Chapelon - Genius of French Steam


The name Andre Chapelon will be known all Camden customers with an interest in the development of the steam locomotive from our reprint of his  'La Locomotive a Vapeur', still available as a 'Digital Edition'. Put simply he was a genius, head and shoulders above all others in the field of steam locomotive design until the mid 1950s. This is not to belittle the skills and capabilities of men like Churchward, Stanier, Gresley and Bulleid. Indeed the latter two acknowledged the influence of Chapelon on their 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. 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 this private 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.

Reprinted from the original, but slightly smaller format. 206 pages including 32 pages of B&W photos. Paperback.

Definitely recommended!