Massey Bromley

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Tyler (Rly Wld, 1984, 45, 346) records that Bromley was born in Wolverhampton on 15 June 1846. He died on 16 July 1884 as a consequence of the Penistone railway accident when he was travelling as a passenger. He was educated at Leamington College and at Brasenose College, Oxford, obtaining his BA in 1869. Allen (The Great Eastern Railway) notes that Massey Bromley, unusually perhaps for an eventual Locomotive Superintendent, held a Master of Arts degree of Oxford University..Bromley was then apprenticed to Samuel Johnson at Stratford Works and continued to work for Johnson. Whilst inspecting some 0-4-4Ts being manufactured by Avonside Bromley came into contact with J.C. Wilson, the then Works Manager at Avonside, who held several patents. Bromley patented a tyre turning lathe.

In 1874 Bromley was appointed Works Manager at Stratford. In 1876-77 Bromley visted the United States where he saw a very large 2-6-0 consutructed for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. On his return D.H. Neale prepared a design for a 2-6-0 to work coal traffic routed via March. When Adams left to join the LSWR Massey Bromley was appointed Locomotive Superintendent at a salary of £800 per annu...

His tenure of office, from February, 1878, until August, 1881, when he resigned, was even shorter than that of William Adams, but if for no other reason Bromley would have made his mark with the fine series of 4-2-2 express engines that were built to his designs, ten by Dübs & Co. in 1879 and ten by Kitson & Co. in 1881 and 1882. They strongly resembled Patrick Stirling's famous "eight-footers" on the neighbouring Great Northern, and, although their driving wheels were not quite so large, the diameter of 7 ft. 6 in. was the largest seen on the GER at any stage of its history. The cylinders were 18 in. by 24 in., and the working pressure still remained at 140 psi. One of Bromley's great successes whilst at Stratford, and this was partly due to Neale who had been with the Westinghouse Co. for a short period, was the adoption of the Westinghouse brake by the Great Eastern Railway..

Bromley set up as a consulting engineer with J.C. Wilson (who had left Avonside in 1879) in Westminster. He had probably been visiting Beyer Peacock when he was involved in a serious accident involving a crank axle failure on the locomotive near Penistone on 16 July 1884 which led to his death. At that time he was living in York Street, off Baker Street in London. He was buried in Leamington by his father who was his sole heir

See also locomotive designs