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The Leader Project: Fiasco or Triumph? [Paperback]

Kevin Robertson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 Jan 2009
This handsome volume, available for the first time in paperback, represents the last word on the subject and will be required reading for all those interested in the development of the steam locomotive in the 20th century and all those fascinated by the career of Oliver Bulleid, one of Britain's most enigmatic and controversial locomotive designers.

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The Leader Project: Fiasco or Triumph? + Bulleid: Man, Myth and Machines
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Publishing Company; 1st Edition edition (8 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860936287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860936282
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 19.8 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 234,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bulleid's flawed genius. 12 Feb 2009
I picked this book up yesterday and finished it in a day - so it was obviously a 'riveting' read. This book is for the enthusiast - someone who knows something about the 'Leader' Project already. The author has written previously on the subject but since then has unearthed new material which is used to good effect -sometimes to (severely?) criticise other authors on the subject. He says he dislikes unwarranted speculation by others but then proceeds to do precisely that himself- although admittedly with caveats. The major strength of the book is the sheer amount of detail especially in the astonishingly high number of photographs (many of which the ardent modeller would find very useful). I would have liked it to have broadened the appeal to a novice audience by listing the new/unusual characteristics in the first chapter rather than picking it up piecemeal - as if by accident- as one reads the book. (E.g. double-ended cab; steam-powered bogies at each end; sleeve valves, all-welded steel boiler with thermic syphons; off-set boiler and corridor (Why?) etc). One wants to shout at Bulleid back over the mists of time at sheer frustration as even I (a Biologist) can see that the off-set boiler with connecting corridor was a big mistake from the start (was it there because the original design was for an oil-burner the author surmises. (Probably not)); I could not have forseen the complications with sleeve-valves but with all the breakdowns caused by these in bogie one especially, surely poppet valves should have been used instead, (I believe Bulleid did learn this lesson on his Irish Turf-burner). Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best steam books I have ever read! 19 Feb 2009
I have to agree with another reviewer - Richard. This is a fabulous book, and I just did not want to put it down.An absolute profusion of fabulous photographs,an informed text and fascinating comments, both from the author, and engineers involved at the time make this book a must read for anyone interested in Oliver Bulleid, Southern Steam, the birth of British Rail or just steam development in general.What a shame that the design was not pursued in some form or other, and that nothing physical is left from the examples that were constructed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but technical 13 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this account informative but frustrating at times. Some of the technical stuff is a bit esoteric and it could do with a much bigger & clearer general arrangement diagram. After reading this I am still not sure whether 'Fiasco or Triumph'. The whole project was 20 years too late as the writing was on the wall for steam even at that time. My opinion is that Bullied introduced too many innovations at once. It probably could have been made to work given a lot more development time but BR were not interested, probably rightly so.
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