Auction Date: 2/09/2014 at 01pm
Brunel Railway Eccentrics. Inconsistencies of men of genius exemplified in the practice of and precept of Isambard Kingdom Brunel Esq by ‘Vigil’ [Henry Cole], second edition 1846, pamphlet disbound 8vo 26pp. An anonymous attack by Cole on Brunel and Charles Alexander Saunders, the Secretary to the Great Western Railway at the height of the railway ‘gauge war’. An uncommon publication, COPAC locates five copies only, all various issues all dated 1846. The gauge war was between Brunel, who favoured broad gauge track and used it on the GWS and other lines he developed and the standard gauge favoured by the Stephensons. Even though in trials Brunel’s system outshone the standard gauge both in terms of performance and safety, the Stephensons, no doubt aided by powerful friends at Westminster won the battle and thus we have the standard gauge on railways throughout the world today.