John G. Robinson

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John George Robinson CBE, (30 July 1856 – 7 December 1943) was chief mechanical engineer of the Great Central Railway from 1900 to 1922.

Early life[edit]

Robinson was educated at the Chester Grammar School, and in 1872 commenced an engineering apprenticeship with the Great Western Railway at Swindon Works, as a pupil of Joseph Armstrong. In 1878 he became assistant to his father Matthew Robinson at Bristol, and in 1884 joined the Waterford and Limerick Railway (which became the Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway in 1896[1]) as their locomotive, carriage and wagon assistant superintendent. He was promoted to superintendent the following year.

Great Central Railway[edit]

A Robinson-designed GCR Class 8K 2-8-0 heavy freight locomotive, built in 1912, in service at Langwith Junction shed on 7 August 1960

In 1900 Robinson joined the Great Central Railway as locomotive and marine superintendent[2] and in 1902 was appointed chief mechanical engineer. He remained in that post until 1922, when prior to the Great Central's grouping into the London and North Eastern Railway he declined the post of chief mechanical engineer of the LNER, choosing instead to step aside for the younger Nigel Gresley. Robinson was awarded a CBE in 1920.

Robinson's first passenger locomotive design for the GCR was Class 11B (LNER Class D9) 4-4-0, of which 40 were built between 1901 and 1904, the last being withdrawn by British Railways in 1950.[3] Robinson followed in 1913 with the larger Class 11E (LNER D10) "Director" Class 4-4-0 locomotive, which was used on GCR express trains from London Marylebone to Sheffield Victoria and Manchester London Road. Ten were built, followed by eleven "Improved Director" (GCR Class 11F, LNER Class D11) locomotives during 1920-1924.[3]

Robinson's famous GCR Class 8K 2-8-0 heavy freight locomotive was introduced in 1911 and many more were built for the Railway Operating Division of the Royal Engineers in 1917. Some of these reliable locomotives, of which over 400 were built, remained in service with the LNER and later British Railways until 1966.[4]

Locomotive classes credited to Robinson[edit]

Waterford and Limerick Railway[edit]

Year Type Nos. GSWR Class GSWR Nos. GSR Class Inchicore Class Withdrawn Notes
1888–93 0-6-0 WLR 5 to 7 224 224 to 226 1905–1909 [5]
1889–94 2-4-0 WLR 10, 22, 20, 23, 43, 44, 47, and 48 276 263, 275, 273, 276, 290 to 293 276 G3 1907–1959
1891 2-4-2T WLR 13 and 14 266 226 and 227 267
491
F4
F5
1933–1935 226 sold to CMDR 6 in 1913; to GSR 491 in 1925
1892 0-4-2T WLR 3 260 260 1912
1893 0-6-0 WLR 45, 46, 49, and 50 233 233 to 236 235 J22 1911–1951
1894 0-4-4T WLR 15 268 268 1912
1895 0-4-4T WLR 51 and 52 294 294 and 295 295 E2 1910–1954
1896–97 4-4-2T WLWR 16 to 18, and 21 269 269 to 271, 274 269 C5 1949–1957
1896–97 4-4-0 WLWR 53 to 55 296 296 to 298 296 D15 1928–1949
1897 0-6-0 WLWR 56 to 58 237 237 to 239 222 J25 1934–1951
1899 0-4-4T WLWR 27 279 279 279 E1 1953
1900 0-6-0 WLWR 2, 4, 11 222 222 222 J25 1929–1950 4 and 11 sold before delivery to MGWR 141 and 142
Introduced Wheel Arrangement Purpose Notes
1889 2-4-0 Express Passenger [6]
1891 2-4-2T Passenger Tank for Limerick and Tralee line, 2 in class[6]
1895 0-4-4T Tank Engine for Limerick, Ennis and Tuam Line, 2 in class[7]
1896 4-4-2T Tank Engine 4 in class [7]
1896 4-4-0 Express Passenger for Waterford to Limerick boat trains, 3 in class[8]
1899 0-6-0 Standard Goods Engine 8 in class[8]

Great Central Railway[edit]

Introduced Wheel Arrangement GCR Class LNER Class Purpose Notes
1901 0-6-0 9J J11 Goods Engine "Pom-poms"[9][10]
1901 4-4-0 11B D9 Express Passenger [9][11][12]
1902 4-6-0 8 B5 Express Goods "Fish Engines"[13][14]
1902 0-8-0 8A Q4 Heavy Goods "Tinies"[15][16][17]
1903 4-4-2 8B C4 Express Passenger two-cylinder 'simple' "Atlantics", the "Jersey Lillies"[18][19][20]
1903 4-6-0 8C B1 (B18 from 1943) Express Passenger [21][22]
1903 4-4-2T 9K C13 Suburban Passenger [23][24]
1905-06 4-4-2 8D C5 Express Passenger 3-cylinder 'compound' "Atlantic"[25][26]
1906 4-4-2 8E C5 Express Passenger 8D with modified frames [26]
1906 0-6-0T 5A J63 Dock Tank [27][28]
1906 4-6-0 8F B4 Express Passenger and Goods "Imminghams"[29][30]
1906 4-6-0 8G B9 Express Goods [31][32]
1907 4-4-0 11C D9 Express Passenger Large-boiler rebuild of two 11Bs[11][33]
1907 4-4-2T 9L C14 Suburban Passenger [23][34][35]
1907 0-8-4T 8H S1 Hump Shunting Tank for Wath Yard "Daisies"[17][36][37]
1908 4-4-2 8J - Express Passenger 3-cylinder 'simple' "Atlantic" rebuilt from 8B, 'de-rebuilt' 1922 [26]
1909 4-4-0 11D D9 Express Passenger Large-boiler piston-valve rebuild of an 11B[11][33]
1911 4-6-2T 9N A5 Suburban Passenger Tank "Coronation Tank"[38][39]
1911 2-8-0 8K O4 Heavy Goods "R.O.D."[40][41]
1912 4-6-0 1 B2 (B19 from 1945) Express Passenger "Sir Sam Fay"[42][43]
1913 4-6-0 1A B8 Express Goods "Glenalmonds"[44][45]
1913 4-4-0 11E D10 Express Passenger "Directors"[46][47]
1914 2-6-4T 1B L1 (L3 from 1945) Heavy Goods Tank [48][49]
1917 4-6-0 9P B3 Express Passenger "Faringdon" 4-cylinder[50][51]
1918 2-8-0 8M O5 Heavy Goods large-boilered 8K[41][52]
1918 4-6-0 8N B6 Fast Mixed Traffic [53][54]
1919 4-4-0 11F D11 Express Passenger "Improved Director"[53][55]
1921 4-6-0 9Q B7 Fast Mixed Traffic "Black Pig" 4-cylinder[56][57]

Preserved Robinson locomotives[edit]

Robinson GCR Class 11F 4-4-0 No. 506 Butler–Henderson on display at the National Railway Museum, York, in 2004

Two Robinson-designed locomotives are preserved in the UK:

Three Robinson-designed locomotives are preserved in Australia

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Jackson 1996, p. 7
  2. ^ Dow 1969, p. 7
  3. ^ a b Casserley 1974, p. 22
  4. ^ Casserley 1974, p. 78
  5. ^ Haresnape & Rowledge 1982, pp. 17–27
  6. ^ a b Hancox 1995, p. 5
  7. ^ a b Hancox 1995, p. 6
  8. ^ a b Hancox 1995, p. 7
  9. ^ a b Hancox 1995, p. 8
  10. ^ Fry 1966, p. 63
  11. ^ a b c Boddy et al. 1981, p. 62
  12. ^ Smith 1993, p. 4
  13. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 11
  14. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 29
  15. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 10
  16. ^ Boddy et al. 1984, p. 18
  17. ^ a b Russell 1997, p. 5
  18. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 12
  19. ^ Boddy et al. 1979, p. 66
  20. ^ Aves 2002, p. 4
  21. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 14
  22. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 6
  23. ^ a b Aves 2000, p. 8
  24. ^ Boddy et al. 1984, p. 31
  25. ^ Boddy et al. 1979, p. 83
  26. ^ a b c Aves 2002, p. 7
  27. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 16
  28. ^ Allen et al. 1970, p. 66
  29. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 25
  30. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 24
  31. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 26
  32. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 46
  33. ^ a b Smith 1993, p. 5
  34. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 15
  35. ^ Boddy et al. 1984, p. 35
  36. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 27
  37. ^ Boddy et al. 1977, p. 22
  38. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 28
  39. ^ Boddy et al. 1984, p. 4
  40. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 29
  41. ^ a b Boddy et al. 1983, p. 33
  42. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 30
  43. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, pp. 10–11
  44. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 31
  45. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 43
  46. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 32
  47. ^ Boddy et al. 1981, p. 76
  48. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 33
  49. ^ Boddy et al. 1977, p. 4
  50. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 34
  51. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 16
  52. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 35
  53. ^ a b Hancox 1995, p. 36
  54. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 35
  55. ^ Boddy et al. 1981, p. 84
  56. ^ Hancox 1995, p. 38
  57. ^ Boddy et al. 1975, p. 37
Bibliography
  • Allen, D. W.; Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Proud, P.; Roundthwaite, T. E.; Tee, D. F.; Yeadon, W. B. (November 1970), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 8A: Tank Engines - Classes J50 to J70, Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-05-3 
  • Aves, W.A.T. (March–April 2000), Locomotives Illustrated 130: The Great Central 2-4-2, 4-4-2 & 0-6-2 Tank Engines, Ashford, Kent: RAS Publishing, ISSN 0307-1804 
  • Aves, W.A.T. (September–October 2002), Locomotives Illustrated 145: Robinson Great Central Railway Atlantics, Ashford, Kent: RAS Publishing, ISSN 0307-1804 
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Hoole, Ken; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Platt, E. N. T.; Proud, P.; Yeadon, W. B. (March 1975), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 2B: Tender Engines—Classes B1 to B19, Lincoln: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-73-8 
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Hoole, Ken; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Platt, E. N. T.; Russell, O.; Yeadon, W. B. (November 1979), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 3A: Tender Engines—Classes C1 to C11, Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-45-2 
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Hennigan, W.; Neve, E.; Platt, E. N. T.; Russell, O.; Yeadon, W. B. (January 1981), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 3B: Tender Engines—Classes D1 to D12, Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-46-0 
  • Boddy, M.G.; Brown, W.A.; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W.B. (November 1983), Fry, E.V., ed., Part 6B: Tender Engines - Classes O1 to P2, Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-54-1 
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Hennigan, W.; Hoole, Ken; Neve, E.; Yeadon, W. B. (September 1984), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 6C: Tender Engines—Classes Q1 to Y10, Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-55-X 
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Hoole, Ken; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Platt, E. N. T.; Proud, P.; Yeadon, W. B. (March 1977), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 9A: Tank Engines—Classes L1 to N19, Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-40-1 
  • Boddy, M. G.; Brown, W. A.; Fry, E. V.; Hennigan, W.; Hoole, Ken; Manners, F.; Neve, E.; Platt, E. N. T.; Proud, P.; Yeadon, W. B. (June 1977), Fry, E. V., ed., Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Part 9B: Tank Engines—Classes Q1 to Z5, Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-41-X 
  • Casserley, H.C. (1974), Locomotives at the Grouping - 2 - London & North Eastern Railway, Ian Allan Limited, ISBN 0-7110-0553-2 
  • Dow, George (1969), Great Central Album, Ian Allan Limited, ISBN 0-7110-0070-0 
  • Fry, E.V., ed. (September 1966), Part 5: Tender Engines - Classes J1 to J37, Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-12-6 
  • Fry, E.V., ed. (April 1964), Part 7: Tank Engines - Classes A5 to H2, Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., Kenilworth: RCTS, ISBN 0-901115-13-4 
  • Hancox, A.C. (1995), The Harmonious Blacksmith Robinson, The Stephenson Locomotive Society, ISBN 0-903881-03-9 
  • Haresnape, Brian; Rowledge, Peter (1982), Robinson Locomotives, a pictorial history, Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited, ISBN 0-7110-1151-6 
  • Jackson, David (1996), J.G. Robinson: A Lifetime's Work, Headington: Oakwood Press, ISBN 0-85361-497-0, OL98 
  • Russell, Patrick (March–April 1997), Locomotives Illustrated 112: Robinson Eight-coupled Locomotives, Worcester Park, Surrey: RAS Publishing, ISSN 0307-1804 
  • Smith, Martin (July–August 1993), Locomotives Illustrated 90: The Robinson Great Central 4-4-0s, Worcester Park, Surrey: RAS Publishing, ISSN 0307-1804 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Harry Pollitt (engineer)
Locomotive Engineer of the Great Central Railway
1900-1902
post renamed
New title
post renamed
Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Central Railway
1902-1922
Succeeded by
Nigel Gresley (LNER)