Michael R. Bailey
Loco motion: the world's oldest steam
locomotives. Stroud: History Press. 216pp.
Very important reference book, but lacks an index (experience shows that this is a major defect thus difficult to trace Thomas Waters, for instance). Hands-on feel to much of the text which aims to cover the early locomotives which are either extant (within the limitations of working objects which may be up to two centuries old) or are in replica form, some of which were created with the assistance of the author. Excellent bibliography, but fails to cite Charlton.
RG in Backtrack (2014, 28, 765) rightly gives it five stars, but fails to record the lack of navigation: a CD-ROM in a pocket would bring the work into the twenty-first century if the author thinketh that indexing is old fashioned
Miles Macnair's authorative review in Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society: Michael Bailey, a past president of the Newcomen Society, is not only a lucid writer about the history of transport development but also an extremely practical, hands-on engineer. He is doubtless well-known to many members for the publication of his forensic autopsy (with John P Glithero) of Robert Stephenson's iconic Rocket locomotive on behalf of the National Railway Museum in 2000. In his new book he expands this principle to review all early locomotives pre 1850 that still survive, either in their complete state or as components, including nameplates. He then expands the range to include 'replicas', or more correctly 'reproductions', of certain engines, pointing out that these working machines have to use substitute materials because the originals, such as wrought iron boiler plates, are no longer available and include additional, modem features for reasons of 'health and safety'. With regard to 'originals', he stresses the important point that survivors had themselves undergone modifications and improvements during their working lifetime, such that what we see now may be very different to that which had originally been designed and built. These are then analysed with the expertise of an engineering pathologist. The chapter structure divides the subjects into logical 'species groupings', ranging from 'The Trevithick Progenitors 1803-1808' through the Stephenson and Rastrick locomotives, the 'Planets', 'Patentees', 'Bury', 'Crewe' etc types, to the rugged, long-lived range of mineral locomotives built up to 1850. Unlike more parochial publications, he covers examples from all over the world, including France, Germany, Chile and Russia, with particular emphasis on the USA, from their progenitors (both imported and indigenous) to the 'classic' American 4-4-0 via the significant 'Norris' types. Each example through- out the book is accompanied by a useful panel giving an historical ownership time-line, condensed facts on dimensions and design details, and display locations, both past and present. An appendix to the book lists all museums that display pre-1850 locomotives, components and replicas. Although there is no index as such, there is a staggeringly comprehensive seven page 'bibliography' of data sources. Printed on 'art-paper' throughout, production standards are excellent, with 21 pages of colour plates and masses of crisp black & white photographs, diagrams and drawings within the text. This important, comprehensive addition to the history of early locomotives cannot be recommended too highly.
Early railways 3. Sudbury:
Six Martlets, 2006. xii, 308pp.
Papers from the Third International Railway Conference of 2004: important papers include those by Jim Rees and Andy Guy on Richard Trevithick and pioneering locomotives and Richard Hills' Development of machine tools in the early railway era. There are also three papers on the restaged Rainhill Trials of 2002. Reviewed Miles MacNair J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2006, 35, 449..
Robert Stephenson: the eminent engineer. Aldershot:
Ashgate, 2003. 401pp.
Reviewed by Gordon Biddle in Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society, 2004, 34, 637. Biddle has some slight reservations, but overall the book is extremely well-received. See also Stephenson page..
with John P. Glithero
The engineering and history of Rocket: a survey report. York: National Railway Museum, 2000. 186pp.
The Odin Project: design and construction of Denmark's first locomotive.
Danish Railway Museum, 2004.
Reviewed by Grahame Boyes in J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2005, 35, 203.
The Stephensons' Rocket: a history of a pioneering locomotive.
NMSI Trading. [2003?], 64pp.
Published by Institution of Civil Engineers: well reviewed by Rutherford in Backtrack, 17, 234.
Rocket. National Railway Museum. 2002. 64pp.
Reviewed by Stephen Bragg.in J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2003, 34, 335: "an attractive and authoritative booklet that can be enjoyed by novice and expert alike"