Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Joseph Hamilton Beattie

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Joseph Hamilton Beattie (1808-1871), locomotve engineer London and South Western Railway.

Beattie was a highly innovative engineer, introducing the country's first successful 2-4-0 locomotive, pioneering coal-burning fireboxes, feedwater heating and balanced side valves. His locomotives were amongst the most efficient of the time. 3 of his most famous locomotive design, the 2-4-0 T Well Tanks, were in service for 88 years, until 1962. 2 have been preserved - see the Swanage Railway, Bodmin and Wenford Railway and the National Railway Museum, York.

Joeseph Beattie was born in Ireland on 12th May 1808. He was educated in Belfast and initially apprenticed to his father. a Londonderry architect. He moved to England in 1835 to serve as an assistant to Joseph Locke on the Grand Junction Railway and from 1837 on the London and Southampton Railway. After the line opened he became the carriage and wagon superindent and succeeded John Viret Gooch as locomotive engineer on 1st July 1850.

Initially he designed a series of singles, but the weight of the Southampton and Salisbury expresses led to the development of 2-4-0s. He continued to develop the design over the next 20 years. In addition he developed a serise of 85 2-4-0 T well tanks and 0-6-0s.

Beattie died of diptheria on 18th October 1871 and was succeeded as lcomotive engineer by his son William George Beattie.[1]


  1. Wikipedia