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Samuel Waite Johnson

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Samuel W. Johnson
Born14 October 1831 (1831-10-14)
Died14 January 1912 (1912-01-15) (aged 80)
Nottingham, England
Resting placeChurch (Rock) Cemetery, Nottingham
EducationLeeds Grammar School
ChildrenSon, James Johnson
Parent(s)Father, James Johnson
Engineering career
DisciplineMechanical engineering

Samuel Waite Johnson (14 October 1831 – 14 January 1912) was an English railway engineer, and was Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Midland Railway from 1873 to 1903. He was born in Bramley, Yorkshire[1] and educated at Leeds Grammar School.[2]


Johnson learned to become an engineer at the locomotive builders E.B.Wilson and Company.

In 1859 Johnson became Acting Locomotive Superintendent at the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. In 1864 he was appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway. In 1866, after only two years in Scotland he replaced Robert Sinclair of the Great Eastern Railway (GER) at Stratford Works. There he stayed for seven years until moving to the Midland Railway (MR) at Derby, where he stayed until his retirement in 1904. At the time of appointment to the Midland Railway on 1 July 1873, he was paid a salary of £2,000 per year (equivalent to £223,800 in 2023),[3] rising to £3,500 in 1896 (equivalent to £511,600 in 2023)[3] where it remained until his retirement on 31 December 1903.[4]

Locomotive designs[edit]

Great Eastern Railway[edit]

See: Locomotives of the Great Eastern Railway

Midland Railway[edit]

See: Locomotives of the Midland Railway


In 1857, Johnson married Emily Priestman in Chipping Ongar, Essex. By 1871 they had had four daughters and one son and were living in Hackney. By 1891 they were living in Nottingham. Emily died prior to 1911.

S. W. Johnson's father, James Johnson, worked for the Great Northern Railway (GNR) for sixteen years before becoming engineer of the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR).[5] S. W. Johnson's son, also James Johnson, was locomotive superintendent of the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR) from 1890 to 1894.[6]


  1. ^ "Samuel Waite Johnson". Steamindex.com. Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Samuel Waite Johnson". Lner.info. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 7 May 2024.
  4. ^ National Archive RAIL 491, accessed on 2014-02-21 via ancestry.co.uk UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956 for Samuel Waite Johnson
  5. ^ "Samuel Waite Johnson". Steamindex.com. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  6. ^ "James Johnson". Lner.info. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
Business positions
Preceded by Locomotive Superintendent of the
Great Eastern Railway

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Mechanical Engineer of Midland Railway
Succeeded by
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Succeeded by