Richard Maunsell

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851 "Sir Francis Drake", SR Lord Nelson class
932 Blundell's Schools Class 4-4-0 at Eastleigh in 1948

Richard Edward Lloyd Maunsell CBE (pronounced "Mansell"[citation needed]) (26 May 1868 – 7 March 1944) held the post of chief mechanical engineer (CME) of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway from 1913 until the 1923 Grouping and then the post of CME of the Southern Railway in England until 1937. He had previously worked his way up through positions in other railways in Ireland, England and India.


He was born on 26 May 1868 at Raheny, County Dublin, in Ireland. He attended The Royal School, Armagh from 1882 to 1886. After graduating in law from Trinity College, Dublin, he began an apprenticeship at the Inchicore works of the Great Southern and Western Railway (GS&WR) under H. A. Ivatt in 1886, completing his training at Horwich Works on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway[1] (as Nigel Gresley had done before him). At Horwich, he worked in the drawing office, before occupying the post of locomotive foreman in charge of the Blackpool and Fleetwood District. From there, he went to India[1] in 1894, as assistant locomotive superintendent of the East India Railway, being subsequently district locomotive superintendent of the Asansol District.

He returned in 1896 to become works manager at Inchicore on the GS&WR, moving up to become locomotive superintendent in 1911.[1]

In 1913, he was selected to succeed Harry Wainwright as CME of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.[1] When that line was merged in the 1923 grouping, with Urie of the London and South Western Railway retiring and with Billinton of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway having less experience he became chief mechanical engineer of the newly formed Southern Railway.[2] He retired in 1937, Oliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid taking over from him.[citation needed]

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1918 New Year Honours for his efforts during the First World War.[3]


Maunsell's key skill was engineering management rather than locomotive design, and he made use of design teams to create easy to maintain locomotives that could operate the required services with effective performance.[1] He was responsible for several notable locomotive classes and related equipment.

From his second spell at the GS&WR he is jointly credited with his predecessor Robert Coey with the one-off express passenger engine 4-4-0 No. 341 Sir William Goulding.[4] He is also credited there with the design of the GS&WR Class 257 (J4) of eight locomotives which were generally thought of as quite successful. While these were an incremental development of a series of GS&WR 0-6-0 classes of and in particular his predecessor Coey's GS&WR Class 351 (J9) Maunsell's locomotives where the first on the GS&WR to use superheaters and piston valves. With Maunsell departing Inchicore in 1913 the final members of this class were completed under his successor Watson.[5]

A major achievement was the introduction of the 4-6-0 SR Lord Nelson Class locomotives and also the SR Class V or Schools Class, which were the ultimate and very successful development of the British 4-4-0 express passenger type. He also introduced pulverised fuel equipment and new types of valve gear.


  • GB191419269 (with George Victor Valen Hutchinson), published 26 November 1914, Improvements relating to steam superheaters[6]
  • GB192985 (with James Clayton), published 15 February 1923, Improvements in or relating to condensers for lubricators of the condensation type[7]
  • GB202523 (with James Clayton), published 23 August 1923, A double-feed lubricator[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Swift, Peter (2012). Maunsell Moguls. Ian Allan. p. 11. ISBN 9780711034006.
  2. ^ Swift, Peter (2012). Maunsell Moguls. Ian Allan. p. 14. ISBN 9780711034006.
  3. ^ "No. 30460". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 January 1918. p. 370.
  4. ^ Clements, Jeremy; McMahon, Michael (2008). Locomotives of the GSR. Colourpoint Books. p. 116. ISBN 9781906578268.
  5. ^ Clements, Jeremy; McMahon, Michael (2008). Locomotives of the GSR. Colourpoint Books. pp. 93–94, 117. ISBN 9781906578268.
  6. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data: GB191419269 (A) ― 1914-11-26". Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  7. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data: GB192985 (A) ― 1923-02-15". Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  8. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data: GB202523 (A) ― 1923-08-23". Retrieved 2013-01-13.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Robert Coey
Locomotive Superintendent of
Great Southern and Western Railway

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Harry Wainwright
Chief Mechanical Engineer of
South Eastern and Chatham Railway

Post abolished
Company merged into Southern Railway 
Company created by Railways Act 1921
Chief Mechanical Engineer of
Southern Railway

Succeeded by
Oliver Bulleid