Chapelon: Genius of French Steam
Publisher: Crecy Publishing
The name Andre Chapelon will be known to everyone with an interest in the development of the steam locomotive. Put simply he was a genius, head and shoulders above all others in the field of steam locomotive design. This is not to belittle the skills and capabilities of men like Churchward, Stanier, Gresley and Bulleid. Indeed the latter acknowledged the influence of Chapelon on his work.
In his native France, Chapelon transformed the steam locomotives of various French railways from often mediocre machines into high performers surpassing the capabilities of similar machines used in other European countries at the time. He was responsible for both rebuilds as well as new designs. His work was disrupted by World War II, but his importance was reasserted in 1946 with his superb 4-8-4 No 242 A 1 capable of producing a continuous output of 5,500hp, a remarkable achievement.
Colonel Roger's book on Andre Chapelon, originally published in 1972, has been difficult to obtain for many years. It remains the best and most detailed biography of the man and his work. It is both a readable and accessible guide to the life and achievements of a man whom few would disagree was the foremost steam locomotive engineer the world has ever seen.
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