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British Railway History Item


Henry Alfred Ivatt

He first worked on the railways as an apprentice at Crewe before joining the Great Southern & Western Railway, Ireland at Inchicore works, where he became locomotive engineer in 1886. He succeeded Patrick Stirling as locomotive engineer of the Great Northern Railway in 1896. He retired in 1911, being succeeded by H.N.Gresley.

While in Ireland in the 1890s, he designed a variety of tank engines, some of which lasted into the 1950s. On the GNR, Stirling's locomotives were no longer powerful enough for the heavier express trains with bogie stock. This led to Ivatt initially designing 4-4-0s then 4-4-2s from 1898, number 990 being the first of its type in Britain. The larger versions appearing in 1902 and once superheated, became oputstandig locomotives remaining on express duties well into the 1930s.

Other locomotive design innovations included:

  • Experimental compounds, which were dropped as they showed no advantages over his simple 4-4-2s
  • 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 Long Tom goods locos
  • 4-4-2 and 0-6-2 tank engines for suburban trains.

Some locos were superheated when built, others were later improves by the addition of superheating. He patented a water-scoop a built-up crank-axle.

Under his control, the GNR produced some notable 12-wheel carriages, fearuring the automatic coupler, for its own and East Coast joint stock in marked contrast to the non-bogied stock of the Stirling era.

Last Updated : Friday 14th April 2006 05:47

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