Nigel Gresley


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(active from 1905)

An innovative railway engineer and designer, Gresley's designs for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) were characterized by their streamlined appearance, especially the record‐breaking A4 Class Mallard which set a world‐speed record of 126 miles per hour (201 km/hr) in 1938. Gresley was the Chief Mechanical Engineer at the LNER and worked closely with his Principal Assistant, O. V. S. Bulleid, and LNER engineers on the design of a number of streamlined locomotives and carriages in the 1930s. On leaving school Gresley had first entered the railway industry as an apprentice, working his way upwards to a position of responsibility. One of his first railway locomotive designs was the No. 10,000 of 1930, complete with aerodynamic features and profile. Such ideas were developed, improved, and wind‐tunnel tested on the design for the streamlined No. 2001 of 1935 and taken further on his concept of the A4 type locomotives that were characterized by an aerodynamic wedge‐shaped front that owed something to the locomotive designs of Bugatti on the Continent. The first LNER streamlined express was the silver‐grey liveried Silver Jubilee, designed under Gresley and Bulleid, which entered service in 1935. Gresley was friends with Sir Charles Allom of White Allum Ltd., who was responsible for the design of the interiors. LNER's streamlined train portfolio was expanded in 1938 to include the Coronation and West Riding Limited.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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