James McConnell

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James Edward McConnell
James McConnell.jpg
Born 1 January 1815
Died 11 June 1883(1883-06-11) (aged 68)
Great Missenden
Nationality British
Engineering career
Discipline Locomotive engineer
Employer(s) Birmingham and Gloucester Railway
London and North Western Railway

James Edward McConnell (1815-1883) was one of the first locomotive engineers of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR). He was Locomotive Superintendent of the LNWR's Southern Division at Wolverton railway works from 1847 to 1862 and oversaw the design of the "Bloomer" and "Patent" locomotives. He was also one of the founding members of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


McConnell was born at Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland, on 1 January 1815.[1]

Since the Rainhill Trials in 1829, it had been accepted that the smoke emitted by burning coal was a nuisance.[2] Railway companies accepted the need to burn coke (a smokeless fuel) in their locomotives, but this was much more expensive than coal, and several locomotive engineers sought a method by which coal could be burned smokelessly.[3] One such engineer was McConnell, who designed a boiler suitable for coal in 1852.[4]

McConnell died at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England, on 11 June 1883.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Marshall 1978, p. 146.
  2. ^ Ahrons 1987, p. 12.
  3. ^ Ahrons 1987, p. 131.
  4. ^ Ahrons 1987, pp. 132-133.