George Whale

George Whale bigraphy, stories - British locomotive engineer

George Whale : biography

7 December 1842 – 7 March 1910

George Whale (7 December 1842 – 7 March 1910) was a British locomotive engineer who was born in Bocking, Essex, and educated in Lewisham. He worked for the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).

Retirement and death

He left the post of Locomotive Superintendent in 1908 and retired in June 1909 due to ill health. He died at Hove, Sussex on 7 March 1910, aged 67.


In 1858 he entered the LNWR’s Wolverton Works under James Edward McConnell, and from 1862 under John Ramsbottom. In 1865 he entered the drawing office at Crewe Works, and in 1867 joined the LNWR running department under J. Rigg. In 1898 he was made responsible for the running of all LNWR locomotives.

He replaced Francis William Webb as Locomotive Superintendent from 1903. Webb’s compound locomotives were generally considered a failure and Whale introduced the Precursor class based on designs from previous eras as well as scrapping or rebuilding the compounds.