GNR Locomotives

Locomotive Engineer: Henry Ivatt

Portrait of Henry Alfred Ivatt

On the death of Mr. Patrick Stirling at the close of the year 1895, Mr. H. A. Ivatt was appointed locomotive engineer of the Great Northern Railway. At the time of accepting this new and distinctly honourable post of succeeding so distinguished a locomotive superintendent as Mr. Stirling, Mr. Ivatt held the same position on the G. S. and W. Railway of Ireland, and the new chief of the G. N. loco, department brought with him from across the Irish Sea a  reservedly high reputation which has certainly suffered in no degree from his change of scene. As some time had necessarily to elapse, however, before he was able completely to relinquish his former duties to take up the newer, it was not until the close of 1896 that any engine exclusively of his design made its appearance on the Great Northern metals. In the interval a certain number of engines were, indeed, placed upon the line, but they were practically built to Mr. Stirling's standard patterns.

From Bird's Locomotives of the Great Northern Railway.

Notable Dates

Born 16 Sep 1851
Started out in Railways when 17 in 1868 for John Ramsbottom at the LNWR
Went on to work at the Great Southern & Western Railway in Ireland in 1877 becoming their loco engineer in 1882
Employed by GNR to replace Stirling after his death in Nov 1894 – start date not completely certain but Mar 1895 is generally accepted timeline.
Retired from GNR on 2nd Dec 1911 and Nigel Gresley took his place with job title of Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME)
Ivatt was famous for his introduction to the UK of the Atlantic C1-class locomotives and also the Walschaerts Valve Gear.
He died on 25th October 1923.