Sir Vincent Raven (OL 137)
It would be incorrect to state that Sir Vincent Raven's contribution to the development of British railways has been ignored but it has certainly been overlooked and this biography will, it is hoped, re-dress the imbalance. Vincent Raven was, arguably, one of the far-sighted - if not the most far-sighted - of the Victorian railway engineers. His work on steam locomotives was overshadowed by Churchward of the Great Western Railway and by Gresley of the Great Northern Railway but in promulgating his ideas on electric traction, in common with Sir Isaac Newton, he stood on the shoulders of giants. Raven was born in Great Fransham in Norfolk in 1859 and in 1875 he took up a pupil apprenticeship with the North Eastern Railway at Gateshead. By 1910 Raven had risen to the position of Chief Mechanical Engineer with the NER. He was to remain in that position until the formation of the LNER at the Grouping. His 0-8-0 locomotives in particular were to prove to be solid workhorses from their introduction right through to withdrawal in the 1960s. Raven's vision of an electrified main line from York to Newcastle was set aside with the onset of World War I, little was he to know that it was to take some 70 years before that particular dream was to become a reality.
Softback (A5 format), 144 pages, with 109 illustrations
Condition: Very Good
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