Robert Sinclair (locomotive engineer)

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Robert Sinclair
(locomotive engineer)
Born 1 July 1817
Died 20 October 1898
Nationality British
Education Charterhouse School
Engineering career
Discipline Mechanical engineering

Robert Sinclair (1817–1898) was born in London but came from a Caithness family. He became Chief Mechanical Engineer of several British railways and also worked in France. He retired to Italy, where he died.[1]


Early years[edit]

He was apprenticed to a shipbuilder and later worked for Robert Stephenson, the Grand Junction Railway and the Paris and Rouen Railway.[2]

Chief mechanical engineer[edit]

He was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Caledonian Railway (CR) from 1847–1856, the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) from 1856–1862 and, following a merger of railways, of the Great Eastern Railway (GER) from 1862–1865.[3]

Consulting engineer[edit]

Sinclair resigned in from the GER 1865, and became a consulting engineer. In this capacity, he designed a fast 2-4-2 locomotive for the Great Luxemburg Railway, and an outside cylinder 2-4-0 for the East Indian Railway. The Luxembourg 2-4-2 design was later adapted into a 2-4-2T for commuter services on the GER.[4]

Locomotive designs[edit]


Sinclair was an early user of:[5]


  1. ^ "Robert Sinclair". Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "LNER Encyclopedia: Robert Sinclair". Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
Business positions
Preceded by
(First loco engineer)
Locomotive Superintendent of the Caledonian Railway
Succeeded by
Benjamin Connor
Preceded by
John Viret Gooch
Locomotive Superintendent of the
Eastern Counties Railway

Post abolished
Company merged into the
Great Eastern Railway 
Preceded by
(First loco engineer)
Locomotive Superintendent of the
Great Eastern Railway

Succeeded by
Samuel W. Johnson