F W Webb’s 3 Cylinder Compounds


Always a controversial family of steam locomotives, F. W. Webb’s three-cylinder compounds were in their day the subject of both praise and condemnation. History has, however, largely been unkind to them and their creator Frank Webb – at the time arguably the most famous railway mechanical engineer in the world. Masses of ill-informed myths and sheer nonsense have been published about these machines during the century or more since the last of their number was scrapped. The full story of these fascinating, idiosyncratic engines is contained in various archives and was waiting to be rediscovered. The result of forty years of research, this book traces the development of the compounds, their continuous improvement in terms of engineering detail and day to day performance as well as what it was like for those men who operated and maintained them.

Hardback, 268 pages, black & white (plus a few colour) illustrations, drawings