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A web-site by Rob Speare


Building Bulleid's Locomotives - Intro

O.V.S. Bulleid - was 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; and then He implemented a 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 locomotive designs 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 marked the 50th anniversary of the end of Southern region steam, and remarkably, many Bulleid designed 'pacifics' that were still 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 hope you find the unique content of this site of interest.


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