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Arthur Morton Bell

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Arthur Morton Bell (1864-1936)


1936 Obituary [1]

ARTHUR MORTON BELL, O.B.E., held the position of carriage and wagon superintendent of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway from 1903, when the post was created, until his retirement in 1924.

He was born at Sandy, Beds, in 1864, and served a four years' apprenticeship, commencing in 1881, under Mr. Massey Bromley, M.I.Mech.E., at the Stratford Works of the Great Eastern Railway.

In 1887 he entered the drawing office. The company was then rapidly developing its oil-burning system for locomotives under the superintendence of Mr. James Holden, M.I.Mech.E., and Mr. Bell was selected to carry out the trials, the fuel being the waste from the oil-gas works at Stratford. Mr. Bell later visited Russia, Austria, and Sicily in connexion with the application of oil fuel to locomotives, and he also carried out trials in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops at Altoona and on other American railways.

He was appointed manager of the Great Eastern Railway wagon works in 1899. In 1900 he was awarded a diploma and medal for his work in the design of the fuel-burning equipment for the Great Eastern Railway locomotive Claud Hamilton, which was one of the prize-winning locomotives exhibited at Paris in that year.

Mr. Bell then joined the Shell Transport and Trading Company as mechanical engineer and technical adviser on oil-fuel storage and equipment and held this position for three years, after which he was invited to take up his appointment with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, following the establishment of the carriage department at Matunga as a separate unit from the locomotive department. He was responsible for the entire organization of the department and for the layout and equipment of the shops. Latterly he introduced all-steel rolling stock and automatic couplers, and long advocated the adoption of continuous brakes for goods trains.

During the War he organized the carriage shops for the manufacture of munitions, and was awarded the O.B.E. in 1919 in recognition of his services.

Following his retirement, he lived in London; he published a large general work on railway locomotives shortly before his death, which occurred on 10th February 1936.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1902.


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