Archibald William John Dymond


Some factors affecting the riding of coaching stock. Proc. Instn mech. Engrs, 1931.

Forty years of automatic train control — the Great Western system. (Paper 482: Instn Loco. Engrs.1949]

Steam Locomotive Boiler Design. Instn Loco. Engrs 

Gas jets and gas turbines for railway traction. Proc. Br. Rlys. (W.R.) London Lecture & Debating Soc. 1948-9. No. 360.
Ottley 10632.


Born 15 June 1901. Died 24 May 1966, whilst still serving as Mayor of Swindon.

Forenames, and the biographical material,  supplied by subject's son. Archibald William John (AWJD) was the son of Archibald Robert Dymond, who had left school at the age of twelve and worked as a newspaper boy on Plymouth station for W. H. Smith, the company for whom he worked all his life. He travelled throughout England as his career progressed until he became Regional Manager in South Wales where AWJD was educated, being. apprenticed to The Taff Vale Railway Company.

AWJD came to prominence when he was awarded The George Stephenson Research Prize (bronze medal) by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1932 for his paper on the riding qualities of coaches (first listed above), and included what has come to be well-known as the whitewash coach which showed irregularities in the track. According to the subject's son he was very closely associated with the design of the King Class - under Collett where he understands that he particularly gained recognition for solving the leading bogie problem which was initially a cause for concern following a derailment (according to Chacksfield: C.B. Collett) of 6003 at Midgham). This involvement is confirmed by Peck who noted that: "A young designer hailing from the Taff Vale Railway, and becoming well known at Swindon in later years, A.W.J. Dymond, quickly modified spring calculations and design details were sent, by cable, to Stanier [who at that time was with No. 6000 King George V in the USA], who had new springs made and fitted. No further trouble was experienced in this matter". Nock (GWR Stars, Castles & Kings) implied that Dymond had designed the unusual King class bogie.

Another project he was closely involved as a young man was Automatic Train Control (and this again is the subject for a paper listed above). In the late 1940s under F.W. Hawkesworth, who was then GWR's Chief Mechanical Engineer AWJD was the manager of the project which brought 18000 the first gas-turbine locomotive to the UK. The locomotive had been built by the Swiss company Brown Boveri.

Two lesser investigations by Dymond are noted in Cook's Swindon steam. The fisrt was a relatively trivial system introduced to ensure that boiler washouts were performed at regular intervals. Dymond proposed that the terminal digit of the locomotive number should coincide with taht of the day of the month; thus 6006 would be washed out on the 6, 16 and 26 of the month. As presented by Cook there was no provision for action on 29 February in a non-leap year. Probably Dymond was aware that as fewer numbers end in "9" that Februaries in non-leap years would not lead to catastrophic failure of that part of the boiler stock.

The other investigation also applied to boilers where Dymond and Bond discussed boilers at Crewe. Except in Scotland, the LMS routinely removed boilers from the frames every five years. At Swindon it had been possible to keep boilers on the frames for eight years and Bond was shown a 49xx boiler which had been on the frames for 7½ years and was still in good condition. (after running 277,000 miles).

He was Chairman of the Committee established by Riddles to investigate the parameters required for the British Railways' Standard locomotives (Cox: Standard...)

Nock (GWR: Stars...) implies that Dymond was put in-charge of enhancing the Swindon dynamomter and implies that this may be regarded as further evidence of Collett's perfidity, although clearly Dymond would probably have been unaware of the "politics" of this act.

He gained an external Honours BSc at London University. He became MICE, MIMechE, MILocoE and AMIEE. In his younger life he was a very active Scouter and was very proud to have been a Gilwell Scout. .He became Mayor of Swindon. Outside railway and civic affairs he was a member of Rotary and President of the Swindon Club in 1958/59, the Bishop's nominee on the Bristol Diocesan Synod. As President of Rotary he had a dinner at which all past presidents attended including Sir William Stanier who was a senior GWR colleague in AWJD's younger days at Swindon.