tank locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1955, 103, 590-2. 5 illus., diagrs.(REA 9921).

McArd, W. What will the steam locomotive become?, a discussion of the factors at work in the present transition stage which will contribute to successful operation. Mech. Wld Engng Rec., 1948, 124, 513-18. illus., l0diagrs.

McColl, J. Impressions of modern locomotive design, with observations on their performance on the road. J. lnstn. Loco. Engrs, 1923,13,175-92. Disc.: 192-203. (Paper No. 137).

McKillop, N. The lighted flame: a history of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen. London, Nelson, 1950. xiv, 402 p. + col.front. + 16 plates. 54 illus. (incl. 18 ports.), 3 diagrs., 8 tables.
Chap. 13: The trade union view of locomotive design.

Mann, R.H. Steam locomotive design. Part I. Richmond (Surrey), Association of Engineering and Shipbuilding Draughtsmen, 1957. 113 p.23 illus., 30 diagrs., 18 tables. Bibliog. (footnote references).
Introduction to design for draughtsmen.

Miall, S. Factors affecting the thermal efficiency of the steam engine. Rly Engr, 1931, 52, 409-14; 488-90: 1932, 53, 7-10. 16 diagrs.

Patrick, D. Steam locomotive design. London, Draughtsman Publishing Co., 1937. 92 p. 43 diagrs., 2 tables. Bibliog.
For draughtsmen.

Phillipson, E.A. Essays of a locomotive man. London, Locomotive Publishing Co.,[19 ]. [viii], 143 p. + front. + folding plate. .11 illus., 12 diagrs., 5 tables.
A collection of varied material from the Locomotive

Phillipson, E.A. Steam locomotive design: data and formulae. London, Locomotive Publishing Co., 1936. 444 p. + front. + 31 plates (mcI. 30 folding). illus., 88 diagrs., 67 tables.
A textbook. Originally published in the Locomotive between 1929 and 1935.

Poultney, E.C. British express locomotive development, 1896-1948. London, Allen & Unwin, 1952. 175 p. incl. front. 74 illus., 15 diagrs., 46 tables.
Originally published in Modern Transport between 1947 and 1950: a comparative study.

Poultney, E.C. The comparison of locomotive dimensions. Rly Engr, 1924, 45, 19-21 +. table.

Poultney, E.C. Locomotive power. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1944, 34, 66-103. Disc.: 103-45. 23 diagrs., tables. Bibliog. (Paper No. 445).
Comparative studies.

Reed, B.
Modern railway motive power. London, Temple Press, 1950. vi, 170 p. + front. + 10 plates. 21 illus., 25 diagrs., 8 tables. Bibliog. (Technical trends series.)
An introductory study.
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..
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
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).  

Rich, F.
Some details of steam-locomotive design affecting the footplate man. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1958/59, 48, 590-613. Disc.: 613-22. 17 illus., diagrs. (Paper No. 589).

Robinson, C.H.
Debatable features in the design of some locomotive details. J. Instn. Loco. Engrs. 1926, 16, 919-35. Disc.: 935-43; 1927, 17, 346-54. illus., 10 diagrs. (Paper No. 205).

Rudgard, H.
The user of locomotives for revenue earning. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1948, 38, 494-527. 30 illus. (incl. port.), 11 diagrs. (incl. 9 s. els.), 5 tables (Presidential Address).
Design from the motive power department viewpoint.

Selby, F.W.
Same practical points in locomotive design. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1924, 14, 488-514. Disc.: 514-21. (Paper No. 168).

Semmens, Peter W.B. and Goldfinch, A.J.
How steam locomotives really work. Oxford University Press, 2000. 348pp.
Excellent introduction.

Skeat, W.C.
Landmarks in steam locomotive design [in:]
INSTITUTION of Mechanical Engineers.
Engineering heritage: highlights from the history of mechanical epgineering. v.1. London, Heinemann, 1963. [ivl. 180 p. illus., diagrs. Bibliog.
Pp. 80-8 (7 illus., 5 diagrs., bibliog.).
Reprinted from The Chartered Mechanical Engineer.

Smith, J.W.
Same details of locomotive practice. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1923, 13, 135-50. Disc.: 151-60. (Paper No. 136).

Snell, J.B.
Railways: mechanical engineering.

SOME aspects of railway progress as they affect the locomotive department. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev. 1939, 45, 238-40; 280-2; 303-5; 330-3:1940, 46, 23-4; 45-8; 59-63; 106-10; 136.8; 173-6; 247-9. 16 illus.

Spencer, B.
Some features of locomotive design. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1924, 14, 216-21. Disc.: 221-7. (Paper No. 158).

Taylor, H.R.
The modern steam locomotive. J. Rec. Trans. jr Instn Engrs, 1936/37, 47, 485-9. Disc.: 489-91.
A broad review.

Tritton, J.S.
Locomotive limitations. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1946, 36, 283-323. 17 illus., 19 diagrs. (Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture).
Inherent limitations of the steam locomotive..

with Paterson, J.J.C.
The scientific development of modern locomotive design. Engineering, 1955, 180, 377-83. l3diagrs., 3 tables (REA 9774).
Abridgement of a paper presented to the British Association (Section G). Sept. 2nd, 1955.

Tritton, S.B.
The locomotive problem (present and future). Rly Engr. 1931, 52, 450.
Physical limitations.

Tuplin, W.A.
All of Tuplin's books are of some interest, although the views tend to be somewhat eccentric: see sections on Tuplin as author and his bibliographical output.

Dimensions of locomotives. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1951, 57, 179-80.
The author concluded that, with the exception of gas passages, dimensions are not critical in steam locomotive design.

Motive power of the future - the case for steam. Trains Ann., 1952, 94-6.

Some questions about the steam locomotive. J. lnstn Loco. Engrs, 1953, 43, 637-65. Disc.: 665-714: 1954, 44, 167-73. illus., 10 diagrs. 3 tables. (Paper No. 528).
An outsider's (but a professional engineering outsider) view of locomotive development.

Was there any progress in steam locomotive design? Rly Wld, 1963, 24, 109-10.
Author's answer: there was not any. Rutherford has returned to this recently.

Wiener, L.
Articulated locomotives. London, Constable, 1930. xvi, 628 p. + 2 folding plates. 77 illus., 136 diagrs., 150 tables.

Woollatt, J.S.
A criticism of some aspects of locomotive design. J. Instn. Loco. Engrs, 1949, 29,557-71. Disc.: 572-83. 7 illus., 2 diagrs. (Paper No. 489).

Limiting Factors

The interesting articles by D. K[eith] Horne in Backtrack add to what is listed below:

Andrews, H.I.
The contact between a locomotive driving wheel and the rail. Wear, 1958/59, 2, 468-84. 12 illus., 9 diagrs. Bibliog.
Emphasis on effect of wear.

The measurement of train resistance. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1954, 44, 91-144. Disc.: 144-66.9 illus., 40 diagrs., 5 tables. Bibliog. (Paper No.531).

Barwell, F.T.
Adhesion between wheel and rail. J. Rec. Trans. jr lnstn Engrs, 1959/60, 170, 283-97. 6 illus., 3 diagrs. Bibliog.
Emphasis on electric traction.

Bowler, J.E.
The mechanics of train motion. Rly Mag., 1951,97,581-4. diagr.
Simple introduction.

Brown, D.C.
Counterbalancing and its effects on the locomotives and the bridges. J. lnstn Loco. Engrs, 1938, 28, 52-111. Disc.: 111-28 + folding plate. 11 diagrs., l2 tables. Bibliog. (Paper No. 381).

Colam, H.N. and Watson, J.D.
Hammer-blow in locomotives: can it not be abolished, altogether? J. lnstn civ. Engrs, 1941/42, 17, 197-220. Disc.: 359-82: 18, 429~33; 464-97 + 4 folding plates., 11 diagrs., 7 tables. (Paper No. 5243).

Cox, E.S.
Balancing of locomotive reciprocating parts. Proc. lnstn mech. Engrs, 1941, 146, 148-62 + 2 plates, 4 illus., 10 diagrs., 4 tables.

Dalby, W.E.
The balancing of engines. London, Edward Arnold, 4th ed. 1929. xii, 321p. + folding plate. 218 diagrs., 18 tables. Bibliog. (footnote references).

Davies, R.D.
Some experiments on the lateral oscillation of railway vehicles. J. lnstn civ. Engrs, 1938+39, 11, 224-62 + 3 plates (mcI. 1 folding), 6 illus., 20 diagrs., 2 tables. (Paper No. 5158).

Duffy, Michael
Rail stress, impact loading and steam locomotive design. Hist. Technol, 1984, 9, 43-101

Eames, T.A.
The nature and purpose of physics as applied to some railway problems. J. scient. Instrum., 1943, 20, 169-75. 4 illus., diagr., Bibliog.

Ell, S.O.
The mechanics of the train in the service of railway operation. J. lnstn Loco. Engrs, 1958/59, 48, 528-61. Disc.: 561-90
+ 5 plates. 25diagrs., 6 tables. (Paper No.588).
Relatively little attention is given to steam.

Foxlee, R.W. and Greet, E.H.
Hammer-blow impact on the main girders of railway bridges. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs, 1933/34, 237, 239-313. Disc.: 356-418 + 5 folding plates. 24 diagrs., 5 tables. (Paper No. 4896).

Gribble, C.
Impact in railway-bridges, with particular reference to the report of the Bridge Stress Committee. Min. Proc. lnstn civ. Engrs, 1928/29, 228, (2), 46-79. Disc.: 80-153. 30 diagrs., 2 tables. (Paper No. 4701).

Holcroft, H.
Some points of common interest in rolling stock and permanent way. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1929, 19, 249-84. Disc.: 285-311; 823-30. + 3 folding plates. 24 diagrs. (Paper No. 244).

Inglis, C.E.
Impact in railway-bridges. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs, 1931/32, 234, (2), 358-403. Disc.: 404-44. 22 diagrs., 13 tables. (Paper No. 4870).

A mathematical treatise on vibrations in railway bridges. Cambridge, C.U.P., 1934. xxvi, 203 p. 65 diagrs., 39 tables.

The vertical path of a wheel moving along a railway track. J. Instn civ. Engrs, 1938/39, 11, 262-77. Disc.: 278-88: 12, 450-2 + folding plate. 13 diagrs. 3 tables. (Paper No. 5201).

Johansen, F.C.
The air resistance of passenger trains. Proc. Instn mech. Engrs. 1936, 134, 91-160. Disc.: 160-208. + 6 plates, 17 illus., 32 diagrs., 13 tables.

Application of model experiments to the air resistance of trains. Engineer, 1928, 145, 146-7.

Railway engineering research. Trans. Instn Engrs & Shipbldrs Scotl., 1945, 88, 265-315. Disc.: 316-25.21 illus., 2 diagrs. Bibliog. (Paper No. 1053).

LIMITATIONS of the British locomotive. Rly Engr, 1927, 48, 5-6.

Loach, J.C.
The locomotive and the track: aspects of their relationship. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1933, 23, 567-85. Disc.: 585-95. 13 diagrs. (Paper No. 309).

LOCOMOTIVE stability: diagrams showing relative positions of outside cylinders and transverse axis of centre of gravity. Rly Gaz., 1938, 68, 174 + folding plate. 26diagrs.

Lomonossoff, G.V.
Dynamic loading on locomotive wheels. Engineer, 1928, 146, 58-9; 83-5; 108-9. 8 diagrs.
Introduction to railway mechanics. London, O.U.P., 1933. [viii], 179 p. 92 diagrs. Bibliog. (footnote references).
Relationship between the vehicle and the track.

Locomotives and bridges. Engineer, 1934, 158, 282-3. 6 diagrs.
Critical review of Inglis' book, A mathematical treatise on vibrations in railway bridges.

McArd, G.W.
Locomotive weight distribution. R ly Gaz., 1942, 76, 88-9; 122-3. 10 diagrs.

MacLeod, W.H.
Some features of railway curving. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1955, 45, 204-38. 26 diagrs., 3 tables. (Paper No. 544).
Relationship between locomotives and the track on curves.

Marshall, C.F.D.
The motion of railway vehicles on a curved line. Rly Engr, 1930, 51, 359-62; 390-5; 466-8. 2 illus., 10 diagrs.

The resistance of express trains. London, Railway Engineer, 1925. x, 76 p.+ 2 folding plates. 9 illus., 45 diagrs., 32 tables, 2 plans. Bibliog.
Originally published as series of articles in Railway Engineer, 1924, 45.

Morgan, Bryan.
Railways: civil engineering. London: Longman, 1971.
Widely available as Arrow Book (1973)

Notes on train resistance: supplementary notes. Rly Engr. 1927, 48, 73-7. 6 diagrs, 3 tables.

Porter, S.R.M.
The mechanics of a locomotive on curved track. Rly Engr. 1934, 55, 205-6; 255-7; 282-7; 318-20; 384-6: 1935, 55, 424-8: Rly Gaz., 1935, 62, 232-8: 432-5. 60 diagrs., 8 tables.
Includes a glossary.

RAIL surfaces and locomotive slipping. Engineering, 1960,190, 315. diagrs. (REA 13814).
A report of work carried out at the National Engineering Laboratory on the colloidal material formed on "damp" rails which causes slipping.

Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of. Bridge Stress Committee.
Report. London, HMSO, 1928. viii, 215 p. + 34 plates (incl. 3 folding). 22 illus., 180 diagrs., 14 tables.
Includes tabulated data of hammer-blow values for all major British locomotives. Includes Appendixes by W.E. Dalby and by C. Gribble (who was Engineer to the Committee). Members of the Committee, which reported to the House of Lords, were: Sir J. Alfred Ewing (Chairman), C.J. Brown (LNER), A.C. Cookson (GWR), Professor W.E. Dalby, G. Ellson (Southern Railway), Sir Robert R. Gales, Professor C.E. Inglis, Colonel Sir John Pringle, R.V. Southwell and E.F.C. Trench (LMS): Sir Henry Fowler was subsequently asked to join. Bridges examined included those at Runcorn, The Queen Alexandra bridge, Monkwearmouth, Newark Dyke, and Brotherton. The effects of damping and lurching, double-heading, rail-joints and track settlement were all considered. A large number of locomotives were examinaed and the data are very large and will be added to the entries for those locomotives (almost all of which predated the original period surveyed by Jones). 4348, a GWR 2-6-0 was involved in high speed tests on Langport bridge with a 112 ft span in June and at Stoke Canon bridge (132 ft span) in September 1926. The locomotive springs underwent periodic displacements having the same frequency as the bridge oscillations: "there can be no doubt that the design and condition of locomotive springs bear on the character of the oscillations set up. Nock studied under Prof. Dalby and his comments on the Bridge Stress Committee's work warrent a Chapter (16) in his British locomotives of the twentieth century. v. 1..

Shields, T.H.
Train resistance and tractive effort. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1929, 35, 29-30; 63-4. 4 diagrs.

Simpson, C.R.H.
The steam locomotive as a vehicle. J. Rec. Trans. Jr Instn Engrs, 1951/52, 62, 203-12. 5 diagrs.

Small, F.H.
The use of the equivalent uniformly distributed load curve for comparing the effects of locomotives on bridges. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1935, 41, 254-60. 9 diagrs.

Storey, C.
Contact between wheel and rail. Bul. Int. Rly Congr. Ass., 1957, 34, 433-42. 13 diagrs., 2 tables. Bibliog.

Toms, A.H.
Hunting of railway rolling stock and locomotives. J. Proc. Perm.-Way Instn, 1945, 63, 73-7.3 diagrs. (REA 222).

TRAIN resistance. Rly Gaz., 1959, 207, 126-7.
Editorial comment on the subject.

Economic studies

To the following must be added the very interesting assessments made by the late Michael Bonavia, and there is a need for a fuel page.

Billinton, L.
Steam as a motive power on railways. Rly Engr, 1931, 52, 450-1.
Comparison of steam and electric traction. The author favoured the former.

Cock, C.M.
Motive power for railways. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1952, 42, 281-305. 2 illus., 4 diagrs., 4 tables. (Presidential Address).
Diesel and electric traction were considered to be preferable to steam. The author indicated the amount of fuel wasted by steam locomotives.

COMPARATIVE running costs. Mod. Rlys, 1962, 16, 12-13. table.
Of steam, diesel and electric traction on the Great Eastern section.

Koffman, J.L.
Efficiency of steam and electric locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1952, 96, 69-72. 11 diagrs. Bibliog.

Lomonossoff, G.V.
Diesel traction. Proc. Instn mech. Engrs., 1933, 125, 537-613. 36 diagrs., 15 tables. Bibliog.
The author indicated the difficulty of designing steam locomotives with a high overall efficiency.

Missenden, E.
Some thoughts on railway motive power. J. Inst. Transp., 1950, 23, 230-7. 2 tables.
Electricity favoured.

O'Brien, E.
Main line electrification. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1925, 15, 66-9; 80-4. Disc.: 70-9. + folding plate. 8 tables (Paper No. 175).
Includes comparative costs for steam.

Richards, H.W.H.
Primary considerations relating to steam, electric and diesel-electric traction. Minut. Proc. lnstn civ. Engrs, 1932/33, 236, 23-81. Disc.: 93-165 + 2 folding plates. 20 diagrs., 31 tables. (Paper No. 4908.)
Cost analysis.

Sanders, T.H.
Rival traction systems. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1932, 22, 91-103. Disc.:104-18. (Chairman's Address Leeds Centre).
Favoured steam.

Sanford, D.W.
The effect of commercial efficiency on locomotive design. J. Instn. Loco. Engrs, 1932, 22, 325-32. Disc.: 332-40. table (Paper No. 289).

Shields, T.H.
The steam locomotive and its future in relation to electric traction. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1926, 16, 315-27. Disc.: 327-52; 498-501. (Paper No.194).

Sims, L.G.A.
The express locomotive and its limitations. Rly Mag., 1926, 58, 426-9. 2 illus.

STEAM or diesel. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1944, 50, 49.

Tritton, J.S.
The challenge to steam. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1947, 37, 462-96. 3 illus., 20 diagrs., 2 tables. (Presidential Address).

Trutch, C.J.H. and Beckett, C.M.
Modern methods of railway locomotion. J. Inst. Transp., 1932/33, 14, 472-80. Disc.: 480-8. 5 diagrs., table.
The competition to steam.

Warder, S.B.
Electric traction prospects for British Railways. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1951, 41, 3-28. Disc.: 28-75 + 2 folding plates. 2 illus., 6 diagrs., 10 tables, 2 maps. (Paper No.498).

Practical design

Hodgson, James T. and Lake, C.S. Locomotive management: cleaning, driving, maintenance. 9th ed. London: St Margaret's Technical Press, 1948. 512pp. 294 figures (mainly diagrs.).

Specific facets of design


Thom, R.A.
Built-up crank axles for modern express locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1935, 62, 510-17. 10 illus., 8 diagrs., table.
Thom was Mechanical Engineer, Southern Area, L.N.E.R. and this paper reflects Gresley policy.

Lubrication & lubricators

Clayton, J.
The lubrication of a modern locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1922, 12, 473-503. Disc.: 504-15. (Paper 124)
Started with the lubrication of coupled or driving wheel bearings: noted that the SECR employed an oil box adopted by Maunsell on the GS&WR in Ireland: this was of the syphon tube type. It was designed for the ready removal of the pads without lifting the engine. Similar methods had been adopted by Gresley on his 2-6-0 locomotives for the GNR and by Churchward at Swindon. Carrying wheel bearings were then considered. For the Bissel or bogie truck Cartazzi slides were used to provide side control and it was noted that the trailing bogies of the SECR 2-6-4Ts had this form of suspension. Consideration was given to axlebox guides and to the motion: recent big end design on the SECR followed that adopted by Churchward at Swindon: a solid bush bearing made from bronze and lined with white metal. This design had also been adopted for the 2-8-0s built at Derby for the SDJR. The specification for cylinder oil (for cylinders using superheated steam and mechanical lubricators) was noted. Hydrostatic sight feed lubricators were used on the latest SECR locomotives. Ten "recent 4-4-0s" employed mechanical lubricators with anti-carbonizers. The lubrication for the N class 2-6-0s was illustrated with the aid of double-sided folding diagrams. Many diagrams.

White, John H. Some notes on early railway lubrication. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 2004, 74, 293-307.
Covers period prior to 1870 and durveys British and American literature: does not mention force-feed lubrication.
Author was author of American locomotives 1830-1880. John Hopkins, 1997.


Hoole, Ken. An illustrated history of NER locomotives. Sparkford: Oxford Publishing, 1988. p. 214
Information on Servo and Lockyer types
Shields, T.H. (Paper No. 254) Locomotive regulator valves. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1930, 20, 49-103. Disc.: 103-24; 197-203; 717-19.
Major review.


...N.E.R. smokebox doors. Rly Mag., 1937, 80, 461.
Variance in practice between Doncaster and Darlington Works.

Valve gears
Note excellent review paper by Shields

See Locomotive Mag., 1932, 38, 378

Drawing Office/drawings

As Keeper of the drawings at the NRM Michael Rutherford had particular expertise in this area:

Drawings, designs and who did what. Part 1. Railway Reflections No. 52. Michael Rutherford. Backtrack, 1999, 13, 200-7.

Drawings Designs and who did what. Part 2. [Railway Reflections 53]. Michael Rutherford. Backtrack, 1999, 13, 236-43.
Standardization: Ramsbottom and Webb at Crewe, Churchward at Swindon. Notes development of 43XX from standard components with involvement of Harold Holcroft. Evolution of British Standards Institution from the Engineering Standards Committee. Influence of F. Wolley Dod on Indian standard locomotives. See also Bulleid.

Updated: 2013-06-01