Javascript is required


A web-site by Rob Speare

 

Building Bulleid's Locomotives - Intro

Marking the 50th anniversary of the end of Southern steam, the 'Bulleid Builders Group' formed a display at this year's Bristol Model Engineering Society exhibition in August.  My personal thanks to all those that brought or loaned their locos, many travelling long distances, some making a holiday out of it.

We were given an award for 'Best Themed Display', and presented with the CUP Alloys Trophy, a very pleasing result for all involved.  The 60ft long display at the 3 day show was very well received by the attendees, and thoroughly enjoyed by the exhibitors.  And it was thrilling how many of the visitors stayed to look at the material, and engaged in conversation about the exhibits, many expressing how it brought back early memories of watching the 'Bournemouth Belle' or similar. 
A brilliant weekend, and a fitting tribute to '67, and the final blaze of 100 mph runs behind Bulleid's pacifics.



O. V. S. Bulleid - Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway from the early years of World War II, until the nationalisation of Britain's Railways.

He presided through the turbulent War years, an event placing huge demands on this normally suburban railway, then implemented modernisation of the S.R. infrastructure.  As well as new steam locomotives, this included expansion of the third rail electric, and introducing new experimental diesel and electric locomotives - certainly ground breaking in their time.

Bringing his former L.N.E.R. skills to the Southern, Bulleid injected new thinking and technologies; but it is his bold, original designs for steam locomotives for which he is particularly remembered.  Certainly these captured the imagination of the public; they were revolutionary, often complex, and not always entirely successful.

Bulleid's locomotives burst onto the railway over 75 years ago, with the official naming of 'Channel Packet' on 10th March 1941 - pulling off that feat in the middle of War.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Southern region steam, and the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the war-time 'Q1' design.

Remarkably, many Bulleid designed 'pacifics' running in 1967 still exist, either preserved privately, or as part of the National collection, though in various states of repair.  Some have only returned to steam in recent years, rescued from scrapyards, then painstakingly restored from rusting hulks; others are still awaiting their chance to be returned to a working condition.

While reviewing most of Mr Bulleid's full size locomotive designs, this collection of pages particularly focuses on miniature working versions constructed by model engineers.

Many of the featured builders have gone to extraordinary lengths in pursuit of their creation of a Bulleid locomotive, often including having to research and design it.  How they went about this is hopefully reflected in their own stories of achievement.

I am not aware of another collection of articles quite like this; and I hope you find the unique content of this site of interest.    Rob.

 

Please explore the menu categories list on the left.  Hover your cursor over article photos for more info - but please do not copy the pictures without permission.

Details of further Bulleid inspired models or related stories are welcomed.


Web site engineered by Rob Speare