The Atmospheric Railway of I.K. Brunel

  title={The Atmospheric Railway of I.K. Brunel},
  author={Robert A. Buchanan},
  journal={Social Studies of Science},
  pages={231 - 243}
  • R. Buchanan
  • Published 1 May 1992
  • Environmental Science
  • Social Studies of Science
I.K. Brunel took the daring but carefully calculated decision to recommend the adoption of atmospheric propulsion on the South Devon Railway in 1844. The principle had been convincingly demonstrated in models and small-scale operation, and it offered attractive advantages on the heavy gradients between Exeter and Plymouth. However, the installation proved to be a costly failure for the South Devon Railway, and it was abandoned in 1848, when still incomplete. The immediate reasons for the… 
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