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The Stirling Singles
David & Charles

The Stirling Singles

Regular price £35.00 £0.00 Unit price per

The Single-wheeler was a common spectacle on the railways of Britain in the earlier days of steam. But while many of the locomotive engineers in the mid-nineteenth century had abandoned the idea of single-drivers and turned their attention and skill instead to the designing of express passenger engines with coupled wheels with their increased adhesion, Patrick Stirling stayed resolutely faithful to the idea that a large diameter single driving wheel would give adequate adhesion. In addition, he was no doubt influenced by the occasional failures of the side-rods on the large Sturrock passenger engines with coupled wheels. Stirling's first Great Northern 8-foot Single, No. 1, appeared in April 1870; and from then onwards until almost the end of his career singles appeared at intervals, each batch being an improvement in some respect or another on its predecessor. Stirling seemed to concentrate his resources into the production of a single-wheeler which would be 'the last word' both from an aesthetic and a functional point of view. But the operating conditions of the late 1890s, so different from those appertaining thirty years before, revealed that the point had been reached when no design of single-wheeler, however improved, could be regarded as adequate for the heaviest express duties. In this book the authors have set out all the stages in this fascinating story from the time that Patrick Stirling showed his first hand in the rebuilding of the two `Jenny Linds' in 1866 to the construction of the No. xoo3 series of 8-footers in 1894-95. The story is magnificently illustrated with photographs and every Stir-ling single on the Great Northern appears individually; there are also a number of shots of rebuilds of Sturrock engines. Much of the material in the book appears in print for the first time. Every effort has been made to provide the reader with an insight into the background behind the design of these singles as well as in providing performance logs typifying the superb work they did in the hands of the skilful drivers of their day.

Hardback with dust jacket, 160 pages, black & white photographs

Condition: Good with a little wear to book

ISBN: 9780999005576

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Updated: 29 December 2022