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Stenlake Publishing - Under 10 CMEs - Volume Two: C. E. Fairburn to J. F. Harrison, 1944-1959

Under 10 CMEs - Volume Two: C. E. Fairburn to J. F. Harrison, 1944-1959

Author : By E. A. Langridge - compiled and edited by John Marshall, Simon Marshall & Bruce Nathan
ISBN : 9780853617167
Cover : paperback
Price : £16.95

Eric Arthur Langridge died in 1999 at the age of 102. He was little known to enthusiasts until his retirement in 1959, when Eric became one of the most important contributors to locomotive history, particularly through his monumental series Under 10 CMEs, which appeared in the SLS Journal in 28 instalments between 1973 and 1988.

Eric was born in 1896. Through family contacts he went to Eastleigh in 1912 to serve an apprenticeship with the London & South Western Railway, nominally under Dugald Drummond. Eric’s first spell in the drawing office at Eastleigh was in 1916 when he did the valve gear for the ‘S15’ class 4-6-0, and in a later spell the did the valve gears of the 4-6-2T and 4-8-0T. In 1920 he moved to the Midland Railway at Derby. He commenced a 39 year stint in the drawing offices there.

Although he designed many parts of the locomotive, it was eventually boilers that became his speciality. His most important work was the the Stanier era, firstly with the boiler for the Stanier ‘Jubilees’: this boiler formed the basis of all the Stanier class ‘3’ boilers, covering the 2-6-0s, the class ‘5’ 4-6-0s and the class ‘8’ 2-8-0. Later he designed the second variety of class ‘1’ boiler for the ‘Princesses’, and the class ‘3A’ boiler for the later ‘Jubilees’. Finally he did the preliminary layout of the ‘Duchess’, and then the detailed design of the boiler.

In 1946 he was appointed head of the development drawing office, and was involved with the post-war experimental class ‘5’ engines and the main line diesels Nos. 10000/1. He became increasingly involved in diesel design and ended his career as diesel assistant to the chief mechanical engineer of the London Midland Region of British Railways.

Fortunately for locomotive historians, Eric preserved the working notebooks that he had used throughout his time at Derby, together with a large collection of papers, many of them unique. The notebooks are particularly valuable in dating various stages in the evolution of the Stanier engines; they shed much light on contemporary Derby thinking.

Although many retired locomotive men have written autobiographies, most of them graduated into senior management positions and were far removed from the detailed work of designing engines. Under 10 CMEs is unique in being written by a man who stayed close to detailed locomotive design for 40 years, including the early stages of the transition to diesel traction. No other writer has ever recorded in detail how and why locomotive designs evolved. Eric had a distinctive style of writing, well suited to his highly cynical view of some of the machinations of higher management. Eric was a valuable source of information for the authors of the RCTS Locomotives of the LMS series and to anyone interested in the details of latter-day LMS and BR locomotives.

A5 format, 224 pages, 127 photographs, etc.

Under 10 CMEs - Volume Two: C. E. Fairburn to J. F. Harrison, 1944-1959
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