Remember the atomic locomotive idea?


READING of the concerns raised regarding the pollution caused by diesel-powered trains, I was reminded of those superb cutaway drawings by L Ashwell Wood that appeared in the
Eagle comic.

One was of a rather futuristic idea of a Uranium 235 atomic-powered locomotive, that was published as a centre spread in the Eagle for August 1, 1952 (see above).

A steam loco idea very much ahead of its time, coming only 10 years after the creation of the world’s first nuclear reactor, and four years before Britain’s first nuclear power station opened at Calder Hall, Sellafield in August 1956.

Very clean propulsion, but could an atomic reactor be realistically safely shielded in a locomotive? Who knows what the future may hold in forms of clean propulsion.

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Edward Lawrence

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