Journal of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers
Volume 50 (1960-61)
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Journal No. 273
The President, Session 1960-61. 4-5 + portrait.
Mr. Derrick Charles Brown, C.B.E., B.Sc. (Eng.), M.I.C.E., M.I .Mech.E., Chief Mechanical Engineer, Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, elected President of the Institution for the Session 1960-61.
Meeting in London 27th May 1960: Symposium on the Use of Aluminium in
Railway Rolling Stock; held jointly by The Institution of Locomotive Engineers
and the Aluminium Development Association. 6-10.
Scholes, G.E. (Paper No. 604)
The Swindon-built diesel hydraulic locomotive.12-53. Disc.: 53-91.
Paper presented in London on 17 November 1959.General Meeting of the Institution was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, London, S.W.l, on Tuesday, 17 November 1959, at 5.30 p.m. The President, R. A. Smeddle, was in the Chair
The 2,100 h.p. V.200-type BB locomotive already in service in Germany was an attractive proposition because of its high power-weight ratio of about 26 h.p. per ton and the Western Region proposed that a few similar locomotives, in addition to two other types to be designed by the North British Locomotive Company, should be built for trial in this country.
Discussion. E.S. Cox (53-5) opened the discussion by noting that the locomotives were capable of doing twice the amount of work of a steam locomotive, but that comparable savings were being made by diesel electric locomotives on the Eastern and London Midland Regions. R.M. Tufnell (66-7) thought the Author had been fortunate in his experience with boilers. The speaker had listed failures which had occurred on 10 type 4 locomotives over 20 weeks on the Eastern Region, a total of 50. Out of these, 15 were due to boilers, 10 to the electrical control gear, and two to no fuel. The design was in some ways forced upon the Germans. The Western Zone in Germany lacked the manufacturing capacity for electric transmission and were forced to use hydraulic transmission.
North-Easterrt Centre, Leeds, 23rd November 1959 (page 63) Midlands Centre, Derby, 25th November 1959 (page 65) Munchester Centre, Manchester, 3rd December 1959 (page 70) NewcasPe-on-Tyne Centre, Darlington, 10th December 1959 (page 76) Scottish Centre, Glasgow, 16th December 1959 (page 77)
Low, R.C.S. (Paper No. 605)
Some aspects of railway braking. 93-124. Disc.: 124-73.
Paper presented before the Institution in London on 19 January 1960. General Meeting of the Institution was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, London, S.W.l, on Tuesday, 19th January 1960, at 5.30 p.m. Mr. R. A. Smeddle, M.I.Mech.E., M.1.Loco.E. (Presided) was in the Chair. The Minutes of the fourth
Author was Works Manager, Horwich Locomotive Works, British Railways. In stopping a train it is necessary to absorb the energy of the moving vehicles. This is normally achieved by converting the energy to heat, either:
(i) By friction between a brake block and wheel, or between a brake shoe and a disc attached to an axle.
(ii) By using the traction motors of electric or diesel electric units to generate electrical energy which is dissipated as heat at a resistance.
Other methods where the energy is converted to heat, such as eddy current brake, hydraulic vane motors, frictional or magnetic brake applied to the rail, are so uncommon that they do not warrant further mention.
The only other braking application which merits further reference is regenerative braking, where, with electrification schemes, and in particular D.C. schemes, it is relatively simple for the electrical energy referred to in (ii) above to be fed back into the electrical system as useful current rather than dissipating it as waste heat.
North-Eastern Centre, Leeds, 28th January 1960 (page 144) Scottish Centre, Glasgow, 10th February 1960 (page 150) Newcastle-on-Tyne Centre, Darlington, 1 lth February 1960 Midlands Centre, Derby, 186h February 1960 (page 158) Manchester Centre, Manchester, 3rd March 1960 (page 167.
Journal No. 274
Wilson, A. Gordon (Paper No. 606)
Trends in transmission design for self-propelled diesel railcars. 193-213. Disc.: 213-41.
General Meeting of the Institution was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, London, S.W.l, on Tuesday, 16th February 1960, at 5.30 p . p Mr. R. A. Smeddle, (President), was in the Chair. Discussion: O.V. Bulleid (217-18) Probably one of the earliest railcars was that built by the English Electric Company in 1905. It had two 40- horse power Daimler 4-cylinder engines and a gearbox with two speeds. The vehicle weighed 15 tons on four wheels, and it was soon found that adhesion on one pair of wheels was sufficient to absorb the horse power of the two Daimler engines. With regard to the Bugatti car, he recalled a memorable occasion when Sir Nigel Gresley and he travelled with Bugatti in his railcar from Deauville to Paris. It was a remarkable performance because it maintained a speed of 70 m.p.h. or over regardless of curves, and the effect on the passengers, especially at the leading end, was something that had to be seen to be imagined! Sir Nigel Gresley asked Mr. Bugatti how he dared put so many gallons of petrol in the vehicle, and did he not fear a fire. Bugatti replied that the vehicle travelled so fast that in the event of the tanks discharging their contents and thus catching fire on the line the railcar at speed would have left the fire well behind.
The manner in which Bugatti determined the streamlined form of his railcar was a splendid and pleasing piece of practical engineering. He, like Mr. Bulleid, was convinced that testing rolling stock in wind tunnels was not the way to solve the problem. He had fitted a nunber of bodies of different streamlined forms on some of his fast road chassis, and on the long, straight French roads he found the type of vehicle which went the fastest for a given fuel consumption. He found the wedge front and rear the best and adopted it for the railcar form. When travelling in it, it was noticeable that there was no side disturbance of the atmosphere at all, the air passing over the body and striking the track some distance behind the railcar.
Roosen, R. (Paper No. 607)
Class 25 condensing locomotives on the South African Railways design and operating experiences. 243-82.
Ordinary General Meeting held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, on 15 March 1960, immediately following the termination of the 49th Annual General Meeting. R. A. Smeddle (President), was in the Chair.
The President said it was a great pleasure to introduce Professor Dr.-Ing. R. Roosen, who would present his Paper entitled Class 25 Condensing Locomotives on the South African RailwaysDesign and Operating Experiences. The President, in introducing the Author, said that Professor Roosen is the Director of Development and Research, Messrs. Henschel-Werke, Kassel.
These incorporated a fan in the smokebox as the exhaust was diverted into the condenser. K. Cantlie (264-5) was critical of the fan; J. Koffman (265-6) also commented upon the fan, but noted that the arrangement extended the period between washouts. W. Ikeson (266-70) noted his own experience on the Iraqi State Railways and cited his own paper (No. 516). H. Hocroft (272-4) written communication; L. Douglas (274-6) noted coal savings through condensing.
James, R.F.L. (Paper No. 608)
An outline of the repair of wagon stock at the Bulawayo workshops of the chief mechanical engineer, Rhodesia Railways. 283-98.
Meeting of the Rhodesian Centre was held in Bulawayo on 23 September 1959, the Chair being taken by H. J. Castle
Journal No. 275
Ryan, C.F. and Hundy, B.B. (Paper No. 609)
Steel wheels and tyres. 304-44. Disc.: 345-63.
General Meeting of the Institution held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on Tuesday 26 April 1960, at 5.30 p.m. R.A. Smeddle (President) in the Chair.
Attock, M.O. and Fletcher, S. (Paper No. 610)
Some ideas on the maintenance of diesel electric locomotives. 364-90. Disc.: 390-4.
General Meeting of the North-Eastern Centre held at Metropole Hotel, Leeds, on 31 March 1960, at 6.45 p.m., the Chair being taken by .T. Matthewson-Dick. Paper awarded T.A. Stewart-Dyer Award.
Based on practical commissioning of diesel electric locomotives on railways in Mayasia (Malaysia), Sudan, Rhodesia, Southern Australia and Tasmania.
Journal No. 276
Brown, D.C. Check point: Presidential Address. 407-33.
14 illus., diagr., map, 3 tables.
This Presidential Year marks our 50th Anniversary. On Saturday, 4 February 1911, eight men met at St. Brides Institute, in the City of London, to form what was to become the Institution of Locomotive Engineers. The events which led up to that meeting are summarised in Mr. Holcrofts excellent History and there would be no point in retreading the ground that he has so ably covered. It is, however, of particular interest to note that Carmichael, the first Chairman, and Baxter, the first Honorary Treasurer, resigned shortly after election to take up posts abroad, in China and Uganda respectively. Thus we see, right from the inception of our Institution, its close link with Railways overseas.
If our founders had expended 6d. on the current copy of the Railway Gazette they would have seen a photograph of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railways new express passenger tank, the Abergavenny, designed by Earle Marsh, and built in the Companys works at Brighton. It was of the 4-6-2 Pacific type, a wheel arrangement widely used in France and America, but up till that time represented in England by only one locomotive, the Great Bear.
The demand for tractive effort was growing and the first half of 1911 was to see Pacific tank locomotives introduced almost simultaneously by four of the British railway Companies, the London and North Western, the Great Central, the North Eastern and the London, Brighton and South Coast designed with an eye to the fast suburban services then developing, The advantages of superheating were beginning to be recognised, and the Pacific tanks of the London, Brighton and South Coast, of the London and North Western and of the Great Central Railways were all fitted with Schmidt superheaters. The London and North Western, however, also built a saturated edition of their locomotive for purposes of comparison.
The fourth Pacific tank, built at Darlington by Vincent Raven of the North Eastern Railway, was designed for freight working. It had three cylinders, giving a tractive effort much in excess of the other Pacific tanks and was not superheated.
The Great Western Railway also brought out a new tank engine in these first months of 1911. It was a 2-8-0, designed for the heavy South Wales mineral and coal traffic, and was fitted with a Swindon superheater.
Another notable newcomer was the London and South Western Railway 4-6-0 tender locomotive, a saturated engine with four cylinders in line, built by Dugald Drummond at Eastleigh. It was in fact quite a fruitful period, and not only in the realms of locomotive design.
The successful electrification of the South London line from Victoria was being extended as far as Crystal Palace and Selhurst and was opened to traffic in the middle of May, 1911. In that same month of May, the London United Tramways, the London General Omnibus Company, and various underground railways, reached a provisional agreement, the object of which was to provide more harmonious working, and to improve transport facilities in the London area, a forerunner of the London Transport Executive. Another innovation was an escalator which was being built experimentally at Earls Court Station, with a view to speeding movement and adding to the comfort of passengers. In the interests also of passenger comfort, the North Eastern Railway decreed that sweeps in their working clothes should travel in the guards van, but they provided special vans, and even special trains, for the carriage of carrier pigeons, such was the prevalence of this traffic, especially in the North of England. The Great Northern added their own light touch to the passenger problem by an argument as to whether two ladies, who were Siamese twins, were entitled to travel-as they had done-all the way from Edinburgh on a single ticket. The railways were no doubt already planning the traffic arrangements for the Coronation of George V and Mary, which was to take place on 22nd June. In honour of this event, and under a cloak of secrecy which served merely to foster titillating and not always accurate newspaper forecasts of what was afoot, the London and North Western produced in June The Coronation, a superheated 4-4-0 tender engine designed to haul trains of 400 tons at 60 m.p.h. It was the 5,000th locomotive to be built at Crewe and was given that number as its designation.
Another interesting piece of planning in connection with the Coronation was a 3 ft. 6 in. gauge electric railway for the Festival of Empire at the Crystal Palace. It was about 13 miles long and as it wound its way through the grounds, at a maximum speed of 4 m.p.h., it passed through sections and stations illustrating different parts of the Empire. This All Red Route must have been good fun and was quite in keeping with the spirit of the times.
The jubilation was, however, doomed to be short-lived. During the year labour disputes had been prevalent and had given rise to some ugly and disorderly scenes. In August the wave of unrest struck the railways and resulted in a general strike involving 140,000 men. But that, of course, was later. In February 1911 the railways of Britain were doing well. The reports of the Chairmen of the various companies showed good returns and during the first week of April there were record dealings in Home Railway Securities. The position of the manufacturers of locomotives and rolling stock was, however, by no means so satisfactory. Despite the fact that the British flair for building and financing railways had resulted in a number of the important railway administrations overseas being British controlled, 1910 had been a bad year for export orders, the worst since 1902. Germany at that time was a colonial power with expansive ambitions both political and commercial. She was building Railways in Togoland, in the Cameroons, in South-West Africa and in German East Africa. She also had railway interests in the Middle East, particularly on the Baghdad Railway. She was exporting approximately 400 locomotives per year, mainly to the Continent, the Middle East and her own Colonies and was pressing further afield into markets in China, South America and elsewhere.
Amongst the oversea orders which were being executed in Great Britain, Robert Stephenson and Company were busy on some handsome 2-8-0 tender locomotives for the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Broad Gauge, the first locomotives with Schmidt superheaters to be constructed in this country for India.
On that first Saturday in February the North British Locomotive Company had just received a welcome and unusual order for fifty 4-6-0 locomotives for the French State Railways, the first contract of its kind for a quarter of a century.
The Vulcan Foundry was engaged on powerful Fairlie locomotives for Mexico. Articulated locomotives were in vogue, particularly the Mallet, which was being extensively developed in America. Sir Vincent Caillard, the Chairman of Beyer Peacock and Company, speaking on 1st March, stated that they had recently taken up the manufacture of a new type of locomotive known as the Garratt, which was, they believed, destined to have a good future and, they hoped, to replace all other existing types of articulated locomotives whenever it met them in open competition. Speaking today, from our vantage point in time, we are bound, I feel, to pay deference to the foresight underlying that prophecy.
That, very briefly, is the position as it was in February 1911. It was only 21 years since the conipletion of the Forth Bridge, and I! all seems rather a long time ago, but a close personal link is provided by the fact that the first contribution to the proceedings of this Institution was a Paper entitled French Locomotive Practice, by J. Pelham Maitland, who was present at that inaugural meeting in February 1911, and who, I am delighted to see, is with us this evening. It is pleasant to feel that in this way we can so readily bridge the gap of half a century.
The 50 years previous to 1911 were not particularly notable for outstanding advances in locomotive design, other than the various attempts to introduce compounding. They did, however, see the introduction of a number of auxiliary features now regarded as essentials. The most notable achievement of the period was, however, reserved until towards the end, when the Schmidt superheater was introduced into this country and was first used in 1906 on an 0-6-0 goods locomotive of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, which was at the same time fitted with a Ritter lubricator, an early form of mechanical lubrication.
Thus the foundation of the Institution coincided with the commencement of an age of new possibilities in power and performance. In the ensuing years this field of opportunity was thoroughly explored by means of higheF boiler pressures, and by improverncnts in evaporation, in draughting and in the design of steam passages, valves and valve gears, particularly, of course, the long lap to give free exhaust at early cut-offs.
And so just before the second World War the steam locomotive reached the height of its development, the object of veneration by the professional engineer, and of something akin to affection on the part of a great band of enthusiastic amateurs whose detailed knowledge of types and performances often put the professional to shame. There may be mixed opinions as to the desirability of this type of appeal, but at least it is something which, despite their marked technical advantages and despite also the ministrations of design panels and publicity experts, neither the electric nor the diesel locomotive has yet been able to achieve.
Long before the second World War, however, the writing had already appeared on the wall. In 1925 Lomonosoff had produced his 1,200-h.p. main-line diesel electric locomotive and whilst original but mainly abortive attempts were made to introduce ingenious variants ol the established form of the steam locomotive, the diesel went ahead. By 1933 the much publicised Flying Hamburger was running from Berlin to Hamburg at an average speed of 77.5 miles per hour.
Sykes, W.J.A. (Paper No. 611)
Operating experience with the diesel electric train sets on the Hastings service of the Southern Region. 434-57. Disc.: 457-85.
General Meeting held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on Tuesday, 18 October 1960, at 5.30 p.m.: D.C. Brown, (Presideent) in the Chair and at. the following Centres North-Eastern Centre, 1 November 1960 (page 468). Midlands Centre, 9 November 1960 (page 475). Newcastle-on-Tyne Centre, 1 December 1960 (page 482).
Author: Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, British Railways, Southern Region.
In 1955 public pressure sought improved train services on the London to Hastings via Tunbridge Wells line, a route containing sharp curves and steep gradients which impose on the traffic slacks and variations in running speeds. Further, there are tunnels between Tonbridge and Battle totalling two miles in length, with restricted clearances. Limited dimensions of locomotives and rolling stock, combined with increasing train loads, made it difficult for steam traction to keep time on this difficult route: to satisfy public demand some interim arrangement was needed before electric traction could be applied, as the priority electrification was the scheme for the remainder of the steam lines in Kent. It would be at least 1963 before the electrification of the Tonbridge-Hastings line could be contemplated. Diesel electrification was the only system under which the desired improvement could be implemented rapidly.
At that time 32 locomotive-hauled coaches were under construction to the restricted width and length demanded.
Following a careful engineering and traffic assessment of the problem, it was decided that first priority should be given to constructing seven 6-coach units to work the most heavily loaded business services to commence operation in the summer of 1957. The widespread application of d.c. electric traction on the Southern Region made it attractive to combine diesel propulsion with the maximum number of features in common with the electrical equipment already in service. There was a successful 500 h.p. engine-generator set produced by English Electric Co. in 1947 for 5-car diesel units for the Egyptian State Railways, and in view of the satisfactory reports obtained of their operation in Egypt, it was decided to install one of these units in a motor coach at each end of a 6-car unit; the generator to provide current to two standard 250 hp traction motors installed in the rear bogie of the coach. Calculation showed that a 1000-hp 6-car set built to this specification would be able to achieve an acceleration of 11 minutes between London and Hastings, thus giving Hastings the 90-minute running schedule sought.
To verify that reasonable power provision had been made for the special operating conditions of the Hastings line the schedule was recalculated for the most difficult section between Crowhurst and Tunbridge Wells assuming an increase of installed power of 50%. The result was convincing; this increase would reduce the original calculated time of 29 minutes by 14 minutes only. It was decided that the locomotive-hauled stock already on order should be formed into five 6-car sets. and that two further sets of the same kind should also be built. The conversion of the trailer coaches required little more than the installation of electric heating and lighting, and provision of through control. The motor coaches were a development entirely new to the Southern and contained many new features of design.
The marked advantages of the electro-pneumatic brake adopted as standard on all modern Southern electric stock made it desirable for use in the diesel units: tail traffic did not warrant the retention of the vacuum brake.
The final requirements for the total dieselisation of the Hastings line were foimd to be 23 6-car sets, all of which, apart from the first seven units were built on standard 63 ft. 5 in. underframes.
The final specification for the trains was:
main engine: E.E. Type 4 SRKT Mark II, pressure-charged, rated at 500 b.h.p. 850 r.p.m.
auxiliary generator, accommodated at the end of the main generator shaft, was to be at 13-2 kW. continuous rating (90 V. 147 amp.); the whole unit to be arranged for %point flexible suspension in the coach. The traction motors were to be of the self-ventilated type EE507 rated at 250 h.p. (1 hour), with a gear ratio of 65: 16. The motor was to be identical in all respects to that used on the latest express and suburban multiple-unit stock with field shunting controlled from the torque regulator and brought in automatically on the upper engine speeds.
The control of the power equipment was to be by means of a single master control handle of the type almost identical to that used on multiple-unit stock.
With regard to train heating, since the trains were of fixed formation and therefore could provide a fixed load for the generator, it was decided to take the feed from the main generator itself. Standard electric heaters of electric multiple-unit stock type were to be used. rated at a r.m.s. current value corresponding to the average voltage calculated to be maintained over the whole of the run between London and Hastings. 500 W. of heating, plus 1 kW. for water heating, was to be provided in each lavatory.
The equipments were designed to make the maximum use of items already standardised for Southern Region multiple-unit stock, and the preparation and driving of the trains was also to resemble multiple-unit stock practice so far as was possible. The calculated performance figures, assuming 1000 engine horse power per 6-car unit weighing 248 tons were: 69 mile/h balancing speed on the level; 58 mile/h on 1 in 250 ; 40 mile/h on 1 in 100 and 23 mile/h.on 1 in 50. The fuel capacity of each unit was approximately 680 gallons, which is sufficient for 14 hours continuous full load running.
As these trains were in many ways a new departure for this country it was decided that the fullest safeguards should be provided against the possibility of engine room fire, and each engine room is therefore protected by a fully automatic CO2 installation. A closed circuit of six thermal fire-detection switches was arranged in series with the coil of a relay and connected across the lighting battery; the relay contacts are inserted in (i) the engine governor solenoid retaining circuit and (ii) the circuit to the coils of two solenoidoperated valves attached to the two 50 lb. CO2 gas cylinders. If any detector (set at 200" F.) should open, the following takes place automatically : (i) the engine shuts down and load is taken off; (ti) the fire alarm bell in each cab rings and the fire warning light on each driver's desk is illuminated; (W) after a suitable delay to allow the radiator fan to come to rest the gas from both CO2 bottles is released from nozzles placed at strategic points all round the engine room. Thus no action was required of the driver.
Green, G.R. (Paper No. 612)
Fuel injection equipment for diesel engines. 486-511. Disc.: 511-16.
Paper presenkd before the Midlands Centre of the Institution in Derby on 9 January 1958. Meeting of the Midlands Centre was held in Derby on 9th January 1958. the Chair being taken by Mr. F. H. Wood.
Journal No. 277
Eames, T.A. (Paper No. 613)
Refrigerated transport on railways. 532-63. Disc.: 596-603. Bibliog. 4 illus., 2 diagrs.
General Meeting held at Institution of Mechanical Engineers, on Tuesday, 15 November 1960, at 5.30 p.m.: Mr. D.C. Brown, C.B.E. (President) was in the Chair.
Malcolm, A.C.D. (Paper No. 614)
The final inspection and testing of locomotives for overseas railways. 564-88. Disc.: 588-96. 22 illus.
General Meeting of the Midlands Centre was held at the Exchange and Engineering Centre, Birmingham, on 28th September 1960, at 6.30 p.m., the Chair being taken by Mr. A. B. Boath (Associate Member).
Some of the observations might seem to be almost elementary, yet time and again it is only the insistence upon adequate inspection and checking that reveals snags. Many of the snags found may be easy to overcome in British workshops, but are difficult to explain to the customer on site. Failed in service overseas is a most expensive form of advertisement, and even the prompt flying out of technical experts and spare equipment can leave much to be desired. This is very much a case of prevention being bettcr than the cure, and the Author has no doubt that the maintenance of a high quality and degree of inspection, at the hands of qualified specialists, is not only most desirable, but an economic necessity, both for the locomotive builder and for the customer.
Journal No. 278
The locomotive of the future. The Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture. 617-26.
General Meeting of the Institution held in the Great Hall at the Institution of Civil Engineers on Wednesday 10 May 1961, the Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture for 1961, entitled The Locomotive of the Future, was delivered by General Sir Brian Robertson, Bart., G.C.B., G.B.E., K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., D.S.O., M.C., the Chairman of the British Transport Commission. Mr. D. C. Brown, C.B.E. (President) was in the Chair
Cost and service are the joint criteria by which the best must be judged. It is not enough that a locomotive should be capable of hauling trains of given weight to specified time schedules, it must also be capable of doing this very reliably over the years at low cost. The cost of a locomotive includes: (a) Its initial cost, which determines subsequent interest and depreciation charges. (b) Its maintenance cost, which is a function of its reliability. (c) Its operating cost, which is largely influenced by its thermal The present initial cost of a high-powered main line diesel locomotive is from three to four times that of a steam locomotive.
On the subject of electrification. British Railways have adopted the 50 cycle 25 k.v. alternating current system. They did so after careful thought. It is possible to argue that a dx. system of lower voltage would have been quicker and easier. In spite of this I am satisfied that the decision taken was a right one, and certainly the a.c. system is practically the only one which is saleable today in the export market. Moreover, it is admittedly a new system and in several cases fairly serious initial troubles have been encountered and these have attracted a very great deal of attention in the Press. I have personally travelled on all these new electrified sections. I have spent a morning in the test train which has been put on to analyse the troubles on the Eastern Region. I have seen for myself the modifications that have been made in the stock on the Scottish Region. I have inspected the London Midland electrification on several occasions and am going to do it again next week. I should like to pay a tribute to those who have been concerned with the work on these systems, including the manufacturers who have been our contractors. It is easy for the critics to say that these troubles should have been eliminated by previous experiment and test. The history of railway engineering gives evidence, however, that revolutionary changes of this kind never reveal all their problems until the system is put into full working service. It is forgotten now that when the Southern Railway opened their new electrified services they ran into a considerable amount of trouble and a lot of criticism. They got over their difficulties quickly and the work which those men did under Sir Herbert Walker has been a wonderful boon ever since to tht travelling public, especially to those who travel daily to London for their work. It is quite clear to me now that no troub!e has developed on the new services which can be described as basic and which will not be quickly overcome. Moreover, the experience which all have gained, including our contractors, is such, in my opinion, as to put them in the lead in this form of engineering. They have learnt and discovered things which have been unknown before. The conditions on British Railways are probably more exacting than on any other railways in the world and equipment which will stand up to them has passed the sternest test.
Meeting in New Delhi, 20th February 1961. 659-62.
The history of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers the first forty years. 662-82. 2 illus., table
Introductory Until the early 1890s there was a very limited means of circulating information on locomotives and rolling stock, or on railways in general, other than an occasional Paper read and discussed at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and more rarely at the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Engineer or Engineering, published an article occasionally on the more notable developments as they occurred, but in the absence of Public Libraries such were of benefit mainly to professional circles. Text books and works of reference were few and a copy of Pettigrews Locomotive Engineering was considered indispensable to a young man entering on a locomotive career. It was left to the English Mechanic to provide a more informal and popular means of interchange of information amongst those interested in railway subjects, by the addressing of letters to the Editor for publication, either as a contribution on the subject or in the nature of a query inviting replies from correspondents who could supply the answers. which were published in turn.
Early in the 1890s the feeling was aroused in those engaged professionally on locomotives for a movement towards co-operationexchange of ideas and spread of knowledge. It broke out quite spontaneously at Swindon about 1893 in the renascence springing from the final abandonment of the broad gauge, and led to the formation of the G.W.R. Engineering Society. From a modest start the Society flourished and expanded when the Directors, recognising its potentialities, made an annual grant and the chief officers throughout the Locomotive Department all over the system contributed substantial donations. With the Mechanics Institute providing a meeting place and offices, expenses in overheads were small and the annual subscription required from members was consequently well within the reach of all qualified to join. Rules drawn up stated the objects of the Society, defined qualification for membership, etc. Papers were read at meetings during the winter months and in summer, visits were arranged to works, locomotive centres and other places of engineering interest. The finances permitted of a volume of Transactions annually, in which Papers and the discussions thereon were printed, and so formed a work of reference. This pioneer society therefore had on a small scale most of the characteristics of a major engineering institution, and similar societies were formed at other railway centres, notably Derby and Honvich. They were, however, local in scope, embracing only the technical staff of the railway concerned and satisfied but a small and select proportion of those interested in locomotives.
From 1895 onwards several publications relating to railways and locomotives made their appearance and supplied a want experienced by a wider circle. The quickening interest aroused led to a desire for closer contact amongst certain of the subscribers and the idea of meeting together for lectures and informal discussions on railway matters of all kinds resulted in the formation of the Railway Club in 1899. At first meetings were held in turn at the homes of the various members until premises were secured in Victoria Street, London, S.W. Amongst those who joined the club at its start was L. E. Brailsford, of Croydon, and in 1902 G. F. Burtt, of the L.B. & S.C.R. Works, Brighton, became a member. These and a few others mainly interested in locomotives found in the course of time that the Railway Club was becoming too general in its scope, so that locomotive matters formed only a fraction of its activities, and, moreover, there was a tendency to belittle railways south of the Thames, thereby causing resentment to some members.
This feeling of dissatisfaction led to a break-away by a section of the members in order to form a society devoted entirely to locomotive matters, and Brailsford became Chairman, and Burtt the Secretary, of the Stephenson Society, which was founded by six members in 1909. No qualifications for membership were necessary, but new members had to be introduced by an existing member. Burtt went about his duties energetically and was instrumental in bringing in a large contingent from Brighton Works. Meetings were then held at the Cripplegate Institute, London, E.C., in 1910 and numerous visits arranged, and by the end of that year membership stood at 75. Lines of cleavage then began to appear; the amateurs, those having a general interest in locomotives, and the professionals, who felt the need for a more technical approach to the subject which would be of assistance in advancing their knowledge. The splitoccurred early in 1911, Brailsford heading one party and Burtt the other. The Stephenson Society at this altered their name to The Stephenson Locomotive Society, but Burtts party were in somewhat of a dilemma, for they were not numerous enough in themselves to form a society at Brighton, such as existed at a large centre, for instance Swindon. The obvious course was to enlarge their field and take in members from other railways and from firms associated with locomotive supplies and accessories, consulting engineers, round about London and the south of England, drawing in the S.E. & C.R., the L. & S.W.R., the G.E.R., Tilbury, North London Railways, etc. A comprehensive title was called for and it was agreed to name the new society The Junior Institution of Locomotive Engineers. (The information regarding the early history of the Stephenson Locomotive Society is to be found in that Societys Journal for December 1949 and January to April 1950, L. E. Brailsford, Vice-President, describes in a series of articles the events leading to its formation 40 years earlier.)
The First Years of the Institution, 1911 to 1915.
The inaugural meeting of the Institution was called on 4th February 1911, on the initiative of F. Burtt, and at that meeting it was resolved to proceed with the formation of an Institution, and rules were drawn up. Even at this early stage Provincial Centres with District Secretaries were visualised. The Chairman of the meeting, F. B. Carmichael, District Locomotive Superintendent at Brighton, was elected to serve as Chairman of the Council, and J. H. Adams, Locomotive Superintendent of the former North Staffordshire Railway, agreed to serve as the first President of the Institution. The Honorary Secretary was T. H. Baxter, and the Honorary Treasurer F. Qurtt, both of the L.B. & S.C.R. The first Council Meeting was held on 18th February. Many of the original members of the Institution were Brighton men and it is noteworthy that the old Brighton Railway and its successor, the Southern Raillway, sustained this interest and were ever well represented and to the fore in all activities of the Institution.
Later, in 1911, Carmichael resigned his office of Chairman on taking up an appointment in China, and the office was allowed to lapse for the time being. Baxter also resigned on 16th September, on leaving for Uganda, and Burtt was elected to the dual post of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, a position which he held for many years after. The membership at this time was 52.
The early meetings were held at St. Brides Institute, London, E.C., and on account of the readiness of seniors to become members, and objection of the Junior Institution of Engineers ta the assuvption of the name prefixed, the word Junior was dropped from the title, 50 that it became The Institution of Locomotive Engineers.The first Paper to be read was by J. P. Maitland on French Locomotive Practice, and this was followed up by a visit to France, specially arranged for the members to see what he had described in his Paper. Professor Elliott, of Cardiff University, was President in 1912 and during his term of office a Paper by Lawford Fry, the European Representative of Baldwins Locomotive Works, U .S.A., first attracted attention to the new and rising Institution, resulting in a further gain in membership. Following this, Fry became one of the most active Members of Council in expanding the Institution and he placed his office at the disposal of the Institution for Council Meetings. It was, therefore, a heavy blow when he was recalled to the U.S.A. to a higher post. Fortunately, W. A. Lelean, of Rendel, Palmer and Tritton, was there to succeed him in sustaining the activity. Fry, who was the first Chairman of the Finance Committee, inaugurated in 1913, was instrumental in enrolling Henry Fowler (later Sir Henry), Chief Mechanical Engineer of the former Midland Railway, as a member, and he accepted the presidency for 1913. He was succeeded in 1914 by another C.M.E., A. J. Hill, of the former Great Eastern Railway, but with the outbreak of the First World War, the expanding activities of the Institution received a check. Owing to this, the President remained in office for a second year, and it was during this period that plans for the incorporation of the Institution were put in hand and were carried through in December 1915. W. A. Lelean, a former Swindon man, was to the fore in carrying out the plans and drawing up by-laws. At this point, meetings were transferred to Caxton Hall, Westminster, London, S.W., and Papers read before the Institution, and news of its activities, were published in The Locomotive Magazine by arrangement, for which purpose S. R. Smith was elected Editor of Transactions. In 1915 it was decided to publish an Institution Journal instead, of which Smith was elected Editor. He resigned in 1916 and was succeeded by E. L. Ahrons.
The 1916-1923 Period
In the Memorandum of Association, the Objects for which the Institution was established, were set forth in a number of clauses, the principal of which read as follows: the advancement of the science and practice of Locomotive Engineering by enquiry, experiment or other means: the diffusion of knowledge regarding Locomotive Engineering by means of lectures, publications, exchange of information and otherwise and the improvement of the status of the Locomotive Engineer. In the Memorandum it is stated that Locomotive Engineering is employed in its most comprehensive sense as including the whole of the mechanical, electrical, internal combustion engine and other means of effecting the movement of railway or other vehicles.
With Incorporation a new phase in the life of the Institution began. The higher standard demanded as qualification for full membership had the effect of considerably raising the status of the Institution, and in spite of the war a steady influx of new members occurred.
In 1916 the Council was increased to 14 members and H. Kelway Bamber was elected. In the following year he became chairman of a small committee to establish Local Centres and he did great work then and in after years in fostering and supporting these Centres by his personal appearance at their meetings and ex-oficio at their Committee Meetings.
The President for 1916, and the first after Incorporation, was R. E. L. Maunsell, C.M.E. of the former South Eastern and Chatham Railway, and he was succeeded in 1917 by A. D. Jones, Locomotive Running Superintendent of the same railway, who continued for a second year, owing to war conditions. In 1918 the Papers Reading Committee was formed, and also the Membership Selection Committee. In 1919 M. F. Ryan of the Midland Railway and later of the L.S.W.R., was President; during his term of office he was appointed C.M.E. of the Central Argentine Railway.
With the ending of the war considerable expansion took place in the Institutions activities and a new Centre was formed at Leeds in 1918, followed by one at Manchester in 1919. Soon after his arrival in the Argentine, Ryan was instrumental in establishing in 1920 the first Centre overseas, namely that for South America at Buenos Aires. He was their first Chairman and this Centre was to become the largest of all the overseas centres. Later in the same year a Scottish Centre was inaugurated at Glasgow .
With the release of engineers from war service, not only did membership rapidly increase, but the quality of Papers read at meetings grew and with it the value and importance of the Institutions Journal. Consequent upon the activities opening out, valuable contributions poured in from all sides, and the membership embraced many of the most distinguished engineers on railways, in private locomotive, carriage and wagon building firms, consulting engineers, besides representatives of companies producing accessories and supplies for railways.
From the first Burtt had published the Journal from Lewes, the editing of the contents being entrusted to members with literay experience elected for the purpose, and, latterly, to E. L. Ahrons until his increasing preoccupation in writing books on locomotive history, coupled with the growth of work in connection with the Journal, forced him to give it up in 1918. It was at this point that H. Holcroft was elected a member, and Burtt at once found in him an ally and a successor to Ahrons. An informal partnership now began, and it extended over a long period. Holcroft had earlier served some years as Honorary Secretary of the G.W.R. Engineering Society at Swindon and Editor of its annual volume of Transactions during the period that the Society was under the enterprising and energetic chairmanship of W. A. Stanier (later Sir William), and so had experience that was of value to Burtt. In the following year Holcroft was elected by ballot to the Council and so became associated with the leading members of the Institution. Burtt, however, pressed for the partnership to be formally recognised and Holcroft was duly appointed Honorary Assistant Secretary, with a view to relieving Burtt of work in connection with the Journal. The Council had second thoughts on the matter and shortly after appointed Holcroft Honorary Editor and ex-officio Member of Council, directly responsible to that body for the conduct of the Journal. To Burtt was assigned the duty of Publisher of the Journal, to deal with the printers in Lewes, the advertising contractors and to distribute the Journal to members. This was in addition to his duties as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. With this allocation of routine the Journal was placed on a firm basis, and its production went on smoothly for a further 12 years.
At this period in the Institutions history meetings of the Council were held under difficulty and it often occurred that it was only just possible to form a quorum; meetings were liable to be delayed or cancelled if some member was late or failed to keep the appointment.
Although meetings were most conveniently held in London there was no Institution office there, the registered office of the Institution being the Secretarys residence in Lewes. Some Council Meetings were held at Caxton Hall or by arrangement a room would be put a! the Councils disposal after office hours by the kindness of one or other of the firms with offices in Westminster having members in the Institution: one such meeting place was the historic room in Queen Annes Gate in which Sir Edward Grey had signed the declaration of war on Germany in 1914, only a few years earlier. The Secretary travelled up to London for the occasion, bringing the Minute Book and necessary papers, and so there was little or no opportunity for the Chairman of the Meeting to go through matters beforehand. As such offices were not available before the staff left, Council Meetings were late in starting and they had to terminate in time for certain of the members travelling to Brighton, Ashford and Lewes to catch the last train, arriving home at midnight or later. Under such circumstances members who would agree to serve on the Council were mainly those resident in or near London, apart from the devoted few.
A committee was appointed in 1920 to consider eligibility of members for appointment abroad, and the compilation of a register of such members. In 1920 it was resolved that the presidential year should commence on 1st June instead of the 1st January. By holding the Annual General Meeting in April ample time was given for the preparation of the audited balance sheet and Councils Report for the year ending December 31st. It also gave the incoming President the summer months in which to settle in and prepare his Address. When the Session opened in September it then ran continuously for eight months under the same President.
At this point it was found necessary to raise the subscription rates for members to meet expenses, mainly due to the larger Journal published; paid cierical assistance also had to be given to the Honoray Secretary.
The President for the 1920/21 Session was W. Pickersgill, C.M.E. of the former Caledonian Railway. He was followed in 1921/22 by Lieut.-Col. Kitson Clark, of Kitson & Co., Airedale Foundry, Leeds, who was the first representative of a locomotive building firm to occupy the Presidency. During his term of office the membership rose above a thousand and it stood at 1,120 at the end of the year 1921.
At this point the question of A.M.I.Loco.E. examination for candidates for election was raised, but deferred for further consideration. The next President was R. H. Whitelegg, C.M.E., of the former Glasgow and South Western Railway, and in this 1922123 Session several events of importance to the Institution occurred. The first was the change of venue of the meetings to the former Engineers Club, Coventry Street, London, W., including Council Meetings : members attending had all the privileges of the Club for the occasion. Annual Dinners were held here and members staying overnight were accommodated in the Club. An Institution Library at the Club was proposed, with F. Turner as Honorary Librarian.
Another event was the grouping of the British railways into four main Groups, plus London Transport, commencing on 1st January, 1923. This had an effect upon the availability of leading railway officials to fill the presidential chair, since the numbers had thereby been reduced in the ratio of about 30 to 5, and these few had much greater responsibilities than formerly, so that they could not devote so much of their time to the Institutions affairs. Likewise the members available for the office of Vice-president were more limited. It was, however, offset to some extent by the C.M.E.s establishing their headquarters in London, so that they and their technical assistants had a better opportunity to attend meetings there. Nevertheless, the Institution has never been at a loss to find distinguished engineers to fill these offices, as will be evident from what follows.
A further event of importance at that time was a highly successful visit of the South American Centre to the Chilean State Railways and workshops, some 70 members from the Argentine and Uruguay participating. Special facilities were provided by the railway companies concerned and nearly 5,000 kilometres were travelled in the ten days occupied.
A crisis in the affairs of the Institution as regards the Secretaryship came to a head in 1923. As father of the Institution, Burtt had from the start held the initiative and consequently felt a proprietary interest in its proceedings. He was in a strong position with a powerful backing from amongst the original members in London and the south, conversant with the constructive work he had put in to build up the Institution ab initw. The large influx of new members who knew him not tended to weaken his influence, and with the ensuing election of influential members to the Council having wider experience and contacts and strong views as to raising the status of the Institution in every direction, differences of opinion were liable to arise with him. Periodical meetings with his partner on Saturday afternoons enabled such matters pending to be discussed calmly before hand and went towards reconciling him to the viewpoint of individual Members of Council and so restraining his somewhat impetuous nature, thus conducing towards harmony at ensuing Council Meetings.
However, the point was reached when it was clear that the arduous duties arising from the combined offices of Honorary Secretary, Treasurer and Publisher had absorbed every minute of spare time in evenings, weekends and even holiday times and that the limit had been reached under the conditions prevailing. The Council decided that the time had come to appoint a full-time salaried officer to take over the duties hitherto carried on by voluntary effort, and to establish a London office. Even if Burtt had been wiiling to resign his post with the Southern Railway and take up residence in the London area, there was a section of the Council who were opposed to this and, while appreciative of his outstanding services to the Institution, they thought it in the best interests of all that a man of quite different stamp was needed in the executive position for the future.
A small committee of thc Council was elected to go into the matter and they reported in favour of the change, and put forward a new scale of increased fees to provide an adequate salary for a lull-time secretary. When this proposal was submitted it met with strong protest from the Local Centres, and in particular from the Scottish Centre, who predicted the wholesale resignation of their members who could not afford to pay more. There was a risk that this Centre might secede and form an independent Society rather than lose heavily in membership. The South American Centre protested and demanded a six months postponement so that they could circularise their members and hear their views.
Faced with this prospect the Council was in a dilemma, as any move to carry out the Committees recommendations might lead to a loss in membership which would more than offset the increased subscriptions. Happily a recently elected Member, J. C. Sykes, came forward and offered to act as Honorary Secretary for a period of twelve months and place his private office in London at the disposal of the Institution. This respite was gladly accepted by the Council, and the Registered Office of the Institution was transferred pro tem from Lewes to Denison House, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, S.W. The question of a full-time salaried officer was referred back to the Committee for further consideration.
The position was explained to Burtt, and he himself put forward the resolution relative to change of secretariat. The Committee placed on record their appreciation of the public-spirited manner in which he had done so and the faithful way he had served the Institution and devoted years of patient labour in furthering its growth and prosperity. They realised the sense of personal loss he must have felt in proposing the Resolution and that no praise was too great for the unselfish sacrifice of his own personal inclination.
The 1923-31 Period
With J. C. Sykes as Honorary Secretary, matters ran more smoothly. He was persona grata with a wide circle of influential members and his sauve bearing brought an added dignity to the Institutions meetings. The President or Chairman could now go through the agenda with the Secretary before meetings and discuss any points arising; and the Secretary was available throughout the day to members who called or by phone. His office could be reached by those coming to London from the provinces or from overseas for assistance of all kinds.
The routine work of the Secretarys office was carried out by his assistant, Miss Hann, and her devotion to duty, efficiency and ability, proved of great value to the Institution in future years. By her retentive memory she could recall particular events, Minutes or precedents. Work on the Journal continued as heretofore with Burtt as Publisher and Holcroft as Honorary Editor. Burtt also remained Honorary Treasurer pro tem.
The Council placed on record in the Proceedings (Journal No. 60) the sense of indebtedness of the members to Frank Burtt and elected him an Honorary Life Member of the Institution.
Steady progress continued during the presidency of A. C. Stamer of the L. & N.E.R. during Session 1923/24, and Sykes was instrumental in making better use of the Committees of the Council set up for specific purposes, particularly as regards the Finance Committee, which was expanded into the Finance and General Purposes Committee, the Membership Selection, Papers Reading, as well as others of a transient character, such as Dinner or Visit Committees. These added much to efficiency and enabled Council Meetings to deal more expeditiously with the Agenda and so valuable time was saved.
J. E. Anderson of the L.M.S.R. followed as President for 1924/25 Session, and as the question of a full-time secretary was no nearer solution, Sykes offered to serve for a further twelve months, or as long as necessary after.
The assumption of the presidential office by R. W. Reid for the 1925/26 Session coincided with the meeting in London early in 1925 of the International Railway Congress and, later, the celebration of the Centenary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. An official visit of the Institution was made to Darlington to see the exhibits at the Faverdale Works of the L. & N.E.R.
A meeting was held in Darlington also at which an historic Paper was presented by J. H. Warren on The Evolution of the Locomotive. A special Journal was published by the Institution containing this Paper and a remarkable collection of illustrations depicting the development of the locomotive from its earliest days.
R. W. Reid was the first president representing the rolling stock side of railway activities exclusively, and his term of office had the effect of bringing this side of the mechanical engineers work into greater prominence in the Institutions proceedings.
The 1926/27 Session was distinguished by the presidency of Sir Seymour Tritton, K.B.E., of the well-known firm of consulting engineers, Messrs. Rendel, Palmer & Tritton. He was followed in the 1927/28 Session by H. N. Gresley, C.M.E., of the L. & N.E.R., and the venue of the meetings changed from the Engineers Club, Coventry Street, to the Lecture Hall at Denison House, in the same building as the Registered Office of the Institution.
At this period the Institution of Mechanical Engineers was somewhat in the doldrums and specialist institutions in various phases of mechanical engineering were springing up to cater for particular needs. Gresley, having an interest in both Mechanicals and Locomotives, thought it might be of mutual advantage if the latter became a specialised section of the former, much as has since occurred with the Automobile Engineers. An example of this sort might, he thought, arrest or reverse the splinter tendency which was evident.
No formal approach was made, but feelers put out indicated that the I.Mech.E. qualifying examinations would be the stumbling block. Some Members and a few Associate Members were already corporate members of the Mechanicals, and the full members of the I.Loco.E. might be accepted en bloc. Graduates would have in future to sit for the I.Mech.E. examinations, but the difficulty arose with the large proportion of the Associate Members and with the Associates.
The Associate Members lacked the degree of responsibility or length of experience by which they might be accepted and it would be impracticable to submit them to a qualifying examination. The proposal was therefore dropped.
Occupying the presidential chair for the second time was R. E. L. Maunsell, C.M.E., of the Southern Railway, for the 1928/29 Session. Early in 1928 a Centre was inaugurated at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and during the summer a memorable visit was paid to Germany. This lasted for a week and the itinerary included Cologne, Cassel, Berlin and other places and embraced visits to railway and other works, power stations, etc. The 100 members who took part were most hospitably received and entertained, and every care was taken for their comfort throughout.
An innovation during the autumn was a Joint Meeting with the Permanent Way Institution on the occasion of the reading of a Paper entitled Some Points of Comrnon Interest in Rolling Stock and Permanent Way.
The Institution suffered a heavy loss during this year in the untimely death of a Past-President, R. W. Reid, at the early age of 44.
The membership was over 1,300 when J. R. Bazin, C.M.E., of the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ireland, assumed the office of president for the 1929/30 Session, when a Centre was inaugurated in India, besides a Centre at Birmingham to serve the Midlands. In the following Session, 1930/31, during the presidency of H. Kelway Bamber, another highly successful visit was paid to the Continent, when a tour of the Swiss railways was made. The 100 members who took part met with every hospitality during the week and no effort was spared to make their stay interesting and eniovable.
In the same year, 1930, the colebration of the centenary of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway took place, and a meeting was held in Manchester at which a Paper on the Rainhill Locomotive Trials of 1829 was read by C. F. Dendy-Marshall. The President and a party of members visited the Exhibition of ancient and modem locomotives and rolling stock at Wavertree, Liverpool.
A significant event in 1930 was the election of the first woman to full membership, the pioneer being Miss V. Holmes.
The first days of 1931 brought about a climax in the history of the Institution when it sustained a very heavy loss in the death of the Hon. Secretary, J. C. Sykes, who had held this position since 1923, when the joint office of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer had been divided. What had been intended as a stop-gap measure to tide over a difficult situation had stretched out over eight years, and by this invaluable service had carried the Institution to a point when the employment of a whole-time salaried officer became practical at last.
The work of the Institution had meanwhile grown to such an extent with the opening of further Centres overseas and by the increase in membership that the occasion had to be taken to secure the services of a whole-time Secretary who would also undertake the duties that had so far been carried on by the several Honorary Officers appointed by the Council. The Institution took over Sykess office and with it the services of Miss Hann, who camed on with the routine work. The President, Kelway Bamber, supervised the secretarial work and applications were invited for the post of Secretary. Major H. A. Harrison was appointed, and entered on his duties on the 1st May. At the same time the Publishing Office of the Institutions Journal was transferred from Lewes to London.
The 1931-1949 Period
A notable event on Major Harrisons assumption of office was the transfer of meetings to the hall of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at Storeys Gate, Westminster, London, S.W., following the example of kindred institutions in this respect. While retaining their full independence, the Locomotives gained added prestige by this association with the Mechanicals and it went some of the way towards Gresleys ideal of getting all sections of mechanical engineering into one building.
Early in 1931 the Centre of British Engineering and Transport Institutions of the River Plate gave a luncheon at Buenos Aires in honour of T.R.H. The Prince of Wales and Prince George, who were visiting the Argentine Republic.. M. F. Ryan, Past-President of the Institution and Chairman of the South American Centre for the years 1920/21/22 and 1925, presided over a company of some 250 guests.
Another visit of the South American Centre was paid to the Chilian State Railways in September 1931, but owing to the difficult political situation at the time, no Papers were read or meetings held.
The London Underground Railways supplied the president tor the 1931132 Session in the person of W. A. Agnew, but to the regret of all, ill health subsequently intervened and he was unable to appear at many of the meetings during his term of office.
About this time occurred the death of F. H. Trevithick, one of the Founders of the Institution and former C.M.E. of the Egyptian State Railways. In his memory his widow, Dr. Trevithick, J.P., donated a sum of money to the Institution, the interest on which was to furnish a prize annually for a Paper read before the Institution and which was to be designated The Frederick Harvey Trevithick Award. In acknowledgment of this graceful action, Dr. Trevithick was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution.
When the new Secretary, Major Harrison, had accustomed himself to his routine, the Honorary Publisher of the Journal, F. Burtt, and the Honorary Editor, H. Holcroft, gave up their duties to him, the former, however, retaining the office of Treasurer for the time being. Their retirement was marked by the presentation to each of an illuminated Address signed by all the Presidents holding office during the period of their services, and a Purse of Gold which had been subscribed by the members. This occurred at the Annual Dinner in London in February 1932, the presentation being made by Lieut. Col. Kitson Clark in the absence of the president.
In the following May the Institution was invited to take part in the ceremony of the unveiling of a bronze statue of Richard Trevithick, Father of the homotive, at Camborne, Cornwall, by H.R.H. Prince George. It was appropriate that W. A. Lelean, President-elect for the 1932/33 Session and himself a Cornishman, was asked to second the vote of thanks to the Prince proposed by R. E. Trevithick (great-grandson of Trevithick), who represented the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
When W. A. Lelean, of Messrs. Rendel, Palmer & Tritton, assumed his presidency the membership had grown to over 1,400. Members in Western Australia inaugurated meetings at Perth and other places for the reading and discussion of Papers, and by their initiative some valuable contributions have been made to the Journal.
In the autumn of 1932 the Council lost an esteemed colleague in the person of J. Mitchell, who had been a member of that body since 1925 and had also done good work on the Finance and General Purposes Committee.
The Honorary Treasurer, F. Burtt, formally tendered his resignation and Major Harrison was elected Treasurer at the Opening General Meeting in October, in addition to the other offices which he had taken over.
In June 1933 the Registered Office of the Institution was transferred from Denison House to 28 Victoria Street, London, S.W., to more spacious and convenient premises. This coincided with the assumption of the presidency by Major C. E. Williams, Chief Inspecting Engineer for the Crown Agents for the Colonies.
In December of that year the death occurred of the immediate Past-President, W. A. Lelean, one of the earliest Members of the Institution and a Signatory of the Original Act of Incorporation. At the time of his death he was one of the earliest Vice-presidents surviving and was ever zealous in raising the status and importance of the Institution in the Engineering World. The revision of the Articles of Association and Bye-laws in 1930 was a task to which he devoted a great deal of his time and energy.
The 1934/35 Session was marked by the presidency of H. N. Gresley, C.M.E., of the L. & N.E.R., for the second time, and in his Address urged the need for a stationary locomotive testing plant, available to all railways and locomotive building firms. (This was later carried out jointly by the L.M. & S.R. and L. & N.E.R. Companies at Rugby).
An innovation about this same period was the formation of The Locomotive Engineers Golfing Society. In April 1935 a Staff Annuity Fund was started for the benefit of the Secretary and his Assistant on retirement. During this time membership rose above 1,500.
A. C. Carr held the presidency for the 1935/36 Session. He was long associated with railways in India before becoming a partner in the firm of Sir John Wolfe Barry and Partners, consulting engineers. During his presidency he had to visit India and was absent for a short period.
A week-end visit to Belgium was paid in July 1935, the objective being the Brussels Exhibition, where a large collection of Continental locomotives and rolling stock was on view in the Railway Transport Hall. A party of 47 members, which included some on leave from the Argentine and India, left Harwich on Friday night, the 5 July, for Antwerp, en route to Brussels. On arrival at destination on Saturday morning, a motor coach tour was made of the city and its surroundings. Sunday was devoted to the inspection of the exhibits. The return journey was made by way of Zeebrugge to Hanvich, London being reached at 8 a.m. on Monday.
In February 1936 the death occurred of A. Morton Bell, Vice-President and Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee. This same month marked the completion of the first 25 years ot the life of the Institution. Its inauguration, growth and development during a quarter of a century had been almost coincident with the reign of King George V.
In March the Institution took part in a Joint Meeting of kindred associations organised by the Institution of Automobile Engineers, held at the Royal Geographical Societys Hall, when a symposium of Papers on Rail Cars was read.
In the Birthday Honours, 1936, King Edward VIII conferred on H. N. Gresley, Past-President, the honour of Knight Bachelor.
W. A. Stanier was the President for the 1936/37 Session. The Summer Meeting of 1936 was held in Germany, 106 members and visitors taking part. Leaving London on 22 May and crossing from Harwich, the party was conveyed from the Hook of Holland by special train to Coblence, via Cologne. The journey was continued by steamer along the Rhine to Mayence, and thence by special train to Munich the following day. From this centre visits were made to Augsburg and other places, including an ascent of the Zugspitze. The party then proceeded to Nurenburg, and the Institution Dinner was held there, officials of the Reichsbahn, leading manufacturers and officials of the local government and municipality attending as guests. From Nurenburg the members proceeded to Berlin: here a special train drawn by a stream-lined steam locomotive with dynamometer car attached conveyed the party to Hamburg and back, a speed of over 100 m.p.h. being held for considerable stretches on almost level road. A banquet was given in Berlin by the Diiectors of the Reichsbahn, at their Headquarters, to the members, and presided over by Dr. Dorpmuller. After a visit to Potsdam, the return journey was made next day to the Hook, the party reaching London again on the 1 June. The members were not only most hospitably feted in Germany, but the greatest cordiality prevailed throughout the visit. No shadow of a second World War marred the occasion.
The President, after giving his Address, accompanied a deputation to the Indian railways headed by Sir Ralph Wedgwood, and was absent for some months.
In April 1937 a meeting was held at St. Ermins Hotel in which a lantern and cinematograph display was given of the visit to Germany. Over 100 slides of photographs taken by members during the visit were exhibited and a running commentary given.
Lieut. Col. F. R. Collins, former C.M.E. of the South African Railways, succeeded as president for the 1937/38 Session. During 1937 the death occurred of Sir Seymour Tritton, K.B.E., Past- President. 676
W. A Stanier served a second term as President, for the 1938/39 Session, in view of his absence in India during much of the first occasion.
A Summer Meeting was held in Scotland in June 1938, and the party was joined by 17 German railway officials, headed by Dr. Dorpmuller, Minister of Communications. On Wednesday, the 8th, a special train from London to Glasgow was provided, drawn by a Pacific type locomotive. A dynamometer car attached to the engine was in operation for the benefit of the party. Thursday, the 9th, was devoted to a steamer trip from Wemyss Bay to Inverary and back. In the evening the Institution Dinner was held in the Central Hotel, Glasgow, at which Dr. Dorpmuller and the Rt. Hon. Leslie Burgin, Minister of Transport, were the principal guests. At the conclusion of the dinner the members present were invited to visit the German Consulate and partake of typical German hospitality. Friday, the 10th, was devoted to a visit to Colvilles Clydebridge Steel Works, and the afternoon to a visit to the St. Rollox Works of the L.M. & S.R. Saturday, the 11th, was set aside for inspection of the Empire Exhibition at Bellahouston Park, members making their own arrangements for the day. For Sunday, the 12th, a visit was made to the Forth Bridge, which was crossed on foot. The special train went on to Edinburgh, where lunch was provided at the North British Hotel, and a visit to places of interest in Edinburgh followed.
In September a Branch was formed at Sydney, New South Wales, with H. Young, C.M.E., of the N.S.W. Government Railways, as chairman.
Sir Henry Fowler, Past-President and former C.M.E. of the L.M. & S.R., died in October.
At the Annual General Meeting in 1939 it was announced that Julian S. Tritton, his brother and sister, had presented the sum of £500 to the Institution for the formation of a fund to provide a Gold Medal and Premium, a memorial to their esteemed father, the late Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton, K.B.E. It was decided to devote this to a lecture to be given on a selected subject biennially. In March a Joint Meeting with the Institution of Automobile Engineers and other societies was held at the Institution of Civil Engineers, the subject being Comfort in Travel-by Road, Rail and Air.
The President for the 1939/40 Session was O. V. S. Bulleid, C.M.E., of the Southern Railway, at which time the total membership stood at 1,662.
In September, owing to the outbreak of the Second World War, it was announced that no Papers would be read in London for the time being, but publication of the Journal would continue .is there was sufficient matter available to enable it to be published at regular intervals for some time.
As the anticipated aerial bombardment of London had not taken place, the Opening Meeting of the Session was held at the Waldorf Hotel, Aldwych, London, on 14th December, when the President delivered his Address. It was preceded by the Institution Luncheon, attended by 132 members. The proposal of the Council that the President, Vice-presidents and Members of Council and Committees thereof should remain in office for the duration of the war was endorsed by the members.
Owing to the rigid lighting restrictions imposed, it wks considered that evening meetings during the winter would be impracticable, but the Institution would carry on as well as the exigencies of the time would permit. The opening meeting being held on the Kings Birthday, a message of congratulations was despatched to His Majesty. A telegram conveying the Kings thanks was received in reply.
Major Harrison, with the Councils permission, accepted an appointment under the Ministry of Supply and was released from his duties for the time being. J. Clayton, Vice-president, agreed to supervise the work of the Secretarys office during his absence.
The Annual Dinner was held on 28th February 1940, at the Savoy Hotel, London, and nearly 300 members and their guests were present, notwithstanding the difficulties occasioned by the complete black-out in the streets. Owing to the indisposition of the President, the chair was occupied by W. A. Stanier, Past-President. The chief guest was Right Hon. Euan Wallace, P.C., Minister of Transport.
About this time it was announced that by agreement with the family of the late Sir Seymour Tritton, the memorial to him would the the form of a !ecture, entitled The Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture, to be delivered biennially in London and the Council would decide upon the subject of the lecture and invite the person, who need not necessarily be a member of the Institution, to prepare and deliver the lecture.
The elimination of France from the conflict and the evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk in the early summer of 1940, followed by the Battle of Britain in the early autumn, made it inadvisable to attempt the reading of Papers and transaction of business in London. Instead Papers were printed in the Journal and written discussion invited.
The opening meeting of the 1940/41 Session was held at the Royal Empire Societys Rooms, Northumberland Avenue, London, on 10th December 1940, and was preceded by a luncheon. Only formal business was transacted. Major Harrison resumed his duties as Secretary at this time.
Owing to the intense air raids on London and elsewhere, which began in September, it was decided to evacuate the Secretarys office at 28, Victoria Street, and temporary premises were secured in March 1941 at Park Hill Court, East Croydon, within easy reach of the Secretarys residence. Although no Papers were read in Great Britain, all local centres having closed down for the duration of the War, it was possible to maintain regular publication of the Journal through Papers received from India, South America and Australia, although the size of the Journal was somewhat restricted by the supply of paper to printers.
Shortly after, on 5th April 1941, the death occurred of Sir H. Nigel Gresley, C.B.E., D.Sc., Past-President, at his home, Watton House, near Hertford.
An Institution Luncheon was held at the Savoy Hotel, London, on 9th May, in lieu of the Annual Dinner. It was attended by members and their guests. No Institutions guests were invited and there were no speeches, but the President, after giving the Loyal Toast, referred to the loss the Institution had suffered by the death of Sir Nigel Gresley. He also spoke of the death of Lord Stamp, an air raid victim, who had frequently been a guest of the Institutions dinners. After the luncheon the Presidents new Pacific locomotive Channel Packet was on view at Waterloo Station for inspection by the members.
The Annual General Meeting of the 1940/41 Session was held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Storeys Gate, Westminster, at 5 p.m., on 30th April 1941. It was followed by the reading of a Paper by C. E. Fairburn on Diesel Shunting Locomotives.
The success of the defence in combating aerial attack permitted cf the resumption of the reading of Papers in the 1941/42 Session. Also, the members of the Institution were invited to the reading of Papers on Balancing of Locomotive Reciprocating Parts and on Hammer Blows in Locomotives at a Joint Meeting of the Institutions of Civil and Mechanical Engineers.
On 6 May 1942, a luncheon at the Savoy Hotel preceded the Annual General Meeting there. Afterwards the members saw the Presidents new 0-6-0 freight locomotive on view at Charing Cross Station.
The name of W. A. Stanier, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the L.M. & S.R., appeared in the New Years Honours List af 1942, amongst the Knights Bachelor.
In order to afford members the opportunity of meeting together another luncheon at which 240 were present, was held at the Savoy Hotel, London, on 22 January 1942, but there were no set speeches. An Austerity locomotive built in the U.S.A. and then working on the G.W.R. was on exhibition at Royal Oak Station, Paddington, and a large proportion of the members attending the luncheon took the opportunity of inspecting the locomotive.
A meeting was held in London on 10 June, when a Paper was presented by G. W. Alcock, Vice-president of the Franklin Supply Co. Inc., U.S.A., entitled Development of the Locomotive Poppet Valve Gear in America. The Paper was read on behalf of the author by E. W. Marten. The next Ordinary Meeting was held on 29th July, when a Paper entitled Paper to Pull contributed by Dr. L. R. Sillcox, Vice- President of the New York Air Brake Co., was read on behalf of the author by Julian S. Tritton. In November a Joint Meeting was held with the Diesel Engine Users Association on Railcar Oil Engines.
The deaths occurred in 1943 of Lieut. Col. Kitson Clark, Past-President, and of H. E. Geer, Member of Council.
A luncheon was held at the Connaught Rooms, London, on 1 November 1943, the chair being occupied by the President, O. V. S. Bulleid. Afterwards the S.R. Co.s new electric locomotive was on view to the members of Waterloo Station.
Early in 1944 the deaths occurred of two Past-Presidents, R. E. L. Maunsell and A. C. Stamer. It was agreed to terminate the wartime arrangement of 1939 by which the President and Council remained in office until further notice. Accordingly, on 1June, 1944, W. S. Graff-Baker took over the Presidency with a newly-elected Council. In 1944 it was decided that the award of the Institutions Gold Medal should be given at the discretion of the Council, annually or otherwise, to the author of a Paper of outstanding merit, or for some meritorious service rendered in connection with the science or practice of Locomotive Engineering. Hitherto the Gold Medal had been optional to the choice of books of like value as an award given annually to the author receiving the First Prize for the best Paper read during a Session, until the Frederick Harvey Trevithick Award took precedence in 1932, when it became the Second Prize. By the changes made in 1944 an added distinction was given henceforward to the award of a Gold Medal.
The first prize for the 1943/44 Session went to C. E. Fairburn for his Paper on The Maintenance of Diesel Electric Shunting Locomotives on the L.M.S. Railway, but in view of the decease of the author before the award was presented, the Council decided that it would be more appropriate to grant to his widow the new Gold Medal.
In the 1944/45 Session the award of the Gold Medal was made to E. S. Cox for his Paper on Locomotive Axleboxes. The Annual Luncheon was held in the Connaught Rooms, London, on 10th December. In January 1945, A. C. Carr, Past-President, passed away. The President, W. S. Graff-Baker, continued in office for the 1945146 Session, and with the ending of the war the Local Centres resumed their meetings in the autumn of 1945. Owing to the war it had not been possible to present to Dr. Sillcox the Gold Medal awarded for his Paper Power to Pull. Taking advantage of a visit to the U.S.A., the President, W. S. Graff-Baker, presented the medal in person to the author of the Paper in June 1946. This took place at a dinner in New York arranged by the Railroad Division of the Society of Mechanical Engineers attended by a number of eminent members of that society. The first Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture was given in April 1946. The Council invited Julian S. Tritton to initiate the series, and hi took for his subject Locomotive Limitations. In recognition of his faithful and unselfish service rendered to the Institution over a period of 30 years, J. Clayton was elected an Honorary Member and the opportunity was taken to present him with the Certificate of Membership, the Secrety reading the citation on presentation by the Chairman of the Meeting. A Paper was then read by H. Kelway Bamber, Past-President, entitled Coal and its Post-war Carriage on British Railways. The Author, who had retired to live in Italy after his presidential year in the 1930/31 Session, returned after a lapse of 15 years to give yet one more Paper when nearing the end of his 84th year. It was, however, in the nature of a swan song, for, although appearing in excellent health at the meeting, he collapsed and died a month later and before he was able to complete his written reply to the discussion on his Paper. F. S. Whalley of the Vulcan Foundry was elected President for the 1946147 Session, and at this period membership stood at 1,902. The deaths occurred in 1946 of two Vice-presidents, James Clayton in October and W. S. Edwards in December. An event that affected the Institution was the Nationalisation of the railways in Great Britain on 1st January 1948. Miss Hann, who had been Assistant to the Secretary for 25 years, retired on superannuation in 1947. The opportunity was taken to present her with a Purse of Sixty Pounds as a token of the Institutions regard for her valuable services. A complimentary luncheon was given by the New South Wales Branch in honour of the first visit to Australia of a Vice-president of the Institution in the person of W. Cyril Williams, at which H. Young, C.M.E., of the N.S.W. Government Railways, presided. The President during the 1947148 Session was Julian S. Tritton, and during his term of ofice he paid a visit to India and while there was able to deliver his Presidential Address before the Indian and Eastern Centre. At the Annual Luncheon held at the Dorchester Hotel, Lsndon, on 28th May 1948, the President took the opportunity to make the first presentation of the newly instituted award of a Bronze Medal. He explained that in the past the only way open to reward members who had rendered great service to the Institution had been by their election to Honorary Membership. It was considered that such services should be recognised by the presentation of a bronze medal, and the first to receive it was Col. E. Graham in view of his outstanding services during 25 years as a Member of Council and latterly as Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for a period of 10 years. The President for the 1948/49 Session was Lt. Col. Harold Rudgard. The death occurred in July, 1948, of Lawford H. Fry, one of the first 100 members of the Institution and one of the most active before his return to the U.S.A. in 1913. He had accepted the invitation to come to London and deliver the Sir Seymour Riscoe Tritton Lecture early in 1949. At the opening meeting of the session of the Scottish Centre on 14th October, in Glasgow, the President presented a certificate of Honorary Membership to John Robertson, Vice-chairman, for his outstanding work for the Scottish Centre. In January 1949 the South American Centre closed down through force of circumstances, after nearly 30 years of most valuable work. The difficulties and restrictions imposed upon members regarding meetings after the transfer of the Argentine railways to State Ownership were such that there was no longer any useful purpose served by continuing as a Centre, although this would not necessarily affect the membership and with it the receipt of copies of the Journal as published. The membership of the Indian and Eastern Centre, on the other hand, has been little affected by the transfer of sovereignty of India from British to Indian hands in 1947. The second award of the Institutions Bronze Medal was made at the Annual Luncheon held at the Dorchester Hotel, London, on the 25th March 1949, the recipient being L. J. Le Clair, in recognition of his outstanding and multifarious services over a long period. In April the Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture was given by Louis Armand, Director General of the French National Railways. A most successful Summer Meeting took place in May, which included a visit to the Rugby Locomotive Testing Station, followed by visits to the English Electric Co.s Works at Preston and those of Beyer Peacock & Co. in Manchester and, later, another to the works of Metropolitan Vickers Ltd., Trafford Park. On the return journey, which was via Derby, a demonstration run was given with the dynamometer car and mobile test units between Manchester and Derby.
The 1949-1951 Period
W. Cyril Williams, of Messrs. Beyer, Peacock & Co., was elected President for the 1949/50 Session, and his assumption of ofice coincided with the resignation of Major H. A. Harrison, Secretary and Treasurer of the Institution. G. T. Hart, formerly of the L. & N.E. Railway, Stratford, and in later years H.E.H. The Nizams State Railway in India, was appointed to succeed him, but Major Harrison retained the Editorship of the Journal for a period of twelve months while the new secretary accustomed himself to his duties. The death occurred on 2 k d August 1949, at the age of 78, oi F. Burtt, a Founder Member of the Institution and Honorary Secretary from 1911 to 1922. From that date until 1931 he acted as Honorary Treasurer. In October of the same year the Institution lost another valued member in the person of Col. E. Graham, elected a Member in 1913, a Member of Council in 1923, and who was Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee from 1936 to 1946.
The Western Australian Branch sustained a heavy loss in the death of F. Mills, who was largely instrumental in setting up the Branch and in supporting its activities. He was an outstanding designer and in 1938 won the first prize of £1000 in the Railway Locomotive Section of a world-wide competition sponsored by the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, U.S.A. In 1940 Mills was appointed C.M.E. of the Western Australian Government Railways and later designed the Australian Standard Garratt Locomotive for the Commonwealth Land Transport Board. A joint meeting of the Institution and the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers was held at which a Paper was read on The Relationship between Signalling and Brake Power in the Handling of Modem Traffic. This occurred in October and took place at the Institution of Electrical Engineers. In January, 1950, it was decided to appoint a nurnber of Overseas Advisory Representatives to foster the general welfare of the Institution in widely separated territories in Africa and Australia, to form a useful link with the Council in London. In March the Annual Luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel, London, was attended by the record number of 564 members and their guests. The chief guest was the High Commissioner for South Africa.
In June Major Harrison relinquished the post of Editor of the Journal which he had retained for twelve months and finally retired on superannuation. The Council placed on record their appreciation of the good work he had done during 18 years service as Secretary, Treasurer and Editor of the Journal. The 1949/50 Session ended with a most successful Summer Meeting at Swindon; no less than 275 members and visitors attended. Those from the London area were conveyed by special non-stop train provided by the Railway Executive, sufficient dining cars being attached to enable meals to be taken en route. Others from the north and west joined them at Swindon for a tour of the Works.
The President for the 1950/51 Session, R. A. Riddles, Member of the Railway Executive for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, in his Presidential Address outlined the future plans and prospects for motive power and rolling stock on British Railways, and the Programme for the Session appropriately enough included Papers on the various sections by technical officers of British Railways. February 1951 completed the first forty years of the Institutions life, and its increasing membership and sustained activities were in no wise affected by the fundamental changes which were occurring in many parts of the world.
The history of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers the ten years to the Golden Jubilee. 682-6.
The fifth decade in the Institution's history has been marked by steady growth against a background of widespread technical change. Not only here [Britain], but abroad, steam has given way to diesel and electric traction, locomotives have taken upon themselves many of the aspects of carriages, and the latter now frequently carry their own motive power. Higher speeds and the growth of specialised traffics have brought many changes to wagon stock and their technical content has been much increased. The former sharp distinctions between the mechanical and electrical sides as applied to locomotive and rolling stock engineering, have become blurred, and those engaged in any given branch of the profession have had to learn a great deal about the other branches.