Oliver Bulleid Facts and Biography

Oliver Bulleid

Oliver Bulleid Biography Summary: Oliver Bulleid (1882 - 1970) was famous for being the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway. He would become known as an engineering genius and an innovator in the railway business. He would become most well known for his legendary Atlantic Coast Express carrying holiday-makers to the South West of England as well as the non-stop Bournemouth Belle Pullman service which ran from Waterloo to the coast.

Not only was he a designer of locomotives but he would also be required to develop electric multiple units together with electrification of the infrastructure and developing coaching stock also. He contributed much to the war effort as well during his time at which point he was required to design and develop a locomotive capable of pulling enormous weights in war machinery.

Oliver Bulleid Fact Sheet:  Who was Oliver Bulleid? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Oliver Bulleid.


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Oliver Bulleid Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1882 - 1970 *** Full Name: Oliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid *** Occupation: British Railway and Mechanical Engineer *** Date of Birth: He was born on September 19th 1882 *** Place of Birth: He was born in Invercargill, New Zealand *** Family background: His father was William Bulleid and his mother was Marian Pugh. Both of his parents were British immigrants *** Early life and childhood: He grew up initially in New Zealand until 1889 when his father died and his mother returned to Wales *** Education: Oliver Bulleid was educated in Wales *** Death: Oliver Bulleid died on April 25, 1970

Oliver Bulleid Fact 1: Oliver Bulleid was born on September 19th 1882 and during the 19th century period in history when great strides were made in the industrial revolution, the Victoria era was coming to a close and there were vast technological advances being made.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 2: When he had completed his initial education he attended technical college in Accrington before joining the Great Northern Railway when he was eighteen years of age.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 3: He was apprenticed to H. A. Ivatt the CME at Great Northern Railway in Doncaster.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 4: When he had completed his four year apprenticeship he was made the assistant to the Locomotive Running Superintendent and one year later he was made the Doncaster Works Manager.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 5: He left in 1908 and travelled to work in Paris with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in their French division as a Test Engineer and was soon promoted up to Assistant Works Manager and then Chief Draughtsman.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 6: Also in 1908 he met and married Marjorie Ivatt who was the daughter of H. A. Ivatt who he had apprenticed under.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 7: During 1910 he worked briefly for the Board of Trade and arranged exhibitions in Paris, Brussels and Turin.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 8: During this time he was able to travel through Europe just prior to World War I starting, travelling with Gresley, Hawksworth and Stanier to Belgium where they saw a metre-gauge bogie locomotive.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 9: He became a Personal Assistant to Nigel Gresley when he rejoined Great Northern Railway in 1912.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 10: When World War I erupted he joined the British Army and was posted to the transport arm.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 11: At wars end he was able to return to the Great Northern Railway in the Wagon and Carriage Works as the Manager.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 12: By 1923 the Great Northern Railway was having financial difficulties and so was subsumed into what would become the London and North Eastern Railway.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 13: Gresley, who had been appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer made arrangements for Bulleid to be his assistant back in Doncaster.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 14: During this period in time Gresley developed many of his innovations and famous locomotives many of which Bulleid had a part in.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 15: Bulleid would accept the post of CME of the Southern Railway when Richard Edward Lloyd Maunsell retired. His first major job when he joined was in the overseeing of the development of three 350 hp six wheeled diesel-electric shunters.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 16: With three delivered another eight were ordered but would be delayed with the onset of World War II.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 17: During 1938 Bulleid was given approval to build Merchant Navy class modern “Pacifics” 4-2-6. Without doubt influenced by Gresley but drawing on his own experiences from his travels across Europe.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 18: He would also play a significant part in the electrification of the Southern Railway which included infrastructure, electric locomotives and electric multiple units.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 19: He would also be responsible for designing and constructing Britain’s only double decker passenger trains.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 20: In 1958 he retired and moved to Belstone in Devon. He would be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by the University of Bath.

Oliver Bulleid Fact 21: He moved to the island of Malta in 1970 and shortly after his arrival Oliver Bulleid died on April 25, 1970, aged eighty seven years.

Influence & Legacy: He left behind a wonderful legacy of locomotive engines and although many engineers agreed certain parts of the engines would benefit from being encased to stop dirt from entering critical moving parts Bulleid developed an advanced chain-driven valve-gear immersed in an oil bath that's only disadvantage was the meticulous level of maintenance required.



Learn about this famous person, Oliver Bulleid, with concise and facts which provide answers to all of your questions in an easy timeline format for kids. Our short, interesting fact sheet about Oliver Bulleid contains all the facts and info you need to know and more! Enjoy our fast, fact sheet for kids  which helps to make the learning process fast and easy.

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