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British Railway History Item


Oliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid

Born 19th September 1882 of British Parents in New Zealand, he Returned to the UK in 1889, living in Accrington.

He was an Premium Apprentice under Henry A. Ivatt, on the Great Northern Railway Doncaster Works. Became Assistant Works Manager and Chief Draughtsman French Westinghouse Company Freinville near Paris during 1908-11. Mechanical Engineer to Exhibitions Branch of Board of Trade for Brussels (1910) and Turin (1911) Exhibitions. Rejoined GNR as Personal Assistant to H.Nigel Gresley 1911-15. After War Service 1915 to 1919 he became GNR wagon engineer 1919-22. In 1923-27 he was assistant to Gresley after he became Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway in whose innovated locomotive and rolling stock developments he was closely involved.

He was appointed CME for the Southern Railway in 1937, after Maunsell retired and pressed strongly for new and more powerful steam locomotives, investment in which had been restricted due to the funding of electrification.

His locomotive and other designs included:

  • West Country, Battle of Britain and Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 Pacifics embodying welded fireboxes and totally enclosed chain-driven valvegear of which 140 were eventually built from 1941 onwards
  • Prototype C-C type general purpose Leader locomotive
  • Mechanical Design of prototype 1Co-Co1 1,750 locomotives
  • New and more comfortable main line & surburban electric stock.

1949-58, he became CME Irish Railways (CIE), where he introduced diesel locomotives and railcars plus modern passenger and freight stock of welded construction, ans a prototype C-C type steam loco burning indigenous turf fuel.

He retired in 1959.

Last Updated : Friday 14th April 2006 05:49

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