William Arthur Stanier, FRS
46238 City of Carlisle leaving Glasgow Central on the Royal Scot in 1961 (KPJ)
See also Stanier locomotives Home page
"Stanier was big in stature and in mind ..." This brief quotation from Cox's Locomotive panorama v. 1 gives some indication of a man whose greatness lay in his powers of self-criticism and willingness to express his debt to others work. Lowe noted that Stanier's task of great magnitude required "both tact and strong leadership. Stanier had both".
Stanier has been well served by biographers, although no single work does him full justice. The most important works are Cox's Locomotive panorama, plus E.S. Cox's and K.J. Cook's obituaries presented to the Institution of Locomotive Engineers (Jounal No. 305), Hartley's Royal Society obituary, Bulleid's "Master builders of steam , Bellwood and Jenkinson's assessment of Gresley and Stanier, Nock's "Sir William Stanier now largely superceded by Chacksfield's Sir William Stanier aptly sub-titled "new biography". Locomotive panorama (v. 1) is the most exhaustive account of Stanier's design work. It also shows his personal qualities as viewed by a subordinate. Hartley's obituary is, perhaps, a more intimate account as it is written from the viewpoint of a colleague (Sir Harold Hartley was in charge of research activities on the LMS) who was instrumental in attracting Stanier away from Swindon. Much of the material in H.A.V .Bulleid's book has clearly come from his father's (O.V.S. Bulleid) memories, but it needs to be stressed is still essential reading (for instance it tells us that Bill's favourite authors were Kipling and Nevil Shute plus much more). Nock's personal knowledge is of a lesser order and he tends to concentrate on Stanier's locomotives with emphasis on performance. Extensive verbatim quotations from Stanier's papers form a major feature of the work. Chacksfield was well-received, but like its companion biographies of Fowler and Collett suffers from a lack of a thorough examination of the subjects' published work. Nevertheless, with all these volumes it is probable that no remaining personal material relating to the subject remains unexplored, and Chacksfield is successful in capturing the nature of the man. There were also appreciations by Cook and Cox in J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1965, 55, 247 et seq following his death. Terry Jenkins Sir Ernest Lemon adds considerably to the convoluted story of his recruitment from the GWR, a little to the rather hectic public test runs of his Pacifics when Lemon was in attendance, something to other forms of traction developed during Stanier's tenure by Horbuckle and Fairburn, but there is no mention of the turbine locomotive, nor of the major boiler problem in Jenkins' otherwise masterly book.
Bellwood and Jenkinson's Gresley and Stanier should not be overlooked as Bellwood was a fully trained Locomotive Engineer. They succinctly observe that unlike Gresley: "Stanier was not really an inventor. Unlike Gresley, no patents stand to his name and his real strength lay in a knowledge of current techniques and an ability to put them into practice to give the best return, taking all factors into account".
Stanier's papers are of a great importance due to his self-critical approach. They cover a wide area of study which included materials, testing and design. After retirement he continued to attend meetings of the Locomotive Engineers and his comments on papers tended to be kind. He often reminisced about his own work, whilst he never forgot his debt to Churchward, as shown by his Newcomen Society addressthis paper is of great importance in that reveals much about the author. By the time it was written Stanier was retired, and whilst his earlier professional papers were probably written with a great deal of assistance from his subordinates (this is common practice in all industries), it is likely that his contribution on Churchward was written solely by his own effort. Reference should also be made to the more extensive (in time) bibliography contained in Hartley's obituary. Examination of the early Transactions of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers showed that Stanier's witty, easy style during discussion sessions was evident as early as 1913: see his penetrating remarks following a paper by Lawford Fry..
418,428. Improvements in or relating to the bodies of railway passenger carriages, and similar vehicles. with John Purves and Paul Lewis Henderson. Applied 28 May 1934. Published 24 October 1934.
441,661 An electro-magnetically operated slide valve, in a sealed chest, having no external moving parts, for controlling the flow of steam or other gases under pressure with George Vickers and Frederick William Hicklenton. Applied 18 February 1935. Published 23 January 1936.
481,115 Improvements in and connected with shunting humps for railway sidings with Thomas Frederick Bell Simpson. Applied 4 September 1936. Published 4 March 1938.
490,076. Improvements in cable haulage appliances for moving railway vehicles with William Alexander Lyall. Applied 5 April 1937. Published 9 August 1938.
490,967 Improvements in and connected with portable lifting jacks with Paul Lewis Henderson. Applied 25 June 1937. Published 24 August 1938.
492,197 Improvements in and connected with signal control arrangements for railway depots and the like with Frederick Stanton Barnes and Paul Lewis Henderson. Applied 3 April 1937. Published 16 September 1938
553,542. Improvements in or appertaining to riveting hammers wiith Herbert Greaves and George Thomas Smithyman. Applied 21 Novcember 1941. Published 26 May 1943.
The development and testing of locomotives. Engineering, 1936,
142, 305-8. illus., 9 diagrs., table.
Abridgement of a paper presented to the British Association (Section G) at Blackpool on 1936-09-11..
Engine lubrication (reciprocation steam engines). Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs,, 1937, 136, 139-43.
Modern French locomotives are fitted with four rings per piston head, the German with five, while the English railways favour two or three, but experiments are now being carried out in this country with an increased number of rings. Piston ring wear varies considerably according to the class of locomotive and the type of work on which it is engaged. For express passenger compound engines Chatel gives mileages of 12,500-25,000 for the high-pressure cylinders and 28,000- 37,500 miles for the low-pressure cylinders, at which the rings are replaced. On one English railway the piston rings of a three-cylinder (simple-expansion) locomotive are changed at 40,000-45,000 miles.
Engine lubrication (reciprocating engines) [in]:
INSTITUTION of Mechanical Engineers.
Proceedings of the general discussion on lubrication & lubricants. v. 1. London, Institution of Mechanical Enginers, .
See pp. 614-18, plus pp. 619-48 for the discussion.
George Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Great Western Railway. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1960, 30,1-8. Disc.: 8-12 + 4 plates. 4 illus. (incl. port.), 3 diagrs.
The heat-treatment of locomotive parts.
Proc. Instn mech. Engrs,
1929, 117, 1069-73. 10 illus., diagr.
At Swindon it was the practice to treat all steel stampings and forgings so that the structure of each part was in the best condition to resist the strains and stresses to which it would be subject in service.
Lightweight passenger rolling stock.
J. Proc. Instn mech. Engrs.,
1939, 143, 13.
This reference is due to Moon (J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1947, 37 (Paper 469)
Locomotive development on the Great Western Railway. Rly Mag., 1931,
68, 294-9. 15 illus.
Brief report of a talk given by Stanier to the Great Western Railway (London) Lecture and Debating Society.
Lubrication and lubricants as applied to locomotive reciprocating engines.
INSTITUTION of Mechanical Engineers.
Proceedings of the general discussion on lubrication & lubricants. v. 1 London, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, .
See pp. 614-18, plus pp. 619-48 for the discussion.
Lubrication as applied to locomotive journals [in]:
INSTITUTION of Mechanical Engineers.
Proceedings of the general discussion on lubrication & lubricants. v. 1. London, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, .
See pp. 302-8 plus general discussion pp. 355-87 (illus., diagr., table.).
General discussion on lubrication. Group II. Engine lubrication (reciprocating steam engines). Proc. Instn Mech, Engrs., 1937, 136, 139-43.
A pageant of railroad engineering.
Proc. Instn mech. Engrs, 1928,
Impressions of United States locomotives gained when Stanier accompanied a King class locomotive to the Baltimore & Ohio Centenary celebrations: Address delivered at Western Branch in Bristol on 8th December 1927..
The position of the locomotive in mechanical engineering. Proc. Instn
mech. Engrs, 1941, 146, 50-61 + 4 plates. 13 illus., diagr., 3
tables. (Presidential Address).
A review of the efficiency of the steam locomotive, based on L.M.S. testing plus a forecast of future development
Problems connected with locomotive design.
J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1939,
29, 13-33 + 6 folding plates. 2 illus., 13 diagrs. (Presidential
Much of the Paper was devoted to the locomotive as a vehicle (reflecting Stanier's involvement in the Indian Pacific Locomotive Committee, chaired by Lt. Col. Alan Mount). Many of the figures (and much of the text) related to his own designs for the LMS. Fig.1 shows spring control for bogies; Fig. 2 showed the reae pony truck employed on LMS Pacifics; Fig. 3 showed the thick flanges employed on the bogies and trailing trucks of LMS Pacifics; Fig. 4 showed coupled axlebox design; a table showed the axle bearing pressures (driving, and bogie or radial) of the Coronation class Pacifics, 8F, Jubilee and class 5. Dust shields were mentioned. Drop grates and hopper ashpans were described with diagrams. There are diagrams of a Duchess Pacific with a single chimney, but Fig. 12 also illustrated the double chimney arrangement. The reversing shaft mechanism for the Pacifics was also discussed. Internal streamlining forms one of the actual sub-headings adopted and the work of Chapelon as cited. Stanier noted how a test apparatus had been designed to test flow through steam ports and passages. The Vote of Thanks (pp. 33-4) was made by Kitson Clark and in his final comments Stanier (pp. 34-5) noted his debt to Beames for sorting ou Crewe Works.
Recent developments in locomotive design.
J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1936,
26, 553-94 + folding plate. 21 illus., 8 diagrs., (Presidential
First Ordinary General Meeting held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, on Wednesday, 30 September 1936, at 6 p.m.
Chosen for the development of the locomotive design during recent years, because to locomotive men, during the last five years, the improvement in trade and the development of other means of transport had resulted in a general speeding up on the railways, and there had been a desire to show that the steam locomotive was not only capable of running heavy trains at a good average speed, but, given a suitable load, could make as good a showing as the new light trains with internal combustion engine power units. In addition, there has been a general desire to increase the average speed of all trains, with the need of a greater number of fast goods trains.
Specific designs considered included the Schmidt Henschel locomotive of the German State Railway, the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, Triple Expansion Engine (with 500 psi boiler); the Winterthur High Pressure Engine; the LMS Metropolitan-Vickers Lysholm Turbomotive, No. 6202; the Valve Gear (Outside) fitted to LMS Pacific No. 6203 with needle pin roller bearings; Baltimore & Ohio locomotive with water tube firebox; a Northern Pacific 4-8-4 locomotive; Northern Railway of France 2-8-2 tank locomotive; Pittsburg & West Virginian articulated locomotive; Express Beyer-Garratt locomotive (for PLM in Algeria); Hiawatha streamlined locomotive, 4-4-2 Type; Pennsylvania 4-6-2 locomotive; PLM. streamlined locomotive, 4-4-2 Type; Canadian National streamlined locomotive 4-8-4.; Canadian Pacific Railway streamlined locomotive, 4-4-4; German 4-6-4 streamlined locomotive; Japanese streamlined locomotive, 4-6-2 Type.; London and North-Eastern Railway, Cock O the North, 2-8-2 Type, and 4-6-2 Silver Link. In this paper Stanier declared his debt to Churchward. In the subsequent vote of thanks Gresley echoed Stanier's appreciation. Stanier also noted that 'streamlining may be something like that blessed word "Mesopotamia" to the old lady. At any rate it has good publicity value.'.
A review of world development. Amongst topics covered are the turbine locomotive, continuous blow-down and the Gresley A4 and P2 classes. It is in this address that Stanier declares his debt to Churchward.. Stanier also observed that 'streamlining may be something like that blessed word "Mesopotamia" to the old lady. At any rate it has good publicity value.'
Some features connected with locomotive development. Rly Gaz., 1943,
A note on an address presented to the City & Guilds College Engineering Society. The paper reviewed basic design considerations.
Welding in British railways (mechanical engineering) [in]
IRON and Steel Institute
Symposium on the welding of iron and steel. v. 1. London, Iron and Steel Institute, 1935.
See pp. 349-56 pius pp. 409-26 and 424-5 (discussion) (36 illus.)
W.A. Stanier lecture. Loco.
Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1931, 37, 60
A comprehensive and interesting lecture was given by Mr. W. A. Stanier, M.I.Mech.E., Principal Assistant to the Chief Mechanical Engineer, G.W. Ry., before the G.W.Ry. (London) Lecture and Debating Society, at Paddington, on 15 January 1931. Mr. C.E. Lloyd, a director, and also an engineer, occupied the chair. Mr. Stanier's lecture was illustrated by many lantern slides, and the various locomotive types introduced by five successive C.M.E.'s were shown, and their work detailed. Mention was made of the development of the many types, from the old broad gauge North Star to the present-day e»press engines, including the "De Glehn" compounds, The Great Bear, "Castles" and "Kings."
Contributions to the discussion
on other's papers
Stanier was a very generous contributor to discussions and revealed many of his favourite opinions, notably on the need for lightweight rolling stock. His comments on the Cox paper on the British Railways standard classes is very revealing for its comments on superheating, and on the triangular section wheel rims (and their origin) and on fluted coupling rods..
Alcock, J.F. Locomotive limits and fits.
J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1949,
39, Disc.: 505-8. (Paper No. 487)
Sir William Stanier (505-8) noted that locomotive manufacturers in the United Kingdom had now adopted a universal system which he regarded to be of great importance. He noted that he had seen Lelean working out the limits and fits for the Indian Government Railways. He also acknowledged the work performed in this area at Horwich. He noted that earson, when on the GWR had encountered troublle with fractures in carriage axles this was due to moisture getting in where the axles were pressed into the wheel. The LMS had trouble with crankpins. Stanier himself had been responsible for the burnishing broach having seen it in the USA in 1927. He observed that Collett had sought to introduce parallel crankpins and this had led to many breakages. Also included an extract on press fits from a paper presented by H.J. Shrader to ASME in 1948.
Barton, H.H.C. New multiple unit rolling stock for India, operational performance and the electrical equipment. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1952, 42, 70 (Paper No. 509)
said that the building of lightweight stock had been very much in his mind for a number of years. On the LMS in 1938, the Liverpool and Southport stock had had to be renewed, and he remembered the late Mr. Fairburn saying that for every ton that could be saved in the weight of the stock, he could save 210 a year in current. That had been an incentive to get some lightweight stock.
In the Derby drawing office there had been a very able young designer, Mr. Moon, who unfortunately died during the war. Mr. Moon had developed a design (taking advantage of the Vierendeel truss) for some lightweight stock which had given some very interesting figures. The motor coach seated 88 and weighed 40 ton 5 cwt. The trailer coach seated 102 and weighed 23 ton 2 cwt. Sir William had been able to give particulars of that construction and the means used to develop it in a paper which he had prepared for presentation to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Joint Meeting in September, 1939; he had gone over to America to give the paper, but unfortunately the Conference had been cancelled and he had come back by the next boat. However, the paper had been printed and was in existence.
The intention had been that this principle should be developed for main'line stock, but unfortunately the war had come, and this hampered development.
Sir William emphasised the importance of remembering that weight,was a very important asset or liability when considering costs. The more lightweight stock was developed, the better the services that could be given. Lightweight stock would reduce wear and tear and it would reduce the power required; and, provided it was possible to look after the corrosion, to which Mr. Cock had referred, it would produce very much better stock than existed at present.
Bond, R.C. Ten years' experience with the L.M.S. 4-6-2 non-condensing turbine locomotive, No.6202. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1946, 36, 182-230. Disc.: 231-65 (Paper No. 458) Pp. 231-3:
Stanier's comments showed his professional modesty: lesser men would have placed their name on such a paper by a subordinate. He noted his error in using a low degree of superheating at first on the LMS and how the original suggestion for a turbine locomotive came from Dr. Guy of Metropolitan Vickers.
Bond, R.C. Organisation and control of locomotive repairs on British Railways. J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1953, 43, pages 218-19. (Paper No. 520)
Noted Beames' contribution to efficiency at Crewe Works by instigating the new erecting shop opened in 1924.
Burrows, M.G. and Wallace, A.L. Experience with the steel fireboxes of the Southern Region Pacific locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 281-2. (Paper No. 584)
Noted the poor performance of the steel fireboxes fitted to the ROD locomotives as experienced on the GWR and wondered whether wide fireboxes were better suited to being constructed from steel. and wondered whether wide fireboxes were better suited to being constructed from steel. He also commented on the need for thermic syphons and the composition of stays.
Cook, K.J. The late G.J. Churchward's locomotive development on the Great Western Railway. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1950, 40, 171-2 (Paper No.492)
including his observations on Churchward's County class.Stanier said that it was with particular pleasure that he had come to the present meeting to hear a Vice-President, Mr. Cook, tell them something of the work with which he himself had been mixed up to a certain extent during its early history. . Mr. Churchward had come to Swindon the year of his own birth. He had then been Carriage Works Manager and was actively engaged in developing new things. He had developed the Great Western axle box, which was recognized as being one of the axle boxes most free from failure. . They had heard about a number of people who had been associated w,lth Churchward but one of the principal people who had worked with him was George Burrows-his son was present at the meeting. He himself, having been in the drawing office at the time, had seen some of his work. .
He could, .of course; speak at great length about Mr. Churchward, but would confine himself to referring to one or two points only. Mr. Cook had drawn attention to the 4-4-0 "County" class engine. Churchward had built that engine with his tongue in his cheek. He knew the front end was too powerful for the wheel base. This engine was built for working trains on the Shrewsbury and Hereford line, which was a joint line with the L. & N.W., and the L. & N.W. objected at that time to the 4-6-0 "Saint" class working over it. He was not going to be told what he could do by Webb! Therefore Churchward built the "County," which had plenty of power to run the service.
Another matter he wished to speak about was the advent of the French erigine; Churchward had always been very' keen on spotting things that were good. The French engine had an extraordinarily good bogie and almost from the time the French engine. started running until the present time the Great Western bogie had the French spring control on it, as also had a great many L.M.S. bogies. Then there was also the big end for the inside cylinder on the" King," " Castle," and" Coronation" classes, and. on a number of other 4-cylinder engines, had a French big end for the inside cylinder. He would like to tell the meeting something of the" old man." After the first world war a deputation had visited Churchward to tell him of their wishes. Churchward had rather an autocratic way and used to tell his people what to do. The leader of the deputation, the district organiser, said, "You know, tIre time has come when we wish to be asked to do a thing and riot ordered to do it." "D- it all, it is time the' old man' retired," he replied. When Churchward retired the workers insisted on making him a presentation. They asked him what he wanted and intimated that he wanted nothing, and on being pressed he said, "A fishing rod." So he was presented with one and at his request the rest of the amount given was devoted to prizes for apprentices who attended the technical college. At the presentation the Chairman of the Works Committee, having spoken in glowing terms of how they admired Churchward, wound up his remarks by saying that he hoped every hair on his head would be a candlelight to glory. Churchward replied, "Well, there will not be many of them." He was as bald as a coot. . . As members probably knew,he himself had served his time under Dean but had worked a11 his active life until 1932 under Churchward. He had a great regard and affection for his memory. As Mr. Cook had said,'" His soul goes marching on" That was true because all his engines, which are still of the most modern type, were built before 1910. Those who had come after Churchward had tried to follow in his steps ever since.
Cox, E.S. Balancing of locomotive reciprocating parts. J. Instn Loco. Eng 1942, 32, 2-37. Disc.:1943, 33, 218-36. 4 illus,, 11 diagrs., 3 tables. (Paper 432).
Pp. 218-19: noted that for many years locomotive engineers had lacked adequate means for measuring various things they did also notes on an experiment with a 2-6-4T without reciprocating balances.
Cox, E.S. British standard locomotives. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1951, 41, 287-335. Disc.: 336-403 (Paper No. 502).Pp. 337-8.
Congratulated the President and his team for the extraordinarily fine results they had obtained in their first effort. There were certain things that might be open to criticism, of course, but they had done a very fine job. "What a lot we all owe to George Jackson Churchward. He could assure them that a little accident like water in the cylinders was not new, and he had seen broken pistons on many occasions. It seemed to him that the smoke box door was rather too flat. In his experience it was desirable to make the smoke box doors as stiff as possible so that they would stand being tightened regularly without distortion and he would have liked to see the smoke box door of this engine about 2 in. deeper. Since he had left the L.M.S., they seemed to have gone in for very expensive coupling rods. He had yet to learn the reason why. He did not know why it was necessary to flute the rods on a mixed traffic engine. With regard to the area of the steam passages; in most cases the area through the superheater was rather less than the area through the steam pipe. In his opinion this was a weakness of the King class of the old Great Western. He noticed, too, that the superheater units had 13/8 in. diameter tubes. In his experience, he found that if superheater tubes were much more than 1 in. outside diameter, the temperature of the flue gas did not get to the centre of the column of steam passing through the superheater tube, so that full benefit from the heat passing through the flue was not obtained. It was possible that one would get better superheat by using 1 in. tubes. He was glad to see that the engine wheels had triangular section wheel rims. He had introduced these on the L.M.S. after seeing them on the German State Railways engines in about 1933 and they made an excellent wheel. The engine had a first-class boiler and a good design of cylinders and valve gear, and he thought they could be very proud of the first engine produced under the new regime and felt sure it would give excellent service.
Cox, E.S. Locomotive axleboxes J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1944, 34, 275-317. Discussion: 317-40:1945, 35, 221-38:1946, 36, 171-6+ 3 folding plates. 21 diagrs., 8 tables. (Paper No. 447).
Opened the discusssion (p. 317) noting that there was not a great deal that he could add to what was contained in the Paper. He had been associated with the Author in the work which had been done, and the Paper contained a very clear and complete account of the troubles and experiences which the L.M.S. Railway had had during the time for which he had been associated with it so far as locomotive axleboxes were concerned.
The Great Western Railway, in his younger days, built a class of engine known as the " Badminton " class which had the coupling rod cranks in line with the inside cranks, and they ran for quite a number of years in that way, but the ''Atbara" class, a development of the ''Badminton" class, reverted to the outside crank being opposite to the inside crank.
One of the greatest difficulties which the L.M.S. Railway had experienced with its modern engines was to keep dust and ashes and water away from the trailing axlebox of a 4-6-0 engine, which came under the middle of the ashpan. It was yery difficult to keep the ashes and the water from surrounding and smothering the axlebox and causing excessive wear, particularly on the boss face of the wheel and the axlebox face against it and in the horn guide surfaces. It was found that on the axlebox in that position pegged on bronze liners were hopeless. It was largely as a result of the experimental work done on the axlebox in that position that there was evolved the solid bronze liner on the horn itself, bolted on and retained top and bottom with lugs, and the hardened steel face on the axlebox. That, however, was only a palliative, and the position was still one which gave a great deal of trouble. In India a great deal of trouble was experienced from sand and wear on axleboses, and a tremendous number of experiments had been carried out with dust shields of all kinds, but he had not yet learned whether the problem had been solved. He thought that the problem had still to be solved, and he was happy to think that the time had come when he was going to watch how other people did it. He thought that the Institution had been very fortunate in obtaining such a complete record of experiments carried out over a series of years on what was a very important problem
Dumas, L. The development of rail motor car services in France. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1938, 28, 458-9. (Paper No. 389)
During the past six years, the French Railways had ordered 800 railcars. Of these, 660 had already been put into service, and 140 were still under construction. The 660 railcars in operation covered 90,000 miles every day or 23.5% of the total daily mileage of passenger steam trains in France. Dicussion: Stanier refered to the three four-wheeled railbuses and to the then new three car set that conformed more or less to the power-to-weight ratio of the French steel-tyred railcars. Nevertheless, Stanier ended his contribution with "?He considered there was no difficulty about building light railcars if the service was required, but in England it had to be remembered that the natural fuel, of which there were large supplies, was coal, and the collieries were very large clients of the railways. He suggested that it would he almost a tragedy if they were to introduce the Diesel railcar to any great extent, although he felt that, as had been the experience in France, there must be certain services where it would be worth while introducing a vehicle of that type".
Dymond, A.W.J. Operating experience with two
gas turbine locomotives. J. Instn Loco.
Engrs., 1953, 43, 292-3. (Paper No. 521)
Sir William Stamer, F.R.S. (Past President) felt that his remarks would perhaps cover two fields, he having been brought up as a steam man and now being tarred with the gas turbine brush. The Author, he said, had put before the Institution a paper which was an extraordinarily able record of the work which had been done on gas turbine locomotives in this country. It was factual and the Author had not indulged too much in prophecy, leaving that to the gas turbine people who were undoubtedly represented in the audience.
It must be remembered that the two locomotives in question had been conceived six years ago. Much had been learned about gas turbines, their design and pressures and combustion systems, since that time; but, although so much had been learned, very little "ironmongery" had yet been made to prove the techniques which had been developed. The two locomotives described in the Paper were actual "ironmongery" and had achieved results and that was important.
He felt that those concerned with the gas turbine had to realise that gas turbines used for traction purposes as locomotives or in lorries, buses or tanks had to have different features from the gas turbines which were developed for marine purposes or for stationary power plant. He had always been struck by the fact that if for the gas turbine one plotted power output against efficiency (Fig. 10) one obtained a curve of the type shown by the full line showing the most efficient conditions at about 80 per cent of the power output. What was wanted for the locomotive was a curve of the type shown by the dotted line. It might fall off considerably at over 50 per cent load, but so long as the locomotive would start the train and take it uphill that was what was wanted, and most of the work would be done in the region A-B. If the greatest efficiency of the gas turbine was between 25 and 30 per cent load it would be a much more efficient locomotive.
The Author did not seem to be quite fair to the steam locomotive in comparing its fuel consumption with that of the gas turbine. The gas turbine figures were principally on passenger work, but the figures for coal related to general railway work, passenger and goods. It would have been a very much better comparison to take the coal consumption of the" King" link at Old Oak.
A point of interest was that the Western Region seemed to be able to arrange, when they had experimental units, to confine the working of them to a comparatively small number of men. On the LMS there had been a steam turbine locomotive, and, although he had asked the operating side to keep it to two or three sets of men, it had in fact been worked by twenty in turn. It was impossible to run an experimental engine in that way, and he thought that the Western Region were very fortunate in that respect.
Developments in locomotive testing. J.Instn Loco. Engrs, 1953, 43, 561-91. Disc.: 591-2. (Paper No. 527).
Based on tests with King class 6001: "A thing which had puzzled him [Stanier] for a long time, having ridden on many engines, was whether the right practice was to notch up as soon as possible and have a full regulator, or whether to let the gear out a bit and ease it on the regulator"
The mechanics of the train in the service of railway operation. J.Instn Loco. Engrs, 1958, 48, 528-61. Disc.: 562. Paper No. 588
Recorded that he had travelled in Gooch's dynamometer car.
Fairburn, C.E. Diesel shunting locomotives.
J.Instn Loco. Engrs, 1941, 31,
Stanier showed his usual open mind to other forms of traction
Fry, Lawford H.
Modern locomotive practice in Europe and America. Trans Instn Loco. Engrs., 1913, 3, 41-58. Disc.: 59-73. (Paper No. 16)
Stanier (63-4) noted the existence of the Churchward 2-8-0 and 2-8-0T on the GWR. The leading coupled wheels of the 42XX type had spherical crank pins and bushes to prove 2½in side play: this enabled the class to operate over sharp curves at collieries. Stanier noted that the 4-cylinder layout distributed the working stress "very nicely". Refering to the 43XX he called the mixed reaffic locomotive the "engine of the future" noting that is was suitable for working excursion trafic and troop trains.
Standardisation and design of goods and mineral wagons as applied to British Railways. J. Instn Loco. Engrs. 1950, 40, 425-65. Disc.: 466-85. (Paper No. 496)
Pp. 467-8): When he was on the Great Western Railway, the late Churchward built a 40 ton bogie coal wagon, but he found that the tare of the 40 ton-wagon was greater than the tare of two 20-ton wagons, and it was very restricted in the places it could serve, and so naturally he built 20-ton wagons. On the Cornish Riviera Limited they had measured the quantity of oil placed into the axleboxes, and the sealed boxes were run for eleven months - care was taken to examine the boxes adjacent to the engine to ensure that water had not breached the dust shields. Queried the change to oil-hardened plates from water-hardened: danger of mixing the two.
Graff-Baker, W.S. Considerations on bogie design with particular reference to electric railways. J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1952, 42, 339-40. (Paper 513)
Opened the discussion and sung the praises of the Dean bogie.
Gresley, H.N. High-pressure
locomotives. Proc. Instn Mech,
Engrs., 1931, 120, 101-35. Disc.:140-1
queried the amount of heat reaching the outer tubes.
Gresley, H.N. Locomotive experimental stations. 23-39 Proc. Instn Mech, Engrs., 1931, 121, Disc.: pp. 42-3
Hitchcock, Cyril. The standardization of locomotives in India,
. Proc. Instn Mech, Engrs.,
1910, 79, 1409-522.
Stanier contributed a detailed description of standardisation on the GWR with its limited range of boilers, cylinders and other components, and it is easy to understand why Stanier was the obvious future choice to sort things out in India when serious defects emerged in the Indian standard locomotives.
The railways and coal. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1952, 42, 390-404. Disc.: 404-24: 1953, 43,724-9. Bibliog. (Paper No. 515).
Pp. 404-5: Stanier commented on the little gain in thermal efficiency from the use of the exhaust steam injector.
Loubser, M.M. and Cox, E.S. Locomotive boiler design: theory and practice.
J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1938,
28, 377-409. Disc.: 409-41. (Paper No. 388)
Fourth Ordinary General Meeting of the Session 1937-38, was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, on Wednesday, 26 January, 1938, at 6 p.m., Lt.-Col. F. R. Collins, President of the Institution, occupying the chair.
This Paper was unusual in that it was the work of two authors who. had not been able ta work in collaboration. The basis was a treatise on the theory of the locomotive which had been prepared by M.M. Loubser, Assistant CME on the South African Railways. This was delivered to the Institution in a condensed form covering the whole locomotive. The second author was requested to deal only with that part covering boiler and smokebox and to expand this into a self-contained Paper. At the same time, it was desired to amplify the original content to cover British practice with some reference to the considerations which influence British boiler design. To achieve this it has been necessary in places to depart from Loubsers text and to add sections not contained in the original communication, while to make the Paper more readable, the actual working out of mathematical formulae is incorporated in the appendices. Due to the short time available and the distance separating thr authors, no form of collaboration has been possible, and the second author hopes that in spite of his editing and amplification he has been able to convey to the Institution the spirit and substance of Mr. Loubsers original communication. The object of the Paper is to summarise in simple terms the fundamental considerations covering boiler design and to illustrate their application with reference to some modern designs. The boiler is dependent for its draught on the vacuum created and maintained in the smokebox by the exhaust steam, and insignificant as this fact might appear at first sight, yet the whole performance of the boiler is governed by the overall effectiveness of this process. The theory of the boiler, more especially the combustion and transfer
Cox's contribution consists of an analysis of the Stanier taper-boiler with particular emphasis on the four types fitted to the Jubilee class.
Stanier (pp.410-11) adds some notes on the front-end. "I should like to take this opportunity of saying how well I think Mr. Cox has reviewed Mr. Loubsers Paper. I had an opportunity of looking through Mr. Loubsers Paper, and the two sections which Mr. Cox has taken cover very well the essential matter of that Paper, and the linking of it up with English practice is, 1 think, most helpful to members of the Institution. In that connection, there is one thing which has always puzzled me. Reference is made in th.is Paper to the relationship of the diameter of the blast pipe given by the formula on page 396 and the actual diameter of blast pipe used on the engine. There is a striking difference between them, and what has always puzzled me is that a 3-cylinder engine always seems to require a smaller blast-pipe top than one would expect to put on an engine of that power. One of the possible solutinns, of course, is that with a 3-cylinder engine there is not the same volume of steam coming through the blast pipe per pulsation, and it may be that the formula for a 0-cylinder engine should take that into consideration. It is a fact that so far as the locomotives of the L.M.S. Railway are concerned, the 3-cylinder engines generally require a smaller blast pipe than would be expected for their power. The 2-cylinder and the 4-cylinder engines, it will be noticed from Table IV, come very much closer to the diameter given by the formula which Mr. Loubser puts forward.
In discussing the problcm of design of the boiler, it is interesting to find that Mr. Loubser does not dwell entirely on the importance of the smokebox arrangenicnt and the vacuum in the smokebox ; he does link it up with the grate area and the How of gases through the boiler, and indicates quite clearly that the whole of the factors in the design of the boiler have to be in balance if a satisfactorily steaming boiler is to be obtained.
I suppose that one of thc advantages of a steam locomotive over any other power unit is the fact that it can work at such a wide range. The particular engines which Mr. Cox has described, the 3-cylinder 4-6-0 engines, on tests, working trains under the control of a dynamometer, have burned from 301b. per sq. ft of grate per hour up to nearly 100lb. per sq. ft. of grate per hour perfectly satisfactorily. The only factor seems to be the ability of the fireman to put the coal on. The wide range over which steam locomotive5 can be used is one of the advantages of using that type of power. The engine developed something like 1,800 h.p. when burning nearly 100lbs. per sq. ft. grate area per hour, so that it can be seen that the boiler h.p. is even more important than the engine h.p. if the engine is to do the work.
Railway breakdown and rerailing equipment. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1950, 40, 270-1. (Paper No. 493)
pp 270-1: Stanier observed that 12 ton cranes were the highest capacity when he first had to deal with problem. Hydraulic jacks had assisted. In 1910 36 ton capacity cranes became available: a Ransomes & Rapier machine at Swindon and a Stothert & Pitt crane at Old Oak Common. In 1927 when in the USA he had come across the Lidgerwood steam winch.
Lynes, L. and Shephard, C.A.
Southern Railway all-steel suburban electric stock. J. Instn Loco.
Engrs., 1948, 38, 205-38. Disc. 238-57. 24 diagrs. (Paper No. 474)
Stanier (238-9) commented on the transmission losses with electricity, and the many other reductions that it was necessary to make. He thought that the Paper showed the trend of coach design in this country, and that they were gradually getting towards all-steel stock. He supported C.M. Cock's remarks about the saving in coal per ton of reduction of coach weight. Mr. Fairburn said some years ago that if it were possible to save a ton per coach he could save a year in the cost of current, which would, be a very important saving~to make. As a result, the LMS Railway built the comparatively light weight stock of the Liverpool. and Southport and Wirral railways. The Paper showed the trend of British railways towards all-steel stock, but Stanier thought that the weight of the stock was still far too heavy. The weight per coach of the stock described in the Paper was something like 35 tons, 142 tons for four coaches. If he remembered rightly, the Liverpool and Southport trailer coach weighed 22-25 tons. Mr. L. Lynes intervened to point out that in the 4-coach units described in the Paper the weight was 43 tons for the motor coach and 28 tons for the trailer coach; the motor bogies were heavy.
Sir William Stanier observed that even 28 tons for the trailer coach was heavier than the Liverpool and Southport stock.. He thought that the designers of new coaches ought seriously to consider how they could face the risk of corrosion and yet cut down the weight. The great problem with all-steel coaches was corrosion, and it required a very careful technique and proper ventilation between the panelling and the outside sheeting of the coach to avoid condensation forming. He believed that the British railways had realised the importance of this. He did not suggest that that was due to the recent revolution; he thought that it started some years ago. The time was getting nearer when they would have all-steel stock and be able to reduce the weight, and he looked forward to it.
McClean, H.G. The hammer-blow with axle-hung electric traction motors.
. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1938,
28, 186. (Paper No. 382)
Third Ordinary General Meeting of the Session 1937-38 held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, on Wednesday, 24 November 1937, at 6 p.m., Lieut.-Col. F.R. Collins, President occupying the Chair.
Experience in India. Discussion: Stanier said it was rather news to him that in electric traction hammer-blow occurs, but thought perhaps he had been thinking rather in terms of a steam locomotive, where they had to Iialance the hammer-blow of reciprocating masses rather than the hammer-blow from which the track might suffer due to unsprung weight. He said the Paper was full of very complex formulae, and when they heard that electric trains of high speed with nose-suspended motors were very damaging to the track, he wondered whether these formulae really served any useful purpose.
He had seen designs of electric locomotives, largely on the Continent, where they went in for all sorts of elaborate arrangements of rods, so that the electric drive could be on a spring-borne portion of the chassis. One of the most interesting that he had seen was the type of electric locomotive used in Sweden, where they seemed to have overcome the difficulty of having a complex triangular connecting rod by putting the drive exactly on the axle centre and having the coupling rod extended through the jack-shaft pin, so that they get a straight drive. He did not know whether anyone could tell them whether the Swedish electric railways ran at high speeds of over 70 m.p.h. If they did, he though it would he very interesting to know whether that type of locomotive was so destructive to the track or so uncomfortable to the passengers as the electric vehicles with the drive that the Author has so clearly set out in his Paper.
Moon, A.N. Welded carriage underframes on the L.M.S. Railway.
J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1947,
Related that Fairburn had suggested to him that if they could save a ton in weight of a vehicle it would be possible to save £10 a year on [electric] current.
Rudgard, H. Organisation and carrying-out
of examinations and repairs of locomotives at running sheds in relationship
to locomotive performance and availability. J. Instn Loco. Engrs.,
1947, 37, 64-123. Disc.: 124-59. (Paper No. 464)
Sir William Stanier (written communication, 132-3) noted that the organisation of the LMS motive power department differed somewhat from the organisation of the other railways, but the size of the undertaking justified to some extent the arrangements. The success of any organisation depends very much on the goodwill of those who have to administer it. On the LMS they were happy inasmuch as there was the closest collaboration between the motive power department and the chief mechanical engineer's department. But he suggested that the last paragraph on the first page of the Paper would be more correct if it were expressed somewhat as follows
It is the responsibility of the chief mechanical engineer to supply engines of the correct type to meet the requirements of the chief operating manager, and of the chief operating manager to allocate those engines so that the correct type of engine will be used to do the work required, and it is the superintendent of motive power's duty to see that these engines are maintained in good mechanical condition to work the trains, manned by well-trained and responsible enginemen at the time they are required.
When the Author refers to the method of washing out of boilers, he indicates that a pressure and quantity regulating valve is introduced between the hydrant pipe, etc., but he has not told us of the original difficulties experienced when it was found that the water pressure varied between wide limits at different sheds, and that the first essential was to ensure that the amount of water for cooling down the boiler was kept constant to ensure that a steady falling temperature was maintained. To do this it was found necessary to introduce a reducing valve between the hydrant and the control valve, so that the amount of water delivered for each position of the control valve was maintaind at a reasonably constant quantity. This is important when the cooling down of boilers working at high pressure is required.
As the late chief mechanical engineer of the LMS I would like to support wholeheartedly the excellent organisation under the "X" scheme and the standard mileage and periodical examinitions carried out by the motive power department, as I am sure It is largely due to that carefully planned organisation that the availability of the LMS engines is so good.
Under "hot bearings" the Author refers to. the importance of keeping dirt away from the journal. In my experience, provided sufficient oil is available, dirt does not in itself give a hot box but it does cut the journal and wear it away, and it is most desirable to provide means for keeping all dirt away from running surfaces, if possible.
I should like again to refer to the very happy relations that exist
between the chief mechanical engineer's staff and the motive power
superintendent's staff on the LMS and to re-assert the importance of correct
personaliti,es to ensure the satisfactory working of any scheme.
Thompson, J.W. The taper boiler. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1936, 26, 764. (Paper 361)
Unfortunately I have to leave to attend another meeting, but before I go you might like to have some expression of opinion from me with regard to the taper boiler, because 1 have been perpetrating taper boilers for some time. The Author illustrates this very clearly in Plate 27.
By tapering the big ring of the boiler, you obtain additional steam space, and, taking the other end on view you obtain an increased water-line for the steam to come off. Other advantages of the taper boiler are that at the front end, where you are often tied up for excessive weight, you can keep the weight down to within reasonable limits, and also, when the locomotive is going downhill, the water is kept on the crownplate of the firebox. Those are some of the points about the taper boiler which seem to me to make it desirable.
The Author has stated that the manufacturing difficulties are very easily overcome, and in fact the LMS works Crewe, have had no difficulty whatever in manufacturing taper boilers in just as satisfactory a way as other works.
Webber, A.F. (Paper No. 378).
The proportions of locomotive boilers. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1937, 27, 688-725. Disc.: 726-63. 8 diagrs., 8 tables. Bibliog.
Stanier: (pp726-8) stated that he had enjoyed very much the analysis which the Author has made of our boiler problem; it has been, he thought, more complete than most of the analyses seen. As he has indicated, he has perhaps not given due weight to the firebox volume, but he has gone a long way towards endeavouring to evaluate the various bailer propartions which have been used on the engines of comparatively recent times.
It may be of some interest if I give an indication af the free areas in use on the present L.M.S. engines. As you know, Dr. Wagner indicated the importance of getting in balance the areas through the small tubes and the areas through the large flue tubes. On the Pacific" Coronation" engine the area through the small tubes is 3.23 sq. ft. and through the large tubes 3.66 sq. ft., making a total of 6.89 sq., ft. On the "5X" 3-cylinder engines the figures are 2.22 sq. ft. and 2.52 sq. ft., making a total of 4.74 sq. ft.
You will remember that in his Paper Dr. Wagner gave particulars of a boiler which had a free area through the tubes of something like 8 sq. ft. The comment of a member of my staff was that that engine would burn brickbats!
The difficulty is, of course, to obtain the free areas which you want and to maintain a balance with the grate area and the firebox volume within the load gauge from which we suffer in England.
In connection with the "5X" engines, it may interest yau to know that the L.M.S. have recently carried out some accelerated train trials between Glasgow and Leeds and Leeds and Bristol with "5X" engines. With a train weighing 300 tons, the coal consumption on that engine to do the work varied from 40 lb. per sq. ft. af grate area per hour to 100 lb. per sq. ft. of grate area per hour, which I think indicates what an extraordinarily flexible steam-raiser a locomotive boiler is. I do not advocate an engine being used to burn l00 lb. per sq. ft. of grate area per hour; I think that if we did that with some of the bigger engines we should have to put in a mechanical stoker.
The Author has referred to smokebox vacuum. It may be of interest to mention that the vacuum in the smokebox of the L.M.S. turbine locomotive with one nozzle open is just over 1 in. of water, and with two nozzles it is 2 in., so that with the maximum number of nozzles open it is 6 in.
The engine steams quite well on the fast trains between Liverpool and Euston of something like 500 tons weight. It seems to me that that is a comparatively low vacuum in the smokebox for a big boiler, when account is taken of the vacuum which the French engines are obtaining with the Kylchap blast pipe, and one of the investigations which I think that every locomotive superintendent within my memory has carried out is an investigation to endeavour to improve the vacuum in the smakebax withaut increasing, and in fact decreasing, the back pressure in the cylinders.
When I was in the drawing office, there was a drawer full of experiments which had been carried out in connection with blast pipes and smokebox arrangements, and I am sure that in the. drawing office which I now control there are similar quantities af experiments, but I do not think that even yet we have determined what is the most efficient arrangement.
The Author has referred to sinuous tubes. One af the difficulties
in a locomotive is to keep the tubes clean, and there are quite enough
difficulties at present in keeping a flue tube with a superheater element
in it clean af smokebox ash and soot. The old dodge af the driver of putting
a little sand on a shovel and putting it in the firehole door to scour the
tubes has been developed an the L.M.S. and some other railways by introducing
sand guns for this purpose.
Wechmann Electrification of long-distance lines of the German State Rlys. J. Instn Loco Engrs, 1938, 28. 522. (Paper No. 391)
said he found one paragraph in it which was very comforting, namely, where the Author said " With all the advantages of electric traction, it cannot be said that the steam locomotive, in some form, will ever be replaced, at least in countries having rich coalfields." On the other hand, he thought the fact that as the Institution was an Institution of Locomotive Engineers and not of steam locomotive engineers was all to the good, because one could not help feeling that the developments which were taking place and the fact that electrical engineers were at last getting down to a common multiple, so to speak, for the way in which the power could be used, meant that that Institution had to consider electric traction as well as steam traction. The Paper which they had just heard, showing what had been done in Germany in that regard, was a very interesting and a very useful contribution to the Proceedings of the Institution.
Sir William Stanier, F.R.S. (P.P.) said that the building of lightweight stock had been very much in his mind for a number of years. On the L.M.S. in 1938. the Liverpool and Southport stock had had to be renewed, and he remembered the late Mr. Fairburn saying that for every ton that could be saved in the weight of the stock, he could save £10 a year in current. That had be an incentive to get some lightweight stock.
In the Derby drawing office there had been a very able young designer, Mr. Moon, who unfortunately died during the war. Mr Moon had developed a design (taking advantage of the Vienendeel truss') for some lightweight stock which had given some very interesting figures. The motor coach seated 88 and weighed 40 ton 5 cwt. The trailer coach seated 102 and weighed 25 ton 2 cwt. Sir William had been able to give particulars of that construction and the means used to develop it in a paper which he had prepared for presentation to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Joint Meeting in September 1939; he had gone over to America to give the paper, but unfortunately the conference had been cancelled and he had come back by the next boat. However, the paper had been pnnted and was in existence.
The intention had been that this principle should be developed for main line stock, but unfortunately the war had come, and this hampered development.
Sir William emphasised the importance of remembering that weight was a very important asset or liability when considering costs. The more lightweight stock was developed, the better the services that could be given. Lightweight stock would reduce wear and tear and It would reduce the power required; and, provided it was possible to look after the corrosion, to which Mr. Cock had referred, it would produce very much better stock than existed at present.
Riddles comments taken from
H.C.B. Rogers: The last steam
locomotive engineer (biography of Riddles):
He trusted everybody and his one fault, it is could be called a fault, was a lack of political acumen, and he could never imagine any intrigue against him. But we would talk of such matters and I think that I helped him to a certain extent. I suppose, having experienced first the Lancashire and Yorkshire taking over the London and North Western, and then the Midland taking over the lot, and the intrigue which resulted, I had developed a suspicious mind. I remember him returning from a meeting and saying, "They won't have it, Robert". The matter concerned was fundamental to his position, and I felt that ifhe gave way he would be surrendering a right inherent to the CME. I talked to the great man, explaining what I meant, whilst he listened staring down at his desk without saying anything. In due course we went home- I not knowing whether he agreed with me or not. In the morning he called me in and said, "It's all right, Robert, they've now agreed". This incident is worth mentioning as an indication of his great character. He never praised anybody for anything; good results he expected. On the other hand he could be cutting in his criticism. But he appreciated his staff, and as I got to know him better I realized that it was not what he said, but the tone of his voice which gave the clue to his feelings. I came to know him so well that I could tell from his face whether it was wise to say anything or nothing, and no man could have had a kinder or more understanding chief. Of course, as in the case of any person holding high position, there were those who did not entirely agree with his views, but he was regarded with appreciation and affection by all who came in contact with him, not only in Great Britain, but in India, America, and Canada. On one occasion in Canada he was addressing the Standards Committee and he told them that he had first heard of Standards when, as a young man, he received complaints from the Operations Department (Passengers) about the size of the hole in the lavatory seats. Stanier went off to the Joiners' Shop to investigate and was met by the foreman who said, "They are absolutely standard size, Sir," and, removing his bowler hat, he fitted it upside down into the hole!
'I became very close to the Stanier family and frequently visited Newburn, Rickmansworth (their home which was named after Churchward's house at Swindon) and they, too, were often at my home in Watford. In addition we met often on holidays in Scotland and Cornwall. Stanier was a great lover of Rudyard Kipling, and when he was not reading technical articles Rudyard Kipling came to his rescue. He was always reading and seldom, if ever, went out to such entertainments as the theatre or cinema. Indeed his "entertainments" were almost confined to meetings of the "Mechanicals", to which he was devoted, and he would delight in discussing technical problems at any time.
'In his latter days I visited him as much as I could, and invariably telephoned him when I went to London. I happened to telephone early on the morning he died (September 27, 1965), and his daughter told me that they had just found him. I took the first train and saw myoId chief for the last time, lying peacefully at rest. I felt that it was a great prfvilege to be there at that time to do what I could to ease the burdens on his family.
For obvious reasons this is based on Chacksfield and certainly not on Westwood which contains several errors. It is also aware of O.S. Nock's ODNB entry which was revised by Ralph Harrington, but the FRS Memoir has not been studied. Willliam Arthur Stanier was born in Swindon on 27 May 1876. His father worked for the Great Western Railway as William Dean's Chief Clerk and had moved with him to Swindon from Wolverhampton. His mother Grace was the daughter of Robert Ball of Southport. K.J. Cook called his father a "very astute and energetic businesss man" who was Stores Superintendent. The subject was the eldest child and was educated at Swindon High School and Wycliffe College, near Stroud for one year. His brothers enjoyed longer periods at this private school. He started work as an office boy on the Great Western Railway, and at the age of 16 he became an apprentice, starting in the carriage works and moving to the locomotive works in 1892. He was an excellent sportsman.
On 1 November 1897 he entered the Drawing Office. On 1 July 1901 he beame an Associate Member of the Mechanicals, and in September of the same year he became Mechanical Inspector at Swindon locomotive depot, rising to Assistant Divisional Locomotive Superintent at Swindon and then at Westbourne Park where he became involved in mutual improvemnt classes for the enginemen. At this time he was courting Ella Elizabeth (Nelle) Morse. On 4 July 1906 Stanier married Ella Elizabeth (1876/18771957), daughter of L.L. Morse; they had a son and a daughter. In April 1906 he became an Assistant to the Works Manager in Swindon. In 1908 he became a full Member of the Mechanicals and was appointed Divisional Superintendent at Swindon locomotive depot. Peck refers to Stanier being sent to America and on return introduced the outside steam pipe to Churchward's designs through the drawings of Bill Pellow. In 1912 he became (Senior) Assistant Locomotive Works Manager under Collett and became Works Manager in 1920. Chacksfield suggests that Stanier was responsible for Churchward's switch to outside steam pipes, introduced on the 47xx class. When Churchward retired and Collett became the Chief Mechanical Engineer Stanier was promoted in parallel as his deputy.
Cook notes that Stanier travelled with King George V to the Fair of the Iron Horse at the invitation of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1927. Stanier described this visit to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
At this stage it is worth noting that although Stanier lacked some of the wider experience which had been gained by some of his contemporaries, notably Gresley (who had been apprenticed on the LNWR under Webb, prior to moving to the L&YR and GNR), Stanier had a very broad experience of Great Western locomotives in operation, and under construction.
Following meetings with Sir Harold Hartley, one of the LMS Vice-Presidents, in 1931 (including lunch at the Athenaeum, home to bishops and scientists), in 1932 he became chief mechanical engineer of Britain's largest railway, the London, Midland & Scottish Railway. Terry Jenkins's biography of Ernest Lemon adds considerably to the story of Stanier's transition from Swindon to the LMS. H.A.V. Bulleid's Master builders of steam (p. 143) shows that Stanier had problems with the extremely able Chief Draughtsman, Herbert Chambers, who was "an excellent and experienced designer, noted for his heroic and successful effort in coordinating (against time) the design work between Derby Loco Drawing Office and the North British Locomotive Co. on the Royal Scot, but a dyed-in-the-wool Midland man. He argued with Stanier about all those innovations which he could not readily accept. At one point during these difficult weeks, rather lonely among Midland doubts, Stanier tried to get S.O. Ell from the G.W.R. to come as an Assistant on experimental work; but Collett refused to release him. A good Chief and a good Assistant both know that a nice balance between querying orders and blindly following them is essential, but Stanier and Chambers were unable to find this balance with Chambers as Chief Draughtsman. Stanier, therefore, switched him to be Technical Assistant at Euston and appointed Tom Coleman to be Chief Draughtsman in charge of both Derby and Crewe Loco Drawing Offices, resident at Derby. Coleman came from Horwich; where the air was distinctly less parochial, and had previously worked with H. G. Ivatt at Stoke. He was a hard worker and shared Stanier's dislike of frills. Stanier got along excellently with him, considered him eminently sound and practical rather than theoretical, ready to incorporate all the new ideas, and not too ready to query points differing from previous practice. Chambers may incidentally have done quite a bit of softening-up: Derby had some first-class design techniques and these did not always require modification by what was sometimes rudely referred to as "Wiltshire wisdom." Coleman also had a decided artistic bent which Stanier admired and which contributed to the apparently effortlessly balanced appearance of the many Stanier locomotive types.
His new designs notably the Jubilee class were not problem-free as Swindon ideas did not combine well with the LMS three-cylinder layout as developed for the Royal Scot class, and Stanier's Pacifics retained the Great Western's four-cylinder layout. Stanier's other three-cylinder design, the 2-6-4Ts for the LTSR section followed Gresley practice but with three sets of valve gear. Chacksfield states that this was to provide rapid acceleration, but may have been to limit hammer blow on the stretch of line into Fenchurch Street owned by the LNER. Rutherford is highly illuminating on the Jubilee debacle and further comment on this is made by Pearson.
Chacksfield suggests that the class 5 may have owed something to the
LSWR H15 as the design for the class 5 partially involved the Vulcan Foundry
where the Chief Draughsman, Finlayson, was the brother of Findlayson of the
LSWR/SR. at Eastleigh. which ranged from the streamlined Coronation 4-6-2
through his very numerous mixed . traffic two-cylinder 4-6-0 to his equally
successful 8F freight 2-8-0, were characterized by such Great Western features
as taper boilers, long travel valves, improved Churchward axleboxes, and
de Glehn bogies. When he retired in 1944 it was clear that he was the most
successful and influential British locomotive engineer of his time. In 1938
he went to India with the special committee examining the derailment-prone
standard Pacifics of the Indian railways and, perhaps primed by his own research
into the riding qualities of 4-6-2 machines, was able to diagnose excessive
freedom of lateral movement in the leading bogie and trailing truck. Later
Stanier returned to India on a Machine Tool Mission and took
Jarvis with him Chacksfield's biography of Jarvis describes
this visit in detail. Towards the end of his career he was knighted,
became a Fellow of the Royal Society (a great honour for an engineer), and
was president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Jarvis considered
Stanier a hard, but fair taskmaster and on page 72 of Chacksfield's book
he noted that Stanier had "big driving wheels" and walked very
Nock, O.S. Railway enthusuast's encyclopedia
The ODNB biography notes that "As a chief engineering executive Stanier's charming personality, technical skill, ability to get on with colleagues, and aptitude for team building, quickly brought him a reputation far beyond the railway world." This led him to important consultancies. In October 1936, with Sir Ralph Wedgwood, chief general manager of the London and North Eastern Railway, he was invited by the government of India to examine the position of the Indian state-owned railways; and in July 1938 he was appointed member of a committee of inquiry into the causes of a serious accident on the East Indian Railway. At home he was president of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers for the session 19367, and again in 19389. The outbreak of war in September 1939 led to the postponement of further promising developments on the LMS, but in October 1941 Stanier delivered his presidential address to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The war led to a great increase in his responsibilities on the LMS, but in 1942 he was seconded to the Ministry of Production to form one of a team of three full-time scientific advisers. That he could leave the LMS at such a time was a great tribute to the team he had built up since his appointment in 1932. In February 1943 he was knighted. In the latter stages of the war, although he was then well beyond normal retirement age, his services were still in great demand. He became chairman of Power Jets Limited, a government-owned firm for the development of jet propulsion techniques, and was on the boards of several other companies.
Nock (pages 201-2 British locomotives of the 20th century. Vol. 1) records a conversation which is said to have taken place between Edward Thompson and Stanier in which Thompson is claimed to have stated that he intended to rebuild the Gresley Pacifics with Stephenson link motion for the inside cylinders which horrified Stanier who responded that the LMS had to scrap the Caledonian Railway 4-6-0s which had been constructed with this strange arangement.
On page 84 of his book Larkin noted that W.A. Stanier was a very likeable and much respected engineer. He will probably be best remembered for his renowned Pacifics. In 1939 Larkin was involved in production planning for new construction.
Rutherford (BackTrack, 18 172), possibly incorrectly implies that Stanier had less interest in non-steam traction and quotes the following via Chacksfield: There is a good anecdote about Stanier and steam. On a visit to the Pennsylvania Railroad in the USA in 1936, he was out on the line with a team measuring track stresses due to flange contact at speed (the LMS had plans to speed up certain express schedules). A number of electric trains went by, then a train appeared hauled by a K4 Pacific and everyone stood back in admiration as it went past. Stanier then remarked, "There you are, nobody cares a damn for your tin boxes!". Chacksfield's excellent biography of Ron Jarvis (pp. 37-45) mentions his subject's involvement in the diesel railcar project with Tommy Hornbuckle and makes it clear that Stanier was closely involved to ensure that it was lightweight and was interested in the unit's potential for high speed.
Arthur Pearson Man of the rail stated: One afternoon in November, 1964, I sat with Sir William Stanier on the sun porch of his bungalow, Newburn, at Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire. Apart from a touch of arthritis in his hip and a slight impediment in his speech which one forgot as soon as we got talking, he looked remarkably fit and was very alert mentally. Tall, a strong face, iron-grey moustache, an impressive personality, he was eighty-eight and he had joined the service of the Great Western Railway just in time to see the last of the broad gauge converted. This was the second house Stanier had called Newburn, after the name of the official C.M.E.'s house at Swindon. The first of Stanier's Newburn's, a much bigger place, was further north along the same road at Chorley Wood, Hertfordshire, where I used to visit him in the 1930s and during the second world war, when his wife was alive, and he used to supply me with beautiful dessert apples from his orchard. As we sat on his sun porch, we talked about railway chief mechanical engineers and the development of railway mechanical engineering in its various forms during the first half of the twentieth century. We also talked about experiences at Euston. Ever since I first met Stanier, Churchward's name had invariably cropped up somewhere in the conversation.
The LAST steam locomotive built by British Railways: naming ceremony of class
"9" 2-10-0 locomotive No. 92220 'Evening Star" at Swindon, 18th March, 1960.
J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1959/60,
49, 597-9. illus.
Hanks in his address noted that Stanier was "quite agelessknown in my days here as the Black Arrow"
Cox (Locomotive panorama volume 2) who was a member of the Pacific Locomotive Committee observed that "Stanier with his urbane manner and human tolerance exerted his influence towards peace and he was greatly respected by all sides.
See: O. S. Nock, William
Nock, O.S. revised Ralph Harrington biography in Dictionary of National Biography
Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers, No.147
J. Bellwood, D. Jenkinson, Gresley and Stanier (1976).
Essery, R.J. and Harris,
N. LMS reflections: a collection of photographs from the Hulton Picture
Contains several interesting pictures: page 41 Stanier "showing" Sir Josiah Stamp the turbine locomotive at Euston Station on 27 June 1935. Page 32: Stanier congratulating Driver T.J. Clarke and Fireman J. Lewis at Euston on return from press run to Crewe and back with Coronation Scot train (29 June 1937).
Atkins, Philip Dear Mr Stanier, you don't know me but...Steam Wld. 1999.(144), 21-4.
In 1965 the author wrote from his home address to several of the retired CMEs to ask them fairly specific questions about their design policy: Atkins was successful and some of his replies are reproduced as received, including that from Sir William. Illus. includes a late informal portrait
Bonavia, Michael R. The birth of British Rail. p. 56
Group photograph at opening of Rugby Locomotive Testing Station on 19 October 1948 with Peppercorn, O.V.S. Bulleid, Louis Armand, F.W. Hawksworth, Edward Thompson, Parmentier, and H.G. Ivatt
Chacksfield. Ron JarvisChacksfield in his biography of Ron Jarvis includes an amusing anecdote:
I recall being present on the 3-car train when it was inspected by various chief officers, including W.A.S. and E.J.H. Lemon, then Vice-President. Some point was raised when W.A.S. was a little distance from the others, and Lemon whistled him up and called, 'Stanier, come 'ere'. He went like a lamb. I couldn't help remarking to one of the smaller fry with me there: 'How would you like to be able to whistle up the CME like that?'
Head. Ken. Memories of Uncle
Will. Steam Wld, 2005 (217) 62-4.
Anecdotes: Dr Margaret Stanier relates how Sir William made a very small spanner for her watch before she set out for Africa and how he responded to his brother, Charles's sons playing with their live steam train set. Jean Velecky, another neice realtes how she was entertained by her Uncle on his special train when he was inspecting German railway workshops in 1946. She also had the dubious pleasure of driving Sir William's Cortina in the presence of the great man.
Marsh, Phil. Stanier did not like streamlined locos! Rly Mag., 2006, 152 (1258) 27-9.
Meeting with Jean Velecky, Stanier's niece on the Mid-Hants Railway. Marsh implies that Velecky had been a fellow student of Harold Hartley: this is clearly impossible as Jean did not graduate until 1950. Claims that Stanier's favourite locomotive was the class 5 4-6-0. He also disliked streamlining. Illustrations include Jean Veleck, Jean Stanier and Sir William at home in Rickmansworth in 1963 (colour) and William aged 12 in 1888 in group family photograph. Jean Velecky is also shown at Ropley on the Mid-Hants Railway.
The above photograph from Steel's The miniature world of Henry Greenly page 160 claims to show Greenly (second from left of picture) standing next to William Stanier (LMSR) with locomotive engineers at Dalegarth on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. Clearly, Stanier was still on the GWR at that time. It might be Sir Henry Fowler to the right of him, but who were the others, and why (if it was) Stanier in the Lake District?