The Bulleid Leader.

Updated: 31 Mar 2007
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Above: The prototype Leader, No.36001

The Leader Locomotive was designed by the famous O V S Bulleid, of the Southern Railway, in response to a request for 25 passenger tank locomotives that could for arduous duties.

The body was carried on two six-wheeled bogies, each powered by a three-cylinder steam engine; thus all the weight was available for adhesion. Lack of space meant that sleeve valves with combined reciprocating and rotating motion had to be used, with a uniflow exhaust system. As detailed on another page, The Uniflow system is at first sight very attractive, but has some intractable practical problem, particularily when used for vehicle propulsion. Nonetheless, several other uniflow designs were tried before the Leader, including The Paget Locomotive, and you can learn more about them here.

The original Leaderdesign had a central cab, but this was replaced with separate driving cabs at each end.

Completed in June 1949. Project abandoned March 1951.

Steam conditions280 lb/sqin
CylindersSix 12.25 x 15 in (three per bogie)
Planned Weight112.5 tons
Actual Weight131 tons

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