James Anderson (engineer)

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For other people of the same name, see James Anderson (disambiguation).

James Edward Anderson, CBE (3 April 1871 – 15 January 1945) was a mechanical engineer of the Midland Railway and later the London, Midland and Scottish Railway and had a great influence on the latter's adoption of the former's unwise locomotive policies.


Born in 1871, Anderson served an apprenticeship with the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNoSR). He worked for Sharp Stewart and Company, Dübs and Company and the Glasgow and South Western Railway (GSWR), before becoming Assistant Chief Draughtsmant of Robert Stephenson Ltd of Darlington.

In April 1903, Anderson moved to the Midland Railway (MR) at Derby as a draughtsman. He replaced J.W. Smith when Smith left for Great Central Railway, and was also given responsibility for the Locomotive Works in the absence of Henry Fowler.

During Anderson's time at Derby, he helped design the 990 Class 4-4-0. Superheating was introduced on the Class 4F 0-6-0 and to the rebuilt Class 2P 4-4-0. A large 2-8-0 for the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway and the Lickey Banker 0-10-0 for the Lickey Incline. These departed from the Midland's small engine policy.

Anderson was acting Chief Mechanical Engineer between 1915 and 1919 when Fowler was away on war work. Anderson himself was awarded a CBE in March 1920 for his own war work.

The Midland was grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. On locomotive affairs, Anderson and Fowler were able to influence the LMS to follow Midland practice rather than that of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). This included the use of standard small axle bearings and short travel valves that resulted in hot axle boxes and inefficiency respectively.

Andeson retired in 1932 to Ayr. A year later, William Stanier arrived from the Great Western Railway and started to reform things. Anderson died in 1945.

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