Topic: Trains/UK Railways
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Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.
Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and the development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.
On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile (3.2 km) long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge, a "broad gauge" of 7 ft 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm), instead of what was later to be known as "standard gauge" of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SS Great Western (1838), the SS Great Britain (1843), and the SS Great Eastern (1859).
In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons". In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.
- "Isambard Kingdom Brunel" | 2015-11-16 | 52 Upvotes 17 Comments
- "Isambard Kingdom Brunel" | 2014-05-13 | 103 Upvotes 25 Comments
London Pneumatic Despatch Company
The London Pneumatic Despatch Company (also known as the London Pneumatic Dispatch Company) was formed on 30 June 1859, to design, build and operate an underground railway system for the carrying of mail, parcels and light freight between locations in London. The system was used between 1863 and 1874.
- "London Pneumatic Despatch Company" | 2020-10-21 | 45 Upvotes 20 Comments
60163 Tornado, the first new build British mainline steam locomotive since 1960
LNER Peppercorn Class A1 No. 60163 Tornado is a 4-6-2 steam locomotive completed in 2008 to an original design by Arthur Peppercorn. It is the first new build British mainline steam locomotive since 1960, and the only Peppercorn Class A1 in existence after the original batch were scrapped. In 2017, Tornado became the first steam locomotive to officially reach 100 mph (160 km/h) on British tracks in over 50 years.
After the project was founded by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in 1990, construction of Tornado began in 1994 and mostly took place at Darlington Works, with other components manufactured elsewhere. The project was financed through fundraising initiatives, public donations, sponsorship deals, and hiring out Tornado itself for special services. The locomotive was granted its mainline certificate in January 2009, having been designed in compliance with modern safety and certification standards. Tornado has worked on heritage and mainline trains across Britain since 2008. In 2022, it was withdrawn for overhaul.
- "60163 Tornado, the first new build British mainline steam locomotive since 1960" | 2023-03-13 | 102 Upvotes 68 Comments