Johnson, Samuel Waite

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b. 14 October 1831 Bramley, Leeds, England
d. 14 January 1912 Nottingham, England
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English locomotive engineer, designer of Midland Railway's successful compound locomotives.
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After an apprenticeship with E.B.Wilson, Leeds, Johnson worked successively for the Great Northern, Manchester Sheffield \& Lincolnshire, Edinburgh \& Glasgow and Great Eastern Railways before being appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the Midland Railway in 1873. There he remained for the rest of his working life, becoming notable for well-designed, well-finished locomotives. Of these, the most famous were his 4–2–2 express locomotives, introduced in 1887. The use of a single pair of driving-wheels was made possible at this late date by application of steam sanding gear (invented in 1886 by F. Holt) to enable them to haul heavy trains without slipping. In 1901, almost at the end of his career, he produced the first Midland compound 4–4–0, with a single internal high-pressure cylinder and two external low-pressure ones. The system had been devised by W.M.Smith, working on the North Eastern Railway under Wilson Worsdell. These locomotives were successful enough to be developed and built in quantity by Johnson's successors and were adopted as a standard locomotive by the London Midland \& Scottish Railway after the grouping of 1923.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1898.
Further Reading
C.Hamilton Ellis, 1958, Twenty Locomotive Men, Ian Allan, Ch. 11 (describes Johnson's career).
E.L.Ahrons, 1927, The British Steam Railway Locomotive 1825–1925, The Locomotive Publishing Co. (describes Johnson's locomotives).
PJGR

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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