Sentinel Locomotives and Sentinel-Cammell Railcars, Their Design and Development

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Sentinel Locomotives and Sentinel-Cammell Railcars, Their Design and Development

By John M. Hutchings

Published by the Industrial Railway Society in 2020, 348 pages. Large hardback - c.21cm by 28cm (N7459)

From the introduction: The Sentinel locomotive and Sentinel-Cammell rail coach are of particular interest to railway historians as the only commercially successful application of vertical water tube boilers and enclosed engine units to rail vehicles in the United Kingdom.

Introduced in 1923 as an extension of Sentinel's road steam waggon business, both locomotives and rail coaches enjoyed considerable success, both in the home market and as exports to many overseas buyers. Production declined in the mid 1930s and was of necessity suspended during the Second World War but, after a slow recovery in the late 1940s, something of a renaissance occurred in the early 1950s, due in no small measure to the marketing skills of Thomas Hill Ltd of Rotherham who handled all orders in this country from 1949 onwards. A rapid decline in sales during the middle 1950s, coupled with the takeover of the Shrewsbury factory by Rolls­ Royce Ltd in 1956, signalled the end of steam production shortly afterwards, but development of a new and thoroughly modern design of diesel-hydraulic shunting locomotive that came to market in 1959 revived the railway department for a further period. Production of diesel locomotives gradually tailed off from the middle 1960s, due to a general and accelerating decline in railway goods traffic. Coupled to this was the availability, at very competitive prices, of a large quantity of second-hand British Railways diesel shunters rendered redundant by reduced traffic demands, but with many years of useful life left in them. These factors led to the eventual end of locomotive production at Shrewsbury in early 1971.

There is therefore good reason to give an account of how Sentinel rail vehicles were developed, the different designs, their good (and not so good) points. Readers of this book must heed an important caveat. Rail vehicles formed but one part of Sentinel's output at Shrewsbury. Prior to 1923 the works had only built the Sentinel road steam waggon, but introduction of the Super-Sentinel waggon in that year, with its improved design of engine and boiler allowed diversification into the rail vehicle market, together with fixed steam power units for industrial purposes. Later still, as the road steam vehicle market contracted, further diversification into machine tool work, general engineering and, later still, the construction of internal combustion engine vehicles was encompassed. Whilst it would be laudable to try and present a complete history of all these activities, the author has only studied the rail vehicles in detail and I have perforce confined myself to this aspect of Sentinel's output, although reference to the Sentinel road steam waggon designs will be necessary at times.

This book is divided into two sections, the first detailing activities up to 1939 and the second from 1944 onwards. The loss of virtually all official documentation prior to 1926 has meant that certain pre-1939 designs are described in greater detail than others and the author apologises in advance for this somewhat uneven coverage. The success of Sentinel's steam vehicles, on both road and rail, was due in no small measure to the excellent design of the Sentinel vertical boilers and engines and their subsequent development. The chapter covering these components is therefore somewhat more comprehensive than may suit all readers, but necessary given their importance to the success of both locomotives and railcars.
Chapters include:

Introduction to Section One
Boilers and Engines
Chain-Drive Horizontal Engine Rail Coaches
Chain-Drive Vertical Engine Rail Coaches
Gear-Drive and Shaft-Drive Railcars
Narrow Gauge BE Locomotives
Locomotive Rebuilds
CE and CEDG Locomotives
DE and DEDG Locomotives
Standard Gauge BE Locomotives
Narrow Gauge Convertible Locomotives
LNER Ash Crane Locomotives
Advanced Designs for the 1930s
Introduction to Section Two
100hp Chain-Drive Locomotives
200hp Chain-Drive Locomotives
Post-1945 Export Orders
The Rod-Drive Locomotives
The Receiver Locomotives
The Electro-Gyro Locomotive
The Sentinel Diesel-Hydraulic Locomotives
Steam Locomotive & Railcar Makers List
Diesel Locomotive Makers List
Locomotives & Railcars with Woolnough Boilers and/or Doble Fittings
Rebuilds not carried out by Sentinel
The Colombian Articulated Locomotives in Service
Surviving Sentinel Steam Locomotives and Railcars

The book is illustrated throughout with black and white (and some colour) photographs, drawings and line diagrams

PLEASE NOTE, because this book is very heavy, international shipping charges will be higher than our flat rate cost.