Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1949 – Bulleid ‘Leader’
Although designed by O.V.Bulleid under the SR regime this remarkable locomotive did not actually appear until after Nationalisation. Nothing so revolutionary in steam locomotive design had been seen since the Midland Paget engine of 1908. It incorporated many novel features, amongst which may be mentioned the sleeve type valves, and the coupling of the six wheels comprising each bogie by means of a chain transmission instead of coupling rods.
The engine may be briefly described as an 0-6-6-0 single boiler articulated unit completely enclosed by an overall casing. There was a cab at either end with duplicated controls, and the fireman had to work amidships alongside the boiler, the longitudinal axis of which is offset to one side of the centre line of the engine. Herein lay one of the principal defects of the design, in that the poor fireman was expected to work under almost impossible conditions such as few would be prepared to tolerate in these days. In this connection it would probably been far more satisfactory if the engine had been constructed as an oil burner. Each bogie had a 3-cylinder engine driving the middle wheels of each 3-axle bogie.
Bulleid Leader Drawing
Diagram of the Leader locomotive. Drawn 1949 by British Railways, a nationalised (UK government) concern. Date 24 May 2006 (original upload date) Source Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Oxyman using CommonsHelper. Author Original uploader was Hellbus at en.wikipedia Permission (Reusing this file) PD-BRITISHGOV.
Licensing This artistic work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain.
It was planned initially to build five of these engines, but only three, Nos.36001-3, were actually constructed and only the first one ever steamed. After a few desultory trials the authorities seemed to lose interest and all three engines were quietly broken up after a very brief existence. The initial faults were many, as would be expected with such an unorthodox machine, but none was such as could not have been rectified with perseverance. Had the matter been pursued the engines might have proved a revolution in railway motive power and even done something to stem the tide of dieselisation which has since taken place.
It may now be regarded as a last, and as it turned out, abortive effort to prolong the use of steam propulsion as a factor of major importance in railway haulage.
Driving wheels – 5’ 1”, Cylinders (6) – 12¼”x 15”, Pressure – 280 lb., Tractive effort – 26350 lb., Weight – 100 tons (approx).
Uploaded from http://www.semgonline.com/steam/leader_05.html (Southern Email Group) on 19 September 2006. Official photograph of the Leader locomotive taken at Oxted. Taken on 22 November 1949 by British Railways, a nationalised (UK government) concern.(Source: Robertson, Kevin: The Leader Project (Hinckley: Ian Allan, 2007), 90) Date 19 September 2006 (original upload date) Source Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Oxyman using CommonsHelper. Author Original uploader was Old Moonraker at en.wikipedia Permission (Reusing this file) PD-BRITISHGOV.
Licensing: This artistic work created by the United Kingdom Government is in the public domain.