|Electric traction engineers
Agnew, William Alexander
Born in Newton Stewart in 1874 and died on 16 March 1958. Educated Douglas Academy. Electrical engineering apprenticeship at King, Brown of Edinburgh whilst studying at Heriot Watt College. Worked on hydro-electric plant at Foyers on Loch Ness. In 1901 joined Glasgow Corporation Tramways Department when system was being electrified. Wrote The electric tramcar handbook for motormen, inspectors and depot workers (Ottley 2228). In 1904 moved to London to become Rolling Stock Superintendent of the Metropolitan District Railway and became Mechanical Engineer in 1907. In 1921 he beame Mechanical Engineer (Railways) to the Underground Electric Railways of London. He was Chief Mechanical Engineer (Railways) in 1928 and continued in this capacity through the formation of the LPTB until his retirement in 1935 (recorded Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 86). He was the author of Electric trains . Obituary with portrait in J. Instn. Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 150. He was a very active member of the Institution: President in 1931: Address (included a resumé of Weir Report). Also in Marshall. When President-Elect of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers the Locomotive Mag. (!931, 37, 79) noted that he was a member of the Institute of Transport and of the Institute of Industrial Psychology (portrait). M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Andrews, Hubert Henry
Born 1884. Author of ILocoE review Paper 413 and Electricity in transport. over sixty years' experience 1883-1950 published by English Electric in 1951. Employed by English Electric.
Arnold, Bion Joseph
Born at Casnovia, Michigan on 14 April 1861; died: 29 January 1930. Educated in the Ashland, Nebraska public schools, the University of Nebraska and at Hillsdale College, Michigan. He received the degrees B.S. from Hillsdale, in 1884, and M.E., 1887; later he took a postgraduate course in electrical engineering at Cornell, and in 1897 he received the degree E.E. from the University of Nebraska. In boyhood he constructed models of farm implements, a steam engine, steam plant, bicycle anda working model of the standard Burlington locomotive, complete in all details and 1/16 full size. The locomotives which entranced him as a child drew his interest as a young man to the railroad and its problems. Success first came to him in 1893 by the design and building of the Intramural Elevated Railway at the Columbian Exposition, in Chicago. This was the first commercial installation of the third rail on a large scale, and it led to a wide practice as consulting engineer for steam and electric railways. From 1902 to 1907 he was Chicagos consulting engineer and was thus responsible for overseeing the construction of their street railways. Later he did the pioneer work of installation for such roads as the Chicago, Milwaukee Electric Railway, and the Lansing, St. Johns and St. Louis Railway, in Michigan, and other transportation systems in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Providence. For the latter he developed in 1900 an a-c single-phase system. He converted from steam to electrical operation the Grand Trunk Railroad through the St. Clair Tunnel from Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. The single phase high-voltage system for heavy electric railway work was adopted here for the first time. Other important commissions Arnold carried out where the development of the electrification of the Grand Central Terminal, New York, and the development of the subway system of New York, a task that Arnold worked on for five years and which cost $60M. He was consultant on surface and underground traction matters at various times for cities all over the country, and consulting engineer for numerous railroad commissions. In addition to his critical work on railways, he invented a magnetic clutch and improved storage batteries, and an electro-pneumatic motor intended for railcars see Backtrack, 2015, 29,760. . Off IEEE (American website): see also Backtrack, 2014, 28, 134 Throughout the long and eminently successful career of Bion Joseph Arnold, his initiative, ingenuity and resourcefulness have been recognized by not only his fellow engineers, but also by the general public who know him well for his inventions, extensive consulting practice and the installation and direction of numerous public utility services.
Worked as O'Brien's assistant on Liverpool to Southport electrification, but dismissed in 1907 by George Hughes due to his illicit patent activity and moved to USA and he eventually headded the railway department of Allis Chalmers (Beesley. Henry Eoghgan O'Brien). Possible patent: USP 997597 Current collector oor trolley (applied 28 December 1908, published 11 July 1911) (Espacenet, where further patents may also be his)
Barton, Howard Horatio Charles
Born 1900. Died 22 January 1964. Educated at Marlborough and Pembroke College, Cambridge. Engineering cadet on London Underground Railways from 1923 and from 1925 became junior rolling stock assistant taking charge of running maintenance on Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines. In 1927 he was appointed Sectional Assistant in charge of the Car Body Section of Acton Works and this was foIlowed by his appointment as Personal Assistant to Col. E. Graham, the Assistant Mechanical Engineer at Acton. In 1930 appointed an Assistant Transportation Superintendent (Traction), Great Indian Peninsula Railway where he gained wide experience in many aspects of electric traction and railway operating. When returning to England on home leave in 1936 he visited Ceylon, Malaya, China, Japan, United States and Canada and was able to see something of the traction systems in use in Japan and the United States. In 1938 appointed Assistant Mechanical Engineer (Railways), London Passenger Transport Board, in which position he was responsible for all heavy electrical and mechanical maintenance of electric rolling stock. In 1946 joined staff of Merz and McLellan as Head of their Traction Department where his work took him to a number of countries, chiefly back to India (this time not merely to Bombay), to New Zealand, to Nigeria, to Rhodesia with additional visits to the United States and Canada, to Australia and Belgian Congo, South Africa and most countries in Europe. Principallv he was engaged on motor project studies involving comparison of electrification with the alternatives of steam and diesel as motive power and in these he became something of a specialist in which his experience of railway operation led him to emphasise the importance of traffic considerations and where appropriate rationalisation. He was able always to talk to railwaymen in their own language. As sole or co-author Barton read a number of papers to learned engineering societies, of which that in 1956 to the Electricals, entitled The Potentialities of Railway Elertrification at the Standard Frequency and that on Monorails in J. Instn Loco Engrs, 1962, 52, 8-59 (Paper 631) attracted considerable attention. In addition to being Member of Council and of Committees of Institution of Lcomotive Engineers he was active on Committees of the Mechanicals and Electricals and was a Member of the Institute of Transport. He also concerned himself with all matters relating to railway signalling and was an Honorary Member of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers. His interests were by no means bounded by the field in which his immediate work lay. Whether as a hobby or as an extension to his work, he was concerned with cinematography, electronics, photography and being a special constable. At the time of his death hc was actively engaged with a co-author in what was hoped to be an important paper on automatic railways. Obit: J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1963, 43, 661. Comments on steam locomotives waste of coal. J. Instn Looco. Engrs., 1951, 41, 36
Born in Switzerland on 10 January 1864; died near Zurich on 18 May 1938. Pioneer of high-voltage ac railway electrification; managing director Maschinfabrik Oerlikon. Studied under H.F. Weber. In 1892 he entered MFO which was being reorganized under Emil Huber-Stockar. Engaged in development of transformers and traction machmery. Became chief electrical engineer in 1897. Introduced 3-phase induction motor in 1902. In 1904 introduced a practical single-phase traction motor used on the Seebach-Wettingen Railway and later, in 1913, on the Rhaetian, Lotschberg, and other Swiss main lines. 1911 succeeded Huber-Stockar on the management and in 1913 became managing director.
Bisacre, Frederick Francis Percival
Born: 20 June 1885 in Tonbridge; died: 9 November 1954 in Helensburgh; he was educated privately and at Trinity College, Cambridge. From 1910 to 1919 he was with Merz and McLellan Consulting, Engineers, first as Assistant, and later as Personal Assistant to Charles Merz. In 1915 Bisacre married Jean Margaret Blackie, eldest daughter of Walter W Blackie (1861-1953) and Anna Christina Younger (1866-1957). Walter W Blackie was the director of the large Glasgow publisher. In 1920 Bisacre joined Blackie & Son Ltd, and became a Director, and subsequently he was Chairman of the Company. Bisacre was elected an Associate Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1914. For his paper on Overhead track construction for direct-current electric railways, he was awarded a Crampton Prize (Internet) see Backtrack, 2014, 28, 134
Author of I. Loco. E. Paper 484. . See R.A.S. Hennessey Backtrack, 2012, 26, 176 (error in spelling as Bordeaud).
Former consultancy electrical engineer who was recruited to LNWR in 1918 by Cortez-Leigh. Died, and not replaced in 1928.
Broughall, John Alam
Born 1900; died 1974. Responsible in 1946 for LMS electricity generating stations at Stonebridge Park, Manchester, Formby and in Derby: Cox Chronicles of steam. BTC promoted him Executive Officer (Electrical Engineering, New Works and Development) , B.R. Central Staff then appointed Electrical Engineer (Development), Chief Electrical Engineer's Dept. see Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 163.
London Transportv Superintendent of Rolling Stock, had under his control, in addition to his present responsibilities, the maintenance and running of lifts, escalators, ventilating plant and pumps. (recorded Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 86).
Bruce, James Graeme
Joined London Transport in 1935, when aged 22: died in 2001. Associated with the Metadyne rolling stock on the London Underground. See J. Instn Loco. Engrs Paper No. 542. Author of several books on London Transport railways and on other aspects of transport, especially in Archive. Author of Tube trains under London...London Transport. 1977 and Steam to silver. London Transport. Former covered underground stock; latter sub-surface (Metropolitan and District. Tube trains under London had a Foreword by A.W. Manser, former Chief Mechanical Engineer (Railways) to London Transport in which he acknowledged debt to Agnew and Graff-Baker. Contributor to literature on transport history: author of posthumous article on ferries on the River Clyde in Archive No. 33.
Irish Christian Brother who developed an exhibition line to demonstrate electric traction in Cork in 1889. The line led to an early involvement of Charles Merz's skill in electric traction and his business partnership with William McClellan. See Hennessey: Backtrack, 2008, 22, 390 ..
Calder, Graham Scott Wight
Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, British Railways Board. Recruited by Emerson to work on Manchester-Sheffield/Wath electrification following a break in his engineering training during WW2. See Chairman's Address to Railway Division
Author of Electric traction. published by Locomotive Publishing Co. and reviewed in Locomotive Mag., 1914, 20, 303. Originated as articles in G.E.R. Mag. Possibly contributed to discussion on Graff Baker paper
Callan, Nicholas Joseph
Born 22 December 1799, the fifth child in a family of six or seven, at Darver, between Drogheda and Dundalk. His initial education was at an academy in Dundalk, run by a Presbyterian clergyman, William Nelson. His local parish priest, Father Andrew Levins trained him as an altar boy and and saw him start the priesthood at Navan seminary. He entered Maynooth College in 1816, and was to remain there. In his third year at Maynooth, Callan studied natural and experimental philosophy under Dr. Cornelius Denvir, who was later to become Bishop of Down and Connor. Denvir introduced the experimental method into his teaching, and had an interest in electricity and magnetism. After ordination as priest in 1823, Callan went to Rome, where he studied at the Sapienza University, obtaining a doctorate in divinity in 1826. While in Rome he became acquainted with the work performed by Luigi Galvani (1737-1798), and by Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), pioneers in the study of electricity. On the resignation of Dr. Denvir, Callan was appointed to the chair of natural philosophy in Maynooth in 1826, and remained in that post until his death in 1864.
Callan\s major claim to fame is as the inventor of the induction coil. Following earlier experiments, he discovered in 1836 that, when a current sent by battery through a primary coil was interrupted, a high voltage current was produced in an unconnected secondary coil. Callan sent a replica of his coil to William Sturgeon (1783-1850) in London in 1837, and it was exhibited to members of the Electrical Society there to their great amazement. In view of the great importance of Callan's invention of the induction coil, one might wonder why he was forgotten, and his invention attributed to a German-born Parisian intrument maker, Heinrich Ruhmkorff (1803-1877). The answer is simple. Maynooth was a theological university where science was a low priority. Callan's colleagues often told him that he was wasting his time. In such an atmosphere Callan's pioneering work was simply forgotten after his death. Like all instrument makers, Ruhmkorff put his name on every instrument he made. Ruhmkorff Coil got into the textbooks and was never challenged until Professor McLaughlin published his researches on Callan's publications in 1936, which incontrovertibly proved that the inventor of the induction coil was Nicholas Callan of Maynooth.
While working on electro-magnetic engines in 1838, Callan may also have discovered the principle of the self-excited dynamo, though he did not follow up this line of research. In his words, he found that "by moving with the hand some of the electromagnets, sparks are obtained from the wires coiled around them, even when the engine is no way connected to the voltaic battery".
With the need to produce reliable batteries for his researches in electromagnetism, Callan carried out important work in this area, inventing the "Maynooth" battery in 1854, and a single fluid cell in 1855. Previous batteries had used expensive platinum, or unsatisfactory carbon, for one of their plates, and zinc for the other. Callan found that he could use inexpensive cast-iron instead of platinum or carbon. In the Maynooth battery, the outer casing was of suitably treated cast iron, and the zinc plate was immersed in a porous pot in the centre. This required two different fluids, on the inside and outside of the porous pot. But he found also that he could make a simple and useful battery by dispensing with the porous pot and the two fluids, using a single solution. In the process of this work, he discovered and patented a means of protection iron from rusting.
Callan's Maynooth Battery powered a train from Dublin to Dun Laoghaire, but it was found that the economics of a laboratory-scale experiment did not always apply to the large industrial scale. Callan was dealing with primary batteries, the only available source of electricity at that time since the dynamo had not been invented..
J. E. Calverley, M.I.E.E., M.I.Loco.E:, retired from The English Electric Co. Ltd. after a distinguished career. He joined the Phoenix Dynamo Co. in 1908 as Assistant Designer, and in 1910 went to Dick Kerr & Co. as Assistant Design Engineer. From 1935 to [941, Calverley was Chief Engineer and Manager of the English Electric Traction Department. In 1941 he went to Washington, where he represented the Ministry of Supply as D.C. Adviser on electrical equipment for tanks and vehicles. He returned to Great Britain and to The English Electric Company in 1943 as Deputy Chief Engineer (Technical). Since January 1952 he was engaged on special consultancy duties for the Company. During his career Calverley was mainly concerned with D.C design and application and had a great deal to do with mercury arc rectifiers. His work included the development of the Transverter, in association with the late W.E. Highfield. This machine was designed to convert alternating current, at voltages used for the generation of electrical energy, (i.e., from 3,000 to 11,000 volts), into direct current at a pressure of the order of 100,000 volts. see Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 62
Carswell, Thomas P.
Patented (17 May 1886) a system for lighting trains by electricity supplying the current through a third rail. System used on Glasgow City & District Railway (Queen Street Low Level) between 1886 and 1902. See Hamilton Ellis The North British Railway and Jeffrey Wells, Backtrack, 2011, 25, 182.
Carter, Frederick William
Born in Aston, Birmingham on 16 December 1870; died 29 May 1952. Educated at Birmingham and Midland Institute and St Johns College, Cambridge, Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, City and Guilds Engineering College, South Kensington, 18961900; with General Electric Co., Schenectady, USA, 190003; then with British Thomson Houston Co., Ltd, until retirement. Worked on railway electric traction; papers on magnetic fields in air gaps of dynamo electric machines, and air-gap coefficients; on design of transformers; on the repulsion motor; on electric railway engineering in various aspects; on stability of running of locomotives. Two Proc. Royal Society papers traced (with difficulty): On the stability of running of locomotives. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A December 1, 1928 121, 585-611 and On the action of a locomotive driving wheel. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A August 3, 1926 112, 151-7. Fellow of Royal Society 1932. Book: Railway electric traction. London: Edward Arnold 1922 not in Ottley available on Internet. See R.A.S. Hennessey Backtrack, 2012, 26, 176.
Carus-Wilson, Charles Ashley
Born in 1860; at Bournemouth on 7 August 1942. Son of Rev. W. Carus-Wilson; educatied at Haileybury, at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and at the Royal Engineering College, Coopers Hill. In 1882 he was sent to Bucharest to install electric light in the King of Roumania's palace. In 1887 he returned to Coopers Hill College to take up an appointment on the staff, and in 1890 he became Professor of Electrical Engineering at McGill University, Montreal. He held this appointment until 1898, and after returning from Canada practised as a consulting engineer in Westminster. During WW1 war he served on the staff of the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Carus-Wilson was well known as a lecturer on various engineering and scientific subjects at the University College, London, and read many papers before the Institutions of Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineers, as well as the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Physical Society. Paper on resistance of railway vehicles Proc. Instn Civil Engrs., 1908, 171, 227
Born in Lancashire in 1848; died Sutton, Surrey on 3 March 1927. Apprenticed to Jesse Varley and Company of St. Helens and afterwards went to London to act as millwright and sub-foreman for various firms including Siemens Brothers & Co., Ltd at Charlton.. In 1873 he went to Japan as instructor in practical engineering at the newly formed Imperial College of Engineering, Tokyo. He returned to England after five years and became chief draughtsman to Gwynne and Company and assistant engineer with a Manchester insurance company. He also visited the mining centres in America. From 1886 to 1893 he was editor of Industries, and in the latter year commenced consulting practice in Westminster, which he continued until his death. For twenty years he was consulting engineer to the Imperial Japanese Railways, and he invented a self-generating electric locomotive and an electric haulage system for canals. Grace's Guide and Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 59
Chapman, James Russell
Chief Electrical Engineer of Underground Electric Railways from its formation in April 1902. According to Sherwood (but misleadingly called "William" in some places) a brilliant American electrical engineer brought to London by Yerkes. (with S.B. Fortenbaugh and Z.E. Knapp the "most brilliant electrical engineers" in the world at that time who had gained their experience on the Chicago transit systems, notably on the Loop) Involved in design of Lots Road, the Americal-style electricity generating station. Not mentioned by Duffy. London Transport Museum assisted with sorting out forenames noting several references in books by Alan Jackson or Croome and Jackson. Wolmar (Subterranean railway) quoting from Barker and Robbins stated: "Chapman, in evidence to the committee, claimed that the matter was 'not a question of engineering or the manufacture of apparatus, it is a question of the endurance of the passengers. A passenger cannot be handled like a bullet in a gun." M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Cock, Charles M..
Bond (Lifetime) is source of Christian name). Born in Melbourne, Australia, and received his technical training and early experience in Australia at the Melbourne Technical School and with the Victorian Railways. During WW1 served in the Royal Navy and saw active service in the Pacific and in the North Sea. On demobilisation in 1919, he joined the construction staff of Messrs. Merz & McLellan, Consulting Engineers, in Melbourne, in connection with the electrification of the Melbourne suburban railways, and a large power project for the Victorian Electricity Commission. In 1924 he proceeded to India as one of the supervising engineers of Merz & McLellan on the electrification of the GIPR suburban lines, and the BBCIR suburban lines, and the main lines of the GIPR to Poona and Igatpuri. In 1929, when the electrification was completed, he joined the GIPR Transportation (Operating) Department and held appointments as Distribution Engineer and Rolling Stock Engineer, before being appointed Traction Superintendent and later Divisional Superintendent for the area including Bombay. Between June 1941, and February 1942, he was loaned to the Royal Indian Navy and served afloat, as Lt. Commander. It became necessary later in 1942 to recall him to his post as Divisional Superintendent, GIPR, on account of wartime pressure on the Indian railways.
In 1945 Mr. Cock moved to England and took up the post of Chief Electrical Engineer to the Southern Railway. On the nationalisation of the railways in 1948 he was appointed Chief Electrical Engineer to the Railway Executive, and relinquished this post in 1950 to become General Manager of the Traction Department of the English Electric Co. Ltd., and a member of the board of the English Electric Export & Trading Co. Ltd. (J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1952, 42, 8:Presidential biography with portrait).
Bonavia (British Rail: the first 25 years) noted that in May 1948 the BTC had arranged for a joint British Railways and London Transport Committee, chaired by C.M. Cock, to be set up to consider the system (or systems) of electrification to be adopted in future projects, reviewing in particular the conclusions of the Pringle Committee of 1927 which had proposed direct current at either 1,500 volts with overhead collection for general use, and 750 volts third rail for certain areas. The Cock Committee broadly confirmed this, but did not rule out the possibility of using, as it put it, 'single-phase alternating current at 50 cycles or a lower frequency for secondary lines with light traffic, subject to the proviso that it is not prejudicial to operation on adjacent lines equipped with a standard system'. This opened the way for the decision taken in 1951 to use the short Lancaster-Morecambe-Heysham line, which the Midland Railway had electrified many years ago on the 6,600 volts 25-cycle single-phase system, as a testing-ground for electrification at the industrial frequency of 50 cycles (Hz), which seemed to offer important advantages, especially in cutting down the cost of the distribution network. This system had already been tried in Hungary as early as 1934 and the SNCF was proceeding to install it on an important main line in Eastern France. This probably implies that Rogers gives excessive credence to Riddles involvement in the Lancaster/Morecambe project. See Locomotive Mag., 1950, 56, 172.. Pictured at Deltic roll-out Loco. Mag., 1955, 61, 190 .
Motive power for railways. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1952, 42, 281-305. [Presidential Address]
Electrification at 50 cycles: Mercury arc rectifiers: Morecambe/Heysham-Lancaster trial about to start. Mentions Aix-les-Bains to La Roche-sur-Foron in France and even earlier system in Germany (1936) between Freiberg and Seebrugg. "For various reasons, including economic consideration, the British Transport Commission has accepted the 15,000 volt d.c. system as standard for British Railways but the 50 cycles system has not been ruled out for electrification of secondary lines with light traffic"
The Deltic locomotive. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 723-57. (Paper No. 591)
Discussion on other's papers
Borgeaud, Gaston. The latest development of the electric locomotive in Switzerland its mechanics and some problems. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1949, 39, 121-224. Paper 484 page 214
H.F. Brown. Economic benefits of diesel electric motive power. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1961, 175, 275-6
Appointed Manager-BTH Traction Department in succession to the late E. T. Hippisley, as from 1 April 1955. Collis was educated at Shrewsbury. and at the City & Guilds (Engineering) College spending his long vocation in I927 as a student at BTH. After taking his degree he went to the Metropolitan-Vickers Company as a College Apprentice in 1928. In 1931 , he joined that Company's Traction Control Department and six years later transferred to Traction Sales. During WW2 Colhs served with the Royal Corps of Signals, being awarded the M.B.E. (Military Division) in 1940. Later he was appointed to the General Staff of the War Office. On demobilisation he returned to Metropolitan-Vickers. After holding appointments in London and Manchester. he was appointed In 1953 Assistant Sales Manager in charge of the M-V Traction Staff in London. M.B.E., T.D., B.Sc., A.C.G.I., A.M.LE.E., A.I.Loco.E. Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 82
Cooper, Arthur Reginald
Chief engineer London Transport: had been Engineer to Metropolitan District Railway. He served on the Electrification of Railways [Kennedy Committee] which deliberated in the early 1920s. Retired 1938
Cortez Leigh, Frederick Augustus
Born in Piura, Peru, in March 1873 to an Irish father, Henry Leigh from County Wexford and Carmen Cortes del Castillo. Educated at the Catholic Prior Park School in Bath and Manchester University. Appointed Electrical Engineer on LNWR in 1910 and responsible for electrification from Broad Street and Euston to Watford (M.C. Reed). Member of LMS party who visited North America in 1930 and one whom visited Italy with Hartley and Lemon to inspect its electric railways in June 1931 and concluded that main line electrification could not be justified in Britain. (Jenkins: Sir Ernest Lemon). R.A.S. Hennessey: An Inca at Euston: F.A. Cortez-Leigh. Backtrack, 2012, 26, 455.
The electrification of the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway. J. Instn Elec. Engrs., 1933, 73, 473-92.
COL. CORTEZ LEIGH, electrical engineer to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Co., read a paper to the Institution of Electrical Engineers on April 6, which attracted a large audience. He described the experience gained by working the electrical railway between Manchester and Altrincham, a distance of about nine miles, since it was opened in May 1931. It appears that notwithstanding the competition of a recently inaugurated express bus service, the increase in the passenger traffic was 35 per cent. This is attributed to the greatly accelerated service made possible by electrification and to the increased comfort of travelling. Another reason is the great success of the 1,500-volt mercury arc rectifiers, the first used in Great Britain for railway work, for converting the alternating current supply into direct current for the railway motors. It looks as if these devices would come into general use, seeing that the 1,500 volt B.C. system was standardised by the Pringle Committee in 1927. This will make it easy to merge into a general scheme of main line electrification later. In the discussion, H.W.H. Richards, electrical engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway, compared the straight electric drive adopted on this line with the Diesel electric drive which has been much advocated lately. He calculated that the straight electric drive takes forty per cent less power. Prof. W. Cramp referred to the wear of the overhead conductors which are in contact with the pantograph collectors. It has been found that the wear of the conductors when the wires are oiled is about six times less than when there is no oil. Sir Josiah Stamp said that the results obtained on this line have more than fulfilled expectations (Nature contemporary report via Internet).
Born at Sigglesthorne Hall, Hornsea, Yorkshire on 22 September 1888; died Wellington, New Zealand on 3 March 1976. His mother, Ellen Green Wade, was widely read and taught him several languages. His father George Wright, a farmer of independent means, managed his family's estates, the income from which had been largely invested in Canadian enterprises, but subsequently incurred heavy losses, influencing the family to move abroad. After living in Norway, Jamaica and Morocco, they returned to England. In 1905 Silston went to Zurich to be apprenticed with Escher Wyss and Co. Whilst serving his time, he studied for the University of London matriculation examinations and climbed mountains on Sundays. When he had trained as a design draftsman he spent two years at the University of Birmingham, and in 1908 he gained a BSc in engineering from London University. He then supervised the installation and commissioning of Escher Wyss equipment at Kinlochleven power station for the aluminium smelter. Cory-Wright was in Zurich in 191011 designing turbines. During this period a senior engineer with the New Zealand Public Works Department visited Switzerland, and he was detailed to show him the Albula hydroelectric station, which supplied Zurich. The station was similar to one planned for Lake Coleridge, the first hydroelectric station to be built by the New Zealand government.
Cory-Wright's parents had already emigrated to New Zealand when in 1912 he accepted an appointment as a lecturer in the new associateship in engineering course at Auckland University College. He retained his connection with Escher Wyss, though, and between 1913 and 1923 negotiated the sale of the first six Lake Coleridge turbines, which were based on the Albula design. When the German-born Swiss installing the turbines was interned at the beginning of the First World War, Cory-Wright was asked to supervise the installation and maintenance of the initial three units. In November 1915 he joined the Corps of New Zealand Engineers, and in 1916 served in Egypt and France. Owing to his fluency in languages, he was seconded in early 1917 as an intelligence officer to the New Zealand Division in France. By the end of the war he had been promoted to captain and had won the Military Cross for frontline duties.
In 1920, after a brief return to lecturing, Cory-Wright joined Cedric Salmon, a fellow officer in the Engineers, in founding the engineering firm of Cory-Wright and Salmon. The business was based on the partners' contacts with British firms like Vickers Ltd and the English Electric, but also represented over 50 other large engineering firms. It supplied electrical components for the LytteltonChristchurch railway (1928), electric multiple units for the WellingtonJohnsonville line (1938), and electric locomotives for the main trunk railway from Wellington to Paekakariki (193940).
He supervised Escher Wyss turbine installations at Lake Coleridge until 1923, and subsequently many hydroelectric units for English Electric. By the 1950s he had been associated with every significant South Island power station and with several in the North Island. His experience was acknowledged overseas: in the 1930s he advised on remedial measures after a major hydraulic failure in Tasmania. He was closely involved with the firm he co-founded until his death in 1976. The firm was taken over by Tatra Industries Limited in 198384, and went bankrupt in 1988.
Cory-Wright was a strong supporter of trade and professional organisations. He served on the council of the British Trade Association of New Zealand and was a fellow of the New Zealand Institution of Engineers. In 1924 he was awarded the Royal Humane Society of New Zealands medal for rescuing a non-swimmer in the sea off Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand biographical sources.
Crompton, Rookes Evelyn Bell
Born at Sion Hill, near Thirsk, on 31 May 1845, the fourth son and youngest child of Joshua Samuel Crompton. Aged eleven, he enrolled as a naval cadet and allowed to accompany Captain William Houston Stewart, commander of the Dragon. Since the Dragon went to the Crimea in the summer of 1856, after the conflict had ended, Crompton's later claims to have visited his elder brother in the trenches and actually come under fire, thus earning himself the Crimean medal and Sevastopol clasp, have been disputed. School at Elstree (18568) prepared Crompton for Harrow (185860). During his holidays he built, in a workshop at home, a full-size steam-driven road engine; but before his true engineering career began he served for four years in India (18648) as an ensign in the rifle brigade. Even there, however, he equipped a travelling workshop, and had his machine tools sent out from England. His strong views on the inefficiency and slowness of the bullock trains impressed R. S. Bourke, earl of Mayo, then viceroy, and within a short time Crompton introduced steam road haulage, receiving a government grant of £500 for his services.
In 1875 Crompton left the army and bought a partnership in a Chelmsford engineering firm. While adviser at the Stanton ironworks belonging to the Derbyshire branch of his family, he purchased some of the new Gramme dynamos in order to improve the lighting of the foundry. Their success provided a turning point; from that date (1878) electricity and engineering became for him almost inseparable. Co-operating with Emil Bürgin, of Basel, who was then working on dynamo design, Crompton obtained the rights of manufacture and sale of Bürgin's machine, improved it, and developed it to commercial success. From 1878 to 1882 he restricted his business to the manufacture of electrical-arc plant. One of his early contracts was to light St Enoch's Station, Glasgow. This was followed by contracts at the Mansion House and Law Courts in London and the Ringtheater in Vienna. At the Paris Electrical Exhibition of 1881 the firm of Cromptons was awarded the first gold medal ever given for electric lighting plant. Towards the end of 1886 Crompton formed the Kensington Court Company, financed by a few friends, for electricity supply to neighbouring premises. This pioneer enterprise, one of the first of its kind, became the Kensington and Knightsbridge Electric Supply Company. Crompton advocated the direct current system; S. Z. de Ferranti, engineer of the London Electric Supply Corporation, believed in alternating current and led the opposing school. The resulting battle of the systems, with these two as friendly antagonists, has its place in electrical history. Between 1890 and 1899 Crompton revisited India, advising the government on electrical projects.
On his return he took charge of a volunteer corps of electrical engineers, and by May 1900 was in South Africa with his men, whose efficiency in maintaining communications and skill in emergencies won high praise. Crompton had gone out as captain; on his return, later that year, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel, appointed CB, and retained as consultant to the War Office on the development of mechanical transport. Although electrical matters still claimed much of his time, Crompton became increasingly occupied with road transport. He had been a founder member of the Royal Automobile Club in 1896, and was one of the judges in 1903 at the first motor show; as engineer member of the road board appointed by the government in 1910, he improved road construction practice and materials. In the early part of the First World War, Churchill consulted Crompton upon the design of an armoured vehicle capable of crossing trenches, and he was responsible for producing a type of landship which later evolved, under various hands, into the tank. In his laboratory at Thriplands, his Kensington home, Crompton spent many hours at research.
He served on the committee of the National Physical Laboratory, and his advocacy of a closer understanding between all countries on electrical affairs resulted in the founding of the International Electrotechnical Commission in 1906, of which he was the first secretary. In 1927 Cromptons merged with another firm under the title Crompton, Parkinson, & Co. Ltd. The Colonel was then over eighty, but still active, and he retained a directorship in the new concern. A dinner in his honour, held in London in 1931, was attended by probably the largest gathering of distinguished scientists and engineers ever recorded at a personal function. Each of the three principal engineering bodies, the Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical, made him an honorary member; he was twice president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, in 1895 and again in 1908. He was awarded the Faraday medal in 1926 and was elected FRS in 1933. His ninetieth year was celebrated by another banquet, at which Sir James Swinburne presented him with his portrait by George Harcourt, later in the possession of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Professionally, Crompton was the expert, commanding respect and admiration; socially, a host of friends regarded him with affection. Young men benefited by his cheerful attitude to life, his resource and originality, and often by his generous help. He died at Azerley Chase, Kirkby Malzeard, near Ripon, on 15 February 1940. ODNB by W.L. Randell, rev. Anita McConnell
Born in Sanquhar in 1876; died 1947. Educated at. Sanquhar and George Watson's College, Edinburgh. Training: Bertrams, Ltd., and Heriot-Watt Coll., Edinburgh. Chief Electrical Assistant on the Midland Railway. Together with Josiah Sayers was responsible for high voltage AC Lancaster-Morecambe-Heysham electrification of 1908, and both travelled with Sir Guy Granet to USA on fact finding mission to discover what to do with recently acquired LTSR alias C2C. Author of several papers. and The outdoor machinery department. 1940. See R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9. Fell and Hennessey. Backtrack, 2013, 27, 657.
Born in 1804 in Aberdeen, and died there in 1894: Scottish inventor who built the first known electric locomotive in 1837. He was a prosperous chemist and dyer, and was educated at Marischal College, where he studied for one year on a scholarship . There he became interested in the new electrical technologies and from 1837 made small electric motors. Davidson staged an exhibition of electrical machinery at Edinburgh in 1840, and later at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly in London. Amongst the machines shown were electrically operated lathes and printing presses. His electric railway locomotive was tested on the Edinburgh-Glasgow line in 1842. Above from Wikipedia and John Thomas Springburn story.
Body, J.H.R. A note on electro-magnetic engines. Trans Newcomen Soc., 1933, 14, 103-7.
Aspinall, John. President's Address. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1909, 76, 423.
includes extract from Railway Times 10 April 1842.
Dawson, Sir Philip
Probably born in Paris on 6 October 1866, and died in Berlin on 24 September 1938. Educated at Ghent University (unverifiable Internet source). Consultant to LBSCR who proposed the 6,600 V high frequency AC overhead electrification of LBSCR which was not adopted by the Southern Railway. In Railway mechanical engineering he listed himself as Consulting engineer to the LBSCR and to the Great Eastern Railway as well as Vice President of the Commission for the Electrification of Belgian State Railways. Continued to advocate main line electrification through the 1920s and 1930s. Duffy fails to give any biographical information. Author of Electric traction on railways in Railway Mechanical Engineering (1923). See also R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9 which adds that he became a Conservative MP and that O.S. Nock was one of his pupils.Chrimes in BDCE Volume 3.
Books (notes supplied by Robert Humm)
Electric Tramways & Railways. London: Engineering, 1897,
Published by Engineering [the weekly magazine]. A rather grand quarto production issued in half leather, 677 pages plus ads.Ottley has it at #2186. Both the Ottley entry and the book itself are styled "entirely revised and enlarged" which would normally indicate an earlier edition. He does not believe such an edition exists and that the predecessor must have been a series of articles in Engineering which he does not possess so cannot check. Contents are about two-thirds tramways but it includes lines such as Liverpool Overhead, City & South London and several foreign schemes.
Electric Traction On Railways. The Electrician Publishing Co., 1909.
Medium octavo format, 855 pages plus ads. This causes bibliographical problems. Dawson may have been an electrical wunderkind but he was hopeless at thinking up snappy titles as there are no less than three works of the same name: a) the contribution in Modern Electric Practice (1905), b) the book already referred to, and c) the contribution in Modern Railway Working (1913). Ottley has the first at #3099 and the third at #2659 but manages to omit the second altogether. Reviewed in Locomotive Mag., 1909, 15, 232..
Mechanical features of electric traction. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1897, 54, 43-123
The electrification of a portion of the suburban system of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Min. Proc. Instn civ. Engrs., 1911, 186, 58-123 (Paper 3929)
In charge of ex-NER electric locomotive No. 26510 (renumbered as Departmental No. 100) at Ilford Depot: the locomotive became known as Denis [KPJ always looked for it as he passed Ilford as the sole survivor of the Shildon electrification]. Denis asked about electric traction at an ILocoE meeting
Born in St Petersburg in 1852 and died in Heidelberg on 13 November 1919. Pioneer of 3-phase ac. Studied at Darmstadt, Germany from 1881 to 1884. Joined Allgemeine Elektrizitats-Gesellschaft, Berlin, in 1884 and pioneered work on multi-phase ac. Invented the term 'drehstrom' (revolving current) for 3-phase ac in 1888. Most of the basic principles of 3-phase ac technique were developed by him. Spent most of his life with AEG, finally as a technical director. Marshall. H.M. Le Fleming (Concise encyclopaedia)..
Chief Draughtsman, Electrical Engineer's Department at Horwich Works on 1 January 1923: moved to London on 1 November 1925.. Warburton. LMS Journal, 2010 (32) 73.
Dover, Alfred Thomas
Lecturer at Battersea Polytechnic: major reference work on electric traction
Drumm, James Joseph
Born in 1897 at Dundrum, Co. Down; died Dublin 1974. Educated National School where his mother taught, St. Macartan's College, Monaghan, where he won a County Council Scholarship. In 1914 he entered the Chemistry School of University College, Dublin under Professor Hugh Ryan, and graduated with an Honours B.Sc. Degree in 1917. In 1918 he obtained an M.Sc. by research.
He then spent three years with the Continuous Reaction Company in England and returned to Dublin in 1922 to work as a research and production chemist with Fine Chemicals Ltd. at 40 Mary Street, originally the premises of the Apothecary's Hall. Later he worked with James Crean & Co., soap manufacturers, for whom he produced a very fine toilet soap which was marketed under the trade name Dromona. He also acted as consultant chemist for various firms and was engaged in some academic research funded by an 1851 Scholarship. In conjunction with Professor James Bayley-Butler of UCD, Drumm worked on the canning of peas to preserve their green colour: Drumm's work laid the foundation of modern methods of processing.
Drumm's best known researches were concerned with the electric storage battery which bears his name. The origin of his interest in batteries is little known and came about in the following way. In 1925 Prof. Michael T. Casey gave the inaugural lecture to the Chemical Society of UCD: Hydrogen ions. During this lecture the quinhydrone electrode was discussed. On returning to his lodgings Drumm suggested to Casey that the quinhydrone electrode could be used in a cell to produce current. Casey agreed but indicated that the amount of current would be very small, as proved to be the case when, on the following day, they set up a quinhydrone cell. Drumm became characteristically enthusiastic and decided to experiment further. Casey pointed out that quinhydrone being an organic substance and not very stable would produce tarry decomposition products during charging and discharging of the cell. Not daunted, however, Drumm experimented with various substituted quinhydrones and found that, though the cell could be charged and discharged rapidly, its life was short because of the intractable tars produced by the oxidation of the quinhydrone.
Drumm then abandoned this type of cell and turned his attention to the alkaline cell. He was working in the Experimental Physics Laboratory under Professor John J. Nolan, Head of the Department and also adviser to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce regarding Drumm's research. The Irish government had invested heavily in the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme developed by Thomas J. McLaughlin. It was capable of supplying abundant electrical power and to offset the taunt of white elephant from the opposition party, the government was anxious to get customers for the surplus supply. Industries capable of utilising electricity were not numerous and so electrification of the railways seemed to offer a solution to the problem. However, the relatively small bulk of traffic and the scattered population would have made it impossible to justify the initial cost of a live third rail or overhead system. Consequently a suitable battery system would be ideal.
A commercially successful storage battery must have a long life, must be mechanically robust and must have a low upkeep cost. In addition, a battery for traction purposes must have low weight in relation to its output, for obviously the battery forms part of the haulage load. It is also of prime importance that the battery should be capable of giving rapid acceleration. This involves rapid discharge, but a battery capable of rapid discharge can also be rapidly charged, for the changes involved in discharge are roughly the reverse of those involved in charging. To construct such a commercially viable cell was the problem which Drumm undertook and solved so brilliantly. From 1926 to 1931 he worked unremittingly at his research which eventually produced the Drumm Traction Battery and in 1931 he was awarded a D.Sc. by the National University of Ireland. Unlike the lead accumulator the amp-hour capacity of the Drumm cell is independent of the rate of discharge. Thus this cell will furnish 600 amps continuously for 1 hour, or 900 amps for 40 minutes or 200 amps for 3 hours. The standard rate of charging for a single traction cell of weight 112lb and allowing for all losses in efficiency, corresponds to an input of 0.134 effective watt-hour/lb/minute which is about four times the normal rate for alkaline cells. In practice the same cell is normally discharged at 400 amps and at an average voltage of 1.65 volts which is equivalent to about 0.1 watt-hour/lb/minute. This figure is twice the highest discharge rate of other alkaline cells. But over and above this the current can, when required, be raised to 1000 amps for limited periods, corresponding to an energy delivery of about 0.22 watt-hour/lb/minute - a very high rate indeed. The Drumm cell deals with these loads quite comfortably and with no sign of deterioration. Another feature of the Drumm battery is that it cannot be damaged in any way by frequent over-charging or over-discharging. Neither can prolonged reversals of current through the battery when discharging, cause any harm. The maximum allowable cell-temperature for this battery is 45°C. The working life of the Drumm battery has been assessed as not less than ten years. Tests carried out on the nickel grid show that it can withstand hundreds of thousands of cathodic and anodic polarisations. The electrolyte is comparatively cheap and can be changed or renewed at very small cost. The power of furnishing energy at these unprecedented rates makes it possible for a traction battery of Drumm cells to overcome the grave disadvantage inherent in the majority of such batteries, i.e. the impossibility of furnishing rapid accelerations.
In February 1932 the Drumm battery train was charged at Inchicore and went on a test run to Portarlington and back a total distance of 80 miles on the single charge. This was repeated several times after which the train went into regular service on the Dublin-Bray line and was operated for 180 to 230 miles per day. The battery was charged at Amiens Street Station (Connolly Station) and at Bray. The distance is about 14.5 miles. The weight of the train with passengers was about 85 tons. There was seating accommodation for 140 passengers. The train could accelerate from standstill at about 1 m.p.h. per second and attain speeds of 40 to 50 m.p.h. with ease. The train was fitted with a successful system of regenerative braking, whereby an important fraction of the energy surge made available on a down-gradient or on de-accelerating at a station was returned to the battery. The Drumm Battery train operated successfully on the Dublin to Bray section of the line with occasional runs to Greystones some five miles beyond, from 1932 to 1948.
Professor A.J. Allmand F.R.S., in a report stated "It is clear that Dr. Drumm has produced a cell of somewhat remarkable properties, and that, although primarily designed for transport purposes, these properties may lead to its utilisation in other fields". (Nature 12th March 1932). Drumm's work on the traction battery - apart from his other contributions to industrial development - entitles him to a high place in the Honours List of Irish Scientists. Just over a century ago Callan's pioneer work was let slip into oblivion and were it not for the devoted researches of the late Monsignor J. McLaughlin - himself a successor of Callan in the Chair of Natural Philosophy at Maynooth - Callan would be totally forgotten today. Let us fervently hope that Drumm's work will not suffer a similar fate. Further details on the history and workings of the Drumm Train are given in an article in the Journal of the Irish Railway Record Society (1979a, Vol. 13, No. 80, pp 454-427), by T.A. Illingworth. Vickery. Electric trains in Ireland. Backtrack, 17, 635
Clements, Jeremy and McMahon, Michael. Locomotives of the GSR. Newtownards: pp. 308-17 present an excellent summary of the Drumm battery electric railcars which operated Dublin suburban services between 1932 and 1949. The Drumm element was essentially an improved battery and the Irish State helped to finance its development. There were some accidents involved in charging the batteries and the mileages attained in service were far lower than achieved subsequently by diesel traction. Brief mention is made by Clement and McMahon of the Scottish experiment with battery power on the Ballater branch in the 1950s..
Chief Engineer Manx Electric Railway in 1920s. Graduate of Owen's College Manchester. Designed and built service locomotive for railway. See Hennessey Backtrack, 2013, 27, 154.
Emerson, Alexander Hockley
President (1969-70) Institution Locomotive Engineers (Journal, 1969, 59, 5 (portrait facing page). Born at North House, New England, Peterborough adjacent to the coaling plant. received early training as Mechanical/ Electrical Premium Apprentice under Sir Nigel Gresley at Peterborough, Doncaster, South Gosforth (Newcastle) and Grimsby (Immingham) from 1926 to 1934. In 1935 served as a Senior Draughtsman in the office of the Chief Electrical Engineer, LNER, King's Cross, first concerned with Outdoor Machinery, New Works Projects and then on Railway Electrification Schemes. This included the early reports and technical work for the Liverpool Street/Shenfield, Manchester/Sheffield/Wath, South Tyneside Electrification Schemes which were initiated before WW2. During WW2 was seconded to Dukinfield factory near Manchester as Assistant Resident Engineer (Electrical Engineering) and returned to the LNER in late 1943 to pursue Electrification Schemes and other post-war projects which were being planned in the Chief Electrical Engineer's office. In February 1950 appointed Resident Electrical Engineer, Manchester, to take charge of the outside erection and supervision of the building of the Manchester/Sheffield/Wath Electrification and the locomotives for it. This was followed by his appointment as Electric Traction Engineer, Manchester, on 17th September 1951, where he remained to complete the electrification of these lines and set up the maintenance organisation for this project, and integrated it with the organisations for the Manchester/Bury and the MSJ&A lines on the London Midland Region. In July 1955 Emerson moved to Derby to become associated with the main line electrification between Euston, Manchester and Liverpool, first as Assistant Electrical Engineer (Modernisation) and following as Electrical Engineer for the London Midland Region. In 1963 he was appointed Assistant Chief Mechanical & Electrical Engineer, LM Region, Derby, and in January 1966 Chief Mechanical & Electrical Engineer, Euston and Derby, succeeding A.E. Robson, the immediate Past-President, when the latter moved to the British Railways Workshops. See Maintentance on the move (Chairman's Address, Rly Div. J., 1970, 1, 3. (RDA 1/70)
Died 9 February 1955: former Manager of thc Contract Department of the G.E.C. Engineering Works at Witton. Evans, who was 67 years of age, was born in Yorkshire, and served an apprenticeship with Vickers Ltd., of Sheffield. He joined the Witton Works of the G .E,C. in 1910, and after a year in the Estimating Department. was appointed manager of the Contracts Department, with responsibility for all important contracts for electrical plant and equipment, including the supervision of erection at home and overseas. Evans occupied this position continuously for 44 years, during which period the staff under his control increased from a few employees to a total strength of over 300. Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 50
Formerly Chief Engineer, Traction Projects Dept., Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. Author of Electric railway engineering; reviewed Locomotive Mag., 1961, 55, 84.
Fitzpayne, Eric Richard Leman
Died when retired to West Kilbride on 2 October 1978; aged 74. Possibly born in Yarmouth where father was working (Leman is a Suffolk name). Was educated at George Watson's College and Edinburgh University. Following work in the Edinburgh Transport Department He became General Manager of South Shields Corporation Transport in 1934 before moving to Glasgow as Depute in 1937. Was Transport Manager of Glasgow Transport from 1943 to 1969 which ran trams, trolleybuses (for which he was responsible for introducing), buses and the subway (underground railway). Awarded OBE. He produced a report on rapid transit systems for Glasgow in 1948. He contributed to Barton's ILocoE paper on monorails considering that Glasgow air traffic should have been concentrated at Prestwick with a monorail connection to Glasgow: he also castigated that section of the community which sought to maximize car traffic into Glasgow, . See Backtrack, 2014, 28, 134. Grace's Guide. Skelsey Backtrack, 2016, 30, 580.
Fitzpayne, Frederick Andrew
Died 3 May 1935. Portrait in Hunter's Edinburgh transport: he had been manager of Leith Corporation Tramways from 1909 to 1920; then Manager of Edinburgh Corporation Transport from 1929 to 1935. Father of above. Had been educated at Faraday House Electrical Engineering College; then at the works of Browett, Lindley & Co. in Manchester, tyhen as a pupil of J.B. Mitchell, borouugh electrical engineer at Southend-on-Sea. In 1900 he joined the South London Electric Supply Corporation as an assistant engineer and in 1901 moved to Yarmouth as an assistant electrical engineer in the Great Yarmouth Corporation Electricity Department. Scotsman.
Fortenbaugh, Samuel B.
Died in 1843. Singled out by Tim Sherwood in his biography of Yerkes as a key American electrical engineer in the replacement of steam traction on the District Railway. Seconded from the General Electric Cmpany of Schenectady. Brilliant mathematician and scientist. Paper on conductor rail measurements (Trans Am. Inst. Elec. Engrs, 1908, 27, 1215-29. M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Graduated from the Stevens Institute in 1882 and then employed by Thomas Edison at his Menlo Park laboratory. In 1895 he became head of the testing department on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. He was associated with the electrification of the Mersey Railway and was a key figure in the constructionn of the New York Subway system, especially its fire resistant all-steel rolling stock. According to Rutherford (Backtrack, 23, footnote page 734) he was the cousin of Alfred Gibbs in charge of motive poower on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and had acted as consultant to the companies forced to merge into the Southern Railway. Worked in partnership with Hill
Returned from Malaya and became assistant manager of the Government and Railways Department of the General Electric Company, Ltd. and replaced Maddams as manager upon latter's death. Locomotive Mag., 1939, 45, 77 and Locomotive Mag., 1939, 45, 30
Graff-Baker, William Sebastian
Born to American (USA) parents in 1889. Educated at Colet Preparatory School, St. Paul's School and Cleobury Mortimer College; then attended John Hopkins University. On return to England he took an electrical course at the City and Guilds College; then became an Engineering Cadet at Ealing Common Works of the Metropolitan District Railway. In 1913 he was appointed an assistant to the Mechanical . Engineer of the District Railway and associated lines in charge of lifts and escalators, until, in March, 1921 he was made Electrical and Personal Assistant to the Chief Mechanical Engineer, being responsible, in addition, for the equipment of new Rolling Stock. In December, 1921, he was given charge of all Rolling Stock Depots with the title of Car Superintendent, and a year later was appointed Assistant Mechanical Engineer, which post he held until he succeeded W.A. Agnew (President in 1931-32) as Chief Mechanical Engineer (Railways) to the London Passenger Transport Board in 1935 (recorded Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 86). From July, 1940, to June, 1941, Graff-Baker was seconded to the Ministry of Supply as Deputy-Director-General of Tank Production. He was a Major in the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps. Under his direction Tube rolling stock with underfloor-mounted equipment was introduced and Metadyne-controlled surface line stock, as well as automatically-controlled high-speed lifts and the later designs of escalator. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1944, 34, 210 (with portrait). David McKenna in his Management of design. (Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton lecture). J. Instn Loco Engrs., 1966, 56, 318-29 noted that Graff-Baker was Chief Mechanical Engineer of London Transport between 1935 until his death in 1952. Responsible for the 1938 tube stock. Design philosophy: 1. Will it work? 2. Is it as simple as possible? 3. Can it be easily maintained in service? 4. Can it be readily manufactured? 5. Does it look well? . Paper Min. Proc. Instn Civil Engineers, 1933, 236, 82..The retardation of trains. J. Instn Loco. Engrs. Paper 368
Discussion on others' papers: Borgeaud, Gaston. The latest development of the electric locomotive in Switzerland its mechanics and some problems. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1949, 39, 121-224. Paper 484 page 213
Died 27 October 1949. Began his railway career as a premium apprentice at Darlington on the North Eastern Railway in 1900. In 1904 he became engaged with the North Eastern Railway Company on inspection of new materials and as an assistant in the electrical department.
In 1906 he joined the Great Northern Railway Company at Doncaster and was employed in the drawing office on designs for new locomotives, new power-houses, etc. In 1909 he became assistant to the locomotive works manager at Doncaster and was responsible, after studying the French and Belgian Railways, for the application of superheated steam on the first Great Northern Railway engine so fitted. In 1911 he became outdoor assistant to the carriage and wagon superintendent of the Great Northern Railway.
In 1912 he joined the Great Western of Brazil Railway Company, Pernarnbuco, as chief assistant, locomotive, carriage and wagon superintendent and in 1914 he became locomotive carriage and wagon superintendent of that railway.
In August 1915 he returned to England to serve with the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Engineers, attaining the rank of Lieut.-Colonel. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Order of the Crown of Italy. In 1918 he was appointed mechanical adviser to the Allied Railway Mission to Poland and the Baltic Provinces, being appointed chief of the mission from 1919 until July 1921. The work was to assist the local administration with the reorganisation of the railway system, which comprised ex-German, Russian and Austrian directorates, including a considerable amount of work on unifying the gauges.
In 1921 Col. Graham joined the Underground Group of Companies as Shop Superintendent and was made Assistant Mechanical Engineer in 1922, Mechanical Engineer (Maintenance) in 1935 (recorded Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 86). and Mechanical Engineer (Railways) in 1940, which position he held until his retirement at the end of May 1949. In 1946 he was awarded the O.B.E. in recognition of his valuable services in the maintenance of the London Passenger Transport Board's rolling stock during WW2. He was elected a member of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in 1913; a Member of Council in 1923, a Vice-President in 1934 and Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee from 1936 to 1946. During the 25 years he served as a Member of Council he took a leading part in the affairs of the Institution. His. sound judgement in the deliberations at meetings of the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Council was much respected.
Sad to relate, Col. Graharri survived his retirement by only a short period.
It is difficult to do justice to either his ability or his personal qualities. As an engineer he was outstanding and possessed that fundamental instinct for the best solution of the problem which is given to so few. His achievements in developing the Central Overhaul Works at Acton were exceptional. New ground in shop practice had to be broken for the orderly dealing with varied types of rolling stock working in a very intense service. Later, he co-ordinated the central overhaul work with the running attention to rolling stock between overhauls. His engineering abilities and his personal character inspired confidence in all with whom he came in contact, See Paper 284.
Member of Manchester Statistical Society who reported to the LMS in May 1924 on electrification of the services bewteen Manchester and Altringham: Bury system recommended (see Backtrack, 2014, 28, 134). Ottley 1306 lists a much later report of 1945 on transport in South East Lancashire which advocated an underground railway for Manchester. Unfortunately Internet searching is occluded by a minor actor who shared the name.
Latterly Mechanical Engineer (Electrical) on LMS. within party of LNER and LMS engineers which visited USA in 1945: photograph taken on Queen Elizabeth by Cox (Locomotive panorama V. 2): party (also mentioned in Cox Chronicles of steam)
Hastings, Hammond Charles
Manser in his ILocoE Presidential Address refered to the wonderful expertise incorporated into the coontrol gear of the 1938 Underground stock: Hastings was then Traction Control Gear Engineer of BTH.
Born in Austria. Consulting mechanical engineer and metallurgist. International authority on electric traction.
History of the electric locomotive. 1969
Electric locomotives of the world. 1977
Chapter 3 Electric motive power in Ransome-Wallis The concise encyclopaedia of world railway locomotives.
The centenary of the Semmering Railway and its locomotives. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1949, 27, 19-28.
The early history of the electric locomotive. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1949, 27, 153-60.
Articles in Locomotive Mag. electrification in India, 1953, 59, 70; Swiss electric locomotives, 1949, 55, 135, Belgian electric locomotives. 1955, 61, 80
Heilmann, Jean Jacques
Developer of steam electric locomotives in 1890s in association with Charles Brown. Originally envisaged as the power unit to drive electric motors distributed through the train. The prototype was named Fusée (Rocket). It ran on bogies, was fitted with a Lentz-type boiler and produced DC electricity via a dynamo driven by a two-cylinder compound engine. See Rutherford's Railway reflections, Backtrack, 1998, 12, 333 and Duffy.
Hippisley, Edward Townsend
Died 9 Decemebr 1954 aged 61 in Leamington Spa. M.A., A.M.Inst.C.E:, M.I.E.E:, M.I.Mech.E:, Manager of Traction (Sales and Engineering Department) BTE. Rugby throughout his professional life Hippisley devoted himself to electric traction, in which subject he was an acknowledged authority. His Honours Course in Engineering at Cambridge was interrupted by the war, in which he saw service in the Corps of Royal Engineers. In 1920 Hippisley entered upon a three-year post-graduate apprenticeship with the British Thomson-Houston Company. He joined the Staff of the Traction Department early in 1923, where for a time he specialized in the electrical design of traction motors, in pursuance of which he spent some months in U.S.A. From 1929 onwards Hippisley was responsible for heavy-traction contracts involving electric and diesel-electric locomotives; and in June 1936 was appointed Manager Traction Department, a position he held with distinction until his death. Mr. Hippisley had lectured and written widely on electric traction, gaining a special Premium for his paper on "Choice of Electric Traction-Motor Equipment" published in I.E.E. Journal, 1935. Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 5.
Paper on electric traction at Junior Instution of Engineers Symposium: see Locomotive Mag., 1948, 54, 58 On sliding doors on Tyneside lines: ILocoE Vol 35 page 107
Born 28 May 1859. Educated at Owens College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was a Fellow. Information from Who Was Who. Worked in association with his brother John. Both were major innovators on electric traction. See Hennessey: Backtrack, 2008, 22, 390 for his major contribution to electric traction.See R.A.S. Hennessey Backtrack, 2012, 26, 176.
Born 27 July 1849. Educated at Queenwood School, Owens College and Trinity College, Cambridge. Brilliant mathematician (senior wrangler), but his greatest contribution was to electrical engineering, and especially to electric traction. From 1890 he was Professor of electrical engineering at King's College, London. FRS. He died in a tragic Alpine climbing accident together with his children. on 27 August 1898. Biography in ODNB by T.H. Beare revised by S. Hong. Worked in association with his brother Edward (who is not in ODNB). See Hennessey: Backtrack, 2008, 22, 390 for his major contribution to electric traction.
Telegraph Engineer and Chief Electrical Engineer of LBSCR. His father had served in similar capacity, but prior to major high voltage electrification. Hennessey: Backtrack, 2011, 25, 6.
Born Zurich-Reisbach; Switzerland, 15 July 1865; died 9 May 1939. Trained in mechanical engineering at Federal Polytechnic, Zurich. Later entered Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon (MFO). He visited North America with his friend Sulzer, returning in 1892. 1892-1911 he progressed through MFO, reaching the position of general director. During this period he initiated the experimental single-phase electrification of the Seebach-Wettingen line, so becoming a pioneer in single-phase traction on railways. In 1903 he was appointed to a commission to study railway electrification. When the SBB decided upon electrification in 1912 he was placed in charge of the programme, and was responsible for the decision to use 15kV at 162/3Hz. Received honorary doctorate at Zurich, 1925.
Born in Wolverhampton in 1862; died in his office in London on 3 November 1930. Attended Wolverhampton and Manchester Technical Schools. He served his apprenticeship with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and after a period of three years with the London and South Western Railway he gained experience on various electric traction undertakings in the service of the Electric Construction Company, prior to taking up his appointment on the Liverpool Overhead Railway, where he had charge, from its inception until 1903, of the motor and carriage department and in the latter year was appointed carriage and wagon superintendent of the Metropolitan Railway, for whom he designed and superintended the construction and equipment of their first electric rolling stock. After a visit to the United States Ingram founded the firm of Alfred Ingram and Company of Westminster in 1906, now carried on by his two sons. During WW1 he was appointed chief assistant director of horse-drawn vehicles, gun and small arms ammunition boxes. He had been a Member of the IMechE since 1905. Graces Guide and Locomotive Mag., 1930, 36, 396.
Jackson, Thomas Dennis
Died aged 41 on 4 January 1964: was employed in the Electric Traction Section of the Liverpool Division of British Railways. He served his apprenticeship with the L.M.S. Railway on the Liverpool/Southport Electrified Line, commencing this training in July 1937. He volunteered for the R.A.F. in September 1940 and obtained the rank of Flight Sergeant, spending several years in the Middle East. Following demobilisation in September 1946 he resumed railway service as a fitter on electric rolling stock, later becoming a servicing attendant on the Liverpool/Southport sub-stations. In December 1950 he was promoted to Rolling Stock Inspector for the Liverpool District Electrified Lines. In August 1956 he was appointed Rolling Stock Engineer at Liverpool and played a large part in the new pioneer equipments installed on the Lancaster /Morecambe / Heysham a.c. electric line which was re-electrified in 1952. As a result of his experience, he was able to apply his extensive knowledge of a.c. rolling stock to the new electrification between Liverpool and Crewe and it can be said that he was the main driving force in the commissioning of Allerton District Electric Depot in 1961, and subsequently the maintenance of a.c. electric stock and diesel multiple units at that depot. He earned wide respect in the field of maintenance of electric rolling stock, both in the Railway and outside Industries and will long be remembered for his zeal, organising ability and deep knowledge of this form of traction. He was a man of great humour, given to much generosity, and was devoted to his family and home. He had been an Associate Member since 1961. ILocoE obituary, 1964, 54, 215 signed J.A.S
Chief Electrical Engineer LSWR, then appointed Chief Electrical Engineer of the Southern Railway. Retired in 1938. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. Mentioned by Rutherford in Backtrack, 2008, 22, 100.
Kando, Kalman von
1869-1931. Kálmán von Kandó was a Hungarian who worked with Ganz & Co. to develop three phase electric traction which required twin wired catenary and motive power which could only operate at a limited number of fixed speeds. Nevertheless, the Valtellina line of the Rete Adriatica, Italy, employed this system and the Metropolitan Railway toyed with employing this system on the Circle line! See R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9 and Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1931, 37, 156 for Metropolitan Vickers contract for equipment for Budapest to Vienna (i.e. frontier with Austria).
Kennedy, Alexander Blackie William
Born in Stepney, London on 17 March 1847, and died in his Albany (London) home on 1 November 1928. Educated City of London School, following which he was a marine apprentice at J. & J. Dudgeon of Millwall. He was Chief Draughtsman at Palmers of Jarrow on Tyne, then at T.M. Tennant of Leith. By 1874 he was professor of engineering at University College, London and was eventually involved in consultancies with Donkin (to work on boilers) and then with Jenkin. He resigned his professorship in 1889. One of his major projects was the Waterloo & City Railway which instigated the use of power cars. He was involved with the conduit system adopted for the tramways operated by the London County Council. Other projects included the British Aluminium Company's works at Kinlochleven and the GWR's sole electrification project: the Hammersmith & City line. He was a consultant to both the LSWR and LNWR. He was involved in several major committees: the Electrification of Railways Advisory Committee which reported in July 1921 (this advocated 1500 and 750V DC) and is known as the Kennedy Report (aavilable online) and Sir John Pringle's Electrification of Railways Advsory Committee of 1928 which led to the Weir Report See R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9. ODNB biography by E.I. Carlyle revised Graeme J.N. Gooday.
Knapp, Zachariah Ellis
Horne London's District Railway Volume 2 incudes a portrait and his key role both at Lotts Road and elsewhere. Singled out by Tim Sherwood in his biography of Yerkes as a key American electrical engineer in the replacement of steam traction on the District Railway.
Leonard, Harry Ward
Born 8 February 1861 and died in New York on 18 February 1915 (Wikepedia): inventor of Ward Leonard control system for electric motors: US Patent 463,802. See also Duffy (especially page 46 et seq). Hennessey, R.A.S. The meta motors: a lost railway technology. Part 1. Backtrack, 2009, 23, 612..
Liddle, James Andrew
Patent GB 6493/1908. A concentric pinion geared capstan. Applied 24 March 1908. Published 25 February 1909. Edinburgh based. See Locomotive Mag., 1910, 16, 103
M.Sc.Tech., M.I.E.E., Chief Engineer of Chloride Batteries Ltd., died suddenly on 20 February 1955. In October 1949 he was appointed Chief Engineer to the Company (which shortly afterwards changed its name to Chloride Batteries Ltd.) and still held this position at the time of his death. Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 50
Lyall, Alistair M.
Born in 1927. In 1989 presented the Chairman's Address of the Railway Division of IMechE entitled The railway family (Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1989, 203, 1-11). In 2014 he gave a talk under the title of The Flying Scotsman to the Chorlton History Group. In the former he stated: "My earliest recollection of railways dates back to the late 1930s when, from a hill near my home, it was possible to see on a summer evening a vision in blue and silver glinting in the evening sun as it passed Polmadie shed about a mile away. It was, of course, the down Coronation Scot nearing the end of its 6½ hour run from Euston. Subsequently, happy times were spent on the road bridge at Polmadie watching the locomotives coming and going from the shed, the trains on the adjacent main line, and the shunting operations in the sidings." He obtained his Highers at Hutcheson's Grammar School and left scool in 1945. Following three years in the Army he returned to Glasgow to study engineering at the Royal Technical College/Glasgow University. He then obtained an apprenticeship with Metropolitan Vickers at Trafford Park and remained with the firm. In 1989 he was the Commercial Manager of GEC Transportation Projects Ltd and had extensive experience of electric traction on British Railways. This included the serious problems encountered on the Glasgow Blue Trains which were traced to inadequate cooling of the mercury-arc rectifiers resulting in back-fires which in turn imposed large shortcircuit currents on the transformer windings thus leading to explosions.
Worked with Siemens Bros, subsequently Partner with Merz and McLellan. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. See R.A.S. Hennessey Backtrack, 2012, 26, 176. The effect of railway electrification on train working: Lecture delivered at York before the Federation of Railway Lecture and Debating Societies.Locomotive Mag., 1953, 38, 190.
McClintock, Sir William
Member of the Weir Committee
.B.A., A.M.I.E. (India), Executive Director BTH Export Company retired at the end of April 1955 Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 82
Born in 1871. General Manager of Glasgow Corporation Transport from 1927 to 1936. MacKinnon started work with Glasgow Corporation as a clerk in the Cleansing Department, then managed by John Young. When Young set up the new Tramway Department in 1894 he took Lachlan MacKinnon with him. MacKinnon rose through the ranks, becoming Deputy General Manager just after WW1. He was appointed General Manager in January 1927. A quietly spoken but determined man, MacKinnon believed that trams were a vital asset for Glasgow and worked hard to improve the service they offered. He understood the importance of good communication and sent out regular yearly newsletters to staff as well as setting up a publicity office to keep customers informed. Also managed electrification of Subway. see Hamilton Ellis, Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 79-80 plus information off Internet
Born on 7 December in 1874 at Palnackie, Kirkcudbrightshire; eldest of four sons. Educated at Birkenhead College and Liverpool University and after leaving university in 1896 he became an assistant with Messrs Siemens Brothers and Company. In February 1898 he went on to work for Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company where he would meet Merz. It was this meeting which would generate a life long partnership and see both men start to work for the North-Eastern Electricity Supply Company (NESCO) and they become pioneers behind what would later become the National Grid. During their careers Merz and McLellan would work on projects around the world and were members of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Electrical Engineers and were both members of the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. McLellan never married and died in December 1934. See also Hennessey: Backtrack, 2008, 22, 390
McMahon, Peter Valentine
Born at Dundalk in 1868; died 14 September 1940, after a life particularly identified with London tube railways, of which he was a pioneer. He was educated at the Christian Brothers Schools and St. Mary's College. From the age of 16 he served an apprenticeship for three years with the Dundalk Ironworks Co. He then proceeded to London and became a student at the City and Guilds Technical College, Finsbury, where he studied under Prof. Silvanus Thompson and Prof. Perry. At the completion of the course he was awarded the college certificate and first prize in electrical technology. For a short time after leaving Finsbury he was engaged on the electrical installation at Earl's Court Exhibition, after which he was resident engineer at the Waterford electricity supply station, where he was responsible for the installation of alternating-current generating plant for Messrs. Laing, Wharton and Down. This appointment he held for only a comparatively short time, and in 1890 he returned to London to act as resident engineer for Messrs. Mather and Platt in connection with the electrical equipment of the deep-level City and South London Railway, which was then being constructed between King William Street in the City and Stockwell. Thus commenced his life-long connection with London's tube railways. For the City and South London Railway he was responsible for the installation of the electrical equipment and for a considerable amount of its design, many new problems having to be faced. When the line was opened he was appointed assistant engineer to the railway company. In 1896 on the retirement of Mr. (afterwards Sir) Basil Mott from the position of engineer to the company McMahon succeeded him. When the line was extended in 1901 to Moorgate and Islington, and in 1907 to Euston, he acted as consulting engineer in connection with the electrical equipment and rolling stock. In 1912 he became, on the amalgamation of the tube railways, superintendent of electric power at the Lots Road power station of the London .Underground Railways system, and he continued in this position under the London Passenger Transport Board until 1927, when he became assistant chief electrical engineer to the Board. He retained this position until his retirement in 1933 About 1894 he investigated the behaviour of cores of different sizes and shapes in a solenoid and the results of the research were published in the Electrician. This research was undertaken with a view to developing a satisfactory electrical means for operating signals, which were then wire-operated. The apparatus he produced was the forerunner of the automatic signal. He also contributed various other articles to the technical Press from time to time. He became an Associate of The Institution in 1889, was elected a member in 1895, and served on the Council from 1910 to 19J3. In 1899 he read a paper on " Electric Locomotives in Practice, and Tractive Resistance in Tunnels " (Journal I.E.E., 28, p. 508), for which he was awarded the Institution Premium; and in 1904 he was awarded the Willans Premium for his paper entitled " City and South London Railway; Working Results of the Three-Wire System applied to Traction " (Journal I.E.E., 33, p. 100). This paper described the 3-wire direct-current system with 2 000-volt distribution to the substation, which he had introduced and which he described as in reality " a sort of 5-wire system." IEEE obituary
Maddams, William Edward
Born c1884; died 21 February 1939) . Late manager of the Government and Railways Department of the General Electric Company, Ltd. Maddams joined the company in 1899, and during his forty years' service acquired a wealth of electrical experience and a wide circle of friends in the industry.
Manager of the Traction Department of the General Electric Co. Presented paper on the electrification of railways: see Loco. Mag. 1955, 61, 196-7
Manser, Albert William
Chief Mechanical Engineer (Railways) London Transport. Major influence on the adoption of rubber in suspension for rolling stock. In the vote of thanks to his Presidential Address R.A. Powell noted that his nickname "Joe" had been bestowed on him by Graff-Baker because of his similarity in appearance to Joe Stalin. Presidential Address Instn Loco. Engrs..
Born in 1862 and educated at University College School. His early career was devoted to the electrical engineering industry and from 1892 onwards as a consultant, he was responsible for the design of many large electrical plants, both in England and abroad. As Chairman of Daimler he subsequently occupied a prominent position in the automobile industry and was eventually elected President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. He represented the Coventry Division in Parliament from 1918 to 1923, and was also a Vice-President of the Federation of British Industries. He died on 17 March, 1933,
Merz, Charles Hesterman
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne into Quaker family on 5 October 1874. Educated at Bootham School and Armstrong College, Newcastle. Apprenticed to the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Co. (NESCO) and at Robey's of Lincoln. As a young man working in Cork he showed that by diversity between lighting and traction rhe magnitude of the total load would be reduced. This led to the North East Coast grid and to electrification of the North Tyneside lines of the North Eastern Railway, and to the Shildon to Newport electrification. Died, with his wife (Dublin born Stella Byrne and twin children) in a WW2 air raid at his home in Kensington on 14/15 October 1940. See ODNB entry by R.A.S. Redmayne revised by Albert Snow. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. Creator of the National Grid and major contributor to the development of railway electric traction in Britain, and more especially throughout the world in association with William McClellan. See Hennessey: Backtrack, 2008, 22, 390 :
Neele, Charles Wooward
1866-1936: obituary available from IEE electrtonic scriptorium at a price. Last Electrical engineer Great Central Railway: see Backtrack, 2012, 26, 720.
Nelson, George Horatio
Born in Islington, London on 26 October 1887. Educated at Finsbury Technical College. Major electrical engineer and industrialist. He won a Mitchell Exhibition and a Brush Studentship, becoming a premium apprentice at Brush's Loughborough works. At 22 he was made chief outside engineer. Appointed Managing Director of English Electric in 1930. Eventually became Lord Nelson of Stafford in 1960. Award to him by his staff: Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 183. Died at his Stafford works on 16 July 1962. ODNB entry by C.S. Nichols and Rutherford article in Bactrack, 2008, 22, 100.
Born on 20 June 1874; died 1 May 1961. Advised Ministry of Transport Advisory Committee on Electrification of Railways which deliberated in early 1920s. S.B. Warder called him the "Churchward of Swedish electrification" at the end of Erik Upmark's Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture: J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1958, 48, 42-3.
Born in Coalbrookdale on 22 December 1843. Worked for Coalbrookdale Co. and by 1867 was its manager and chemist. Patented an accumulator. Eventually established his own company in Wolverhampton which manufactured electric automobiles and electric locomotives including ones for gold mines in South Africa, one in 1895 for the Kinleith Paper Mill at Currie to connect with the Balerno Branch, and one for a hospital railway at Cheddleton in Staffordshire. He was consultsant to the Metropolitan Railway and influenced the choice of electric locomotives used for the longer distance services. He moved to London in about 1899 but returned to Coalbrookdale in 1908 when he retired. He died on 5 December 1915. Mainly from Grace's Guide (online), but see also article by Hennessey in Backtrack, 2013, 27, 154 and Railway Wld, 1958, 19, 84. M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Parshall, Horace Field
Born in Milford, USA on 9 September 1865, died Bayonne on 12 December 1932 following surgery. Educated Cornell and Lehigh Universities; DSc from Tufts College. Associate of Thomas Edison and worked for the General Electric Co. In 1893 he moved to London to operate as a consultant to the electricity generating and tramway industries. Author of papers on railway electrification and standard works on electricity generation and transmission (many available in electronic form). Designer of the three-phase rotary converter system for the Central London Railway, being the first of its kind. Chairman of the Central London Railway; designer of the Lancashire Electric Power Installation; Chairman of the Lancashire Electric Power Company. (Who Was Who; Times obituary). M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.
Had been on the staff of Mertz and Maclellan for twenty years [in 1937] when appointed by the LNER as an assistant for overhead equipment on its electric traction staff. Previous experience included the suburban electrification of the Victorian Railways at Melbourne, the South African Railways in Natal and the Great Indian Peninsular Railway at Bombay. Locomotive Mag., 1937, 43, 87. First name possibly Richard.
Richards, Henry Walter Huntingford
Electrical enginer of the LNER: recruited from the Southern Railway in 1924. Had George Stephenson Gold Medal from the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Webb Prize. Had previously been employed by LBSCR whre he had been involved in 6.6kV AC electrification. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. Involved with Manchester Sheffield Wath electrification. After Thompson replaced Gresley, Richards became Chief Electrical Engineer of the LNER. Hughes: LNER Photograph of him on Queen Elizabeth en route to/from visit to USA in 1945 in Cox Locomotive panorama 2. Bonavia A history of the LNER. V. 3 p. suggests that his report led to the late LNER proposal that diesel electric traction should be evaluated on the Edinburgh to London service.
Primary considerations relating to steam, electric, and diesel-electric traction. Min. Proc. Instn Civ. Engrs., 1933, 236, 23-81. (Paper 4908).
Telegraph Superintendent of Midland Railway and co-instigator of Lancaster-Morecambe-Heysham electrification with James Dalziel. See R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9.
Siemens, Ernst Werner von
Born in Lenthe near Hanover on 13 December 1816 and died in Berlin on 6 December 1892. Educated at Gymnasium in Lübeck. Improver of telegraphy including invention of duplex system and gutta percha insulation for long distance cables. Improvements to dynamo and first parctical electric railway demonstrated at Berlin Trades Exhibition in 1879. Worked with his brother William. Biography in Marshall. Hugh M. Le Fleming in P. Ransome-Wallis, Concise encylopedia of world railway locomotives (1959)
Siemens, Charles William [Karl Wilhelm]
Born in Lenthe near Hanover on 4 April 1823 and died in London on 19 November 1883. Educated at Gymnasium in Lübeck and Göttingen University. Went to United Kingdom in 1843 to introduce electro-plating (a joint invention with his elder brother Ernst) at Elkington & Mason in Birmingham. He returned in 1844 with another joint invention, the chromatic governor, installed in the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. He remained in Britain and in 1858 established Siemens Bros. for manufacturing cables, electrical instruments and machinery. He developed the Siemens-Martin method of steel making using a regenerative gas furnace with Pierre Emile Martin. He took a prominent part in the generation, transmission and exploitatioin of electricity for lighting and traction, including on the Portrush & Giants Cuaseway Tramway. Biography in Marshall.. ODNB entry by H.T. Wood revised by Brian Bowers which notes that he was a "born inventor" and a "shrewd and capable man of business". President of the IMechE. His IMechE. obituary (Proc., 1884, 35, 69-71) lists the following papers: Regenerative Condenser, 1851 ; Expansion of Isolated Steam, and Total Heat of Steam, 1852; Pendulum Chronometric Governor, 1853; Screw and Spiral Water-Metere, 1854 and 1856; Regenerative Furnace, 1857; Covering Telegraph Wires with India-rubber, 1860; Regenerative Gas Furnace, 1862; Liquid Chronometric Governor, 1866 ; Presidential Address, 1872; High-pressure Vessels, 1878 in addition to those listed below.
On Le Chatelier's plan of using counter-pressure steam as a break [sic] in locomotive engines. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1870, 21, 21-36. Disc.: 37-59 + Plates 1-5.
On a steam jet for exhausting air etc. and the results of its application. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs., 1872, 23, 97-110. Disc. 110-17 + Plates 13-20. 20 diagrs.
Smith, Michael Holroyd
Born in Halifax on 22 December 1847; died Llanrwst on 6 July 1932. Experimental electrical engineer who developed electric traction for street tramways. Introduced a conduit system (later replaced by overhead current collection) for the pioneering Blackpool Electric Tramway Co. and Electrical Engineer for the City & South London Railway. ODNB. Amongst his eight children one of his sons Graham became an officer on the LNWR and eventually Secretary of the LMS (this is by inference as Naomi his presumed sister who became famous noted that she and her siblings changed their surname to Royde Smith
Smith, Roger Thomas
Born 23 March 1863; died 28 April 1940. Educated Mill Hill School and University College, London. Pupilage with Hathorn Davey & Co. in Leeds; then four years in India erecting waterworks machinery and 3 years as Technical Manager of Antwerp Hydraulic & Electricity Supply. Then served for 19 years as Electrical Engineer to the Great Western Railway. During this timed he served on the Ministry of Transport's Advisory Committee on the Electrification of Railways [Kennedy Committee] which deliberated in the early 1920s. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. On the GWR he was responsible for the electric lighting of stations and trains and visited the Sudan with Sir Felix Pole to report on its railways and steamers. He was involved in the installation of the National Grid. Who's Who.
Snell, John Francis Cleverton
Born in Saltash on 15 December 1869; died in London on 6 July 1938. Educated Plymouth Grammar School and King's College, London. Pupillage with Woodhouse and Rawson. In 1899 he was borough tramways engineer in Sunderland, but from 1906 he became a consulting engineer in Westminster, joining Preece and Cardew between 1910 and 1918. He was knighted in 1914. In 1919 he was appointed chairman of the Electricity Commission which led to the construction of the National Grid. He served on the Electrification of Railways [Kennedy Committee] which deliberated in the early 1920s. Witness to Weir Committee on Railway Electrification. H.M. Ross ODNB
Sprague, Frank Julian
Born in Milford (Connecticut) on 25 July 1857 and died in New York on 25 October 1934 (Marshall). Inventor of control system for multiple-units, and control systems for lifts. See also Duffy
Sprague was one of the early developers of electric motors and electric traction. His unflagging spirit and courage both as an inventor and as a financial manager had much to do with the successful development and operation of the electric trolley, the constant speed motor, the multiple unit, regenerative and remote control systems, and considerable equipment for elevator operation. Sprague early demonstrated his financial ability borrowing money to attend the United States Naval Academy. It was while attending the Academy that the telephone was invented and his interest was aroused in things mechanical and electrical. He carried on experiments in his free time, and in 1885 he resigned from the Navy and began his career as an electrical engineer, assisting Edison for one year. During this time he devised a mathematical system for determining the characteristics of central station distribution of electricity. Then he established his own enterprise, the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company, and immediately began the application of motors to all kinds of stationary work, equipping the first electrically trained gun on the S.S. Chicago. In 1887 he undertook a contact with the City of Richmond to plan, finance, and put into operation a street railway, the first successful system to be operated. Within two years his firm had received more than a hundred contracts for similar work all over the USA, and in Italy and Germany as well.
Among Sprague's achievements are the introduction of electric high speed and home elevators in 1892 he formed the Sprague Electric Elevator Co., which became part of the Otis Elevator Co. the development of the automatic signalling and brake train control systems, and the invention of the method for operating elevators on the same rails in a common shaft. He took a keen interest in electrical traction in general, advocating underground rapid transit through the whole period of its development in New York City, and serving on the Grand Central Electrification Commission for the electrification of railways. Sprague was also a pioneer in design and production of miniature electric power units suitable for machine tools, printing presses, dentist's drills, and labor-saving conveniences in the home.
Sprague was fairly active in the American Institute for Electric Engineers (AIEE), serving at various times as committee man, and as vice president in 1890-92. He represented the AIEE and the Inventors Guild on the U.S. Navy Consulting Board, and was engaged in developing fuses and air and depth bombs during World War I. He was a member of many technical societies, president of the New York Electrical Society, the American Institute of Consulting Engineers, and the Inventors Guild, and the recipient of many awards. He received the Edison Medal in 1909, "For meritorious achievement in electrical science, engineering and arts as exemplified in his contributions hereto." Mainly from IEEE website.
See also Sprague's own paper: Sprague, Frank J. The genesis of multiple-unit system of electric train control. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1932, 13, 117.
Swift, Harry Houghton
Died 31 May 1964; aged 72. Educated at St. Peters College, Adelaide, and graduated from Adelaide University with the Degree of Bachelor of Engineering in 1912. He received his early training with Siemens Schukert, Berlin, where he remained for two years, and in 1920 joined The English Electric Co. at their Dick Kerr Works, Preston. From 1922 until his appointment in 1934 as Assistant Manager and Chief Engineer of that firms Traction Departments in London he held various positions representing the Company on oversea contracts in Japan, South Africa and Denmark. He joined the former London and North Eastern Railway in 1936 as Assistant Electrical Engineer at Kings Cross, to Richards, Electric Engineer of the LNER: both were involved in both Manchester to Sheffield and Liverpool Street to Shenfield electrifications becoming Assistant Chief Electrical Engineer of the L.N.E.R. in 1941. On the nationalisation of the railways in 1948 Swift was appointed Acting Electrical Engineer of the Eastern and North-Eastern Regions of British Railways, and two years later he became Executive Officer, Electrical Engineering and New Works Development, Kings Cross. In 1951 Swift transferred to the Southern Region of British Railways becoming the Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, and in 1955 he was appointed Chief Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, Southern Region, which position he held until he retired in Julv 1956. Swift, who was a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, became a Member of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in 1952. ILocoE obituary plus Moody. and Hughes LNER.. Also authorized rebuilding of Bulleid Pacifics. (Geoffrey Hughes: letter Backtrack, 1997, 11, 688).
Born in Switzerland on 7 August 1860; died 23 April 1938. In 1884 built an experimental rack railway in Territet, a suburb of Montreux, to connect a hotel, several hundred feet up the mountain slope, with the town. Went to the United States where he worked for T.A.Edison. He was known for his work with high voltage direct current electricity transmission and this led to him being known in the professional world as the "King of DC". He was responsible for many inventions in electrical engineering, especially those concerned with the series coupling of electric motors. For many years he worked at Dick, Kerr & Co. Le Fleming in Ransome-Wallis Concise encyclopedia (1959) and Wikipedia (2012-11-07)
Proposed with George Cawley system of canal haulage using electric traction. Locomotive Mag., 1935, 41, 59
Tierney, Joseph Patrick
Born c1883; died 5 March, 1919, at age of 38. He joined the electrical staff of the Dublin United Tramways Company in 1899 shortly after the electrification of the Dublin tramway system, and remained for 13 years in the service of the Company. During this period he invented and developed the type of electric point-shifter which is still used extensively in the Dublin district. On leaving the Tramway Company he became a consulting engineer and acquired a considerable practice throughout Ireland, holding the position of consulting engineer to several urban district councils. He was for some time engineer to the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway and was responsible for the introduction of petrol-electric cars on this line, having designed special cars for combined trolley and self-propelled operation. He was actively interested in a number of industrial undertakings, being engineer and manager of the De Selsby Quarries and engineer to the Skeagh Barytes Company. He lectured on electrical engineering at the City of Dublin Technical Schools from the year 1902 up to the time of his death. He was elected a Student of the Institution in 1901 and became a Member in 1913. He served on the Dublin Committee for a number of years and occupied the position of Chairman of the Irish Centre at the time of his death. He read several papers before the Dublin Local Section, and his Address as Chairman in October 1918 has been published in the Journal. Grace's Guide and Locomotive Mag., 1917, 23, 20 for petrol electric tramcar.
Traill, William Atcheson
With his brother Dr Anthony Traill, and the Hopkinsons responsible for developing the early electric Giant's Cuaseway Railway near Portrush in Ireland. See article by Vickers, Backtrack, 2003, 17, 635. and ODNB entry also by Vickers, and ODNB entry for Anthony Traill by E.J. Gwynn revised by C. Curthoys. William was born at Bushmills in 1844 and died at Portstewart on 6 July 1933 (error in ODNB Marshall and The Times state 6 July). He was a geologist and joined the Geological Survey of Ireland in 1868. Anthony was born at Ballylough on 1 November 1838 and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He eventually became Provost of Trinity College where he died on 15 October 1914. In 1912 William conducted a party of engineers over the Giant's Causeway Railway: Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1912, 83, 809..
Trewman, Harry Frederick
Died 4 November 1981, aged 89. See Locomotive Mag., 1921, 27, 79.. Chief Instructor of Electrical Engineering. Ordnance College, Woolwich.
Paper entitled The selection of rolling stock appeared in special issue on electric railways of Cassier's Magazine in August 1899..
Unwin, Cecil Buckley
Born 1 September 1889; died 12 June 1964. Educated at Westminster School and he graduated from Kings College, London, with the Degree of B.Sc. (Eng.). His early experience in electric traction was gained as Assistant Mechanical Engineer with the London Underground Railways. The next six years were spent as Assistant Engineer with the English Electric Co., spending some time in Spain and Canada supervising the electrification of railways. He then became Superintendent of the Training School for the Operating Department of the London Underground Railways. His next appointment was Joint Managing Director, then Managing Director of Kryn &Lahy (1928) Ltd., steelfounders, of Letchworth. Finally, he became Joint Managing Director of the Shipbreaking & Salvage Group of Metal Industries Ltd., until he retired. He was a keen games player and was captain of Brondesbury Hockey Club for some years. ILocoE obituary
Director General of the Swedish State Railways and presenter of the Sir Seymour Biscoe Tritton Lecture: Development of electric traction in Sweden and its influence on rolling stock. J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 20-
Head of the Electrical Department, Spanish National Railways and rreported on global practice on electric locomotive maintenance at the International Railway Congress held in Madrid. Locomotive Mag., 1958, 64, 161
Born in Brighton on 19 October 1851; died in Brighton on 20 May 1937. Builder of the first electric railway in Britain. Son of a German clock maker. Began in his father's workshop, continuing it himself when his father died in 1865. In 1881 he was awarded a gold medal for a street fire alarm and in 1882 he equipped his house with the first telephone and first electric light in Brighton. In 1883 he installed electric light in the Brighton Pavilion and built a 2ft gauge electric railway along the beach using a Siemens dynamo and a 2hp Crossley gas engine. The first section opened on 4 August 1883, eight weeks before the Portrush-Giant's Causeway Tramway in Ireland. In 1884 the gauge was changed to 2ft 9in and the line was extended and reopened on 4 April 1884. His most extraordinary venture was the Brighton & Rottingdean Seashore Electric Tramroad with a car like a ship on long legs which ran through the sea at high water. The line was about 2¼ miles long and ran from 28 November 1896 to January 1901. An attempt to extend the Brighton Electric Railway to Rottingdean in 1902 failed for lack of capital. Alan A. Jackson, VoIk's Electric Railway, Brighton, 1883-1964. 1964. (Ottley 1420). Marshall. Skelsey. 'England's Edison': Magnus Volk and his electric railways. Backtrack, 2013, 27, 86. (picture of Volk on page 86). Plaque on his house at 126 Dyke Road in Brighton and his grave is at St. Wulfrun's Church in Ovingdean (Humm J. Rly Canal Hist. Soc., 2015, 38, 252).
Diiscussion on Warder paper: spoke about Weir Report
Warder, Stanley Bernard
Warder received his technical training at the University of London, and served his apprenticeship in Electrical Engineering with Johnson and Phillips, Charlton, after which he gained further experience with the British General Electric Company and the Swedish General Electric Company in handling contracts for railway eIectrification at home and abroad. He joined the former Southern Railway in 1936 as Technical Assistant to the Electrical Engineer for New Works, and was appointed New Works Assistant to the Chief Electrical Engineer in 1943 in which capacity he was concerned primarily with plans for the development and reconstruction of the electrified system. In 1946 he was a member of the four man delegation sent by the Southern Railway to North America to examine diesel traction (Bulleid on Bulleid). In 1947 Warder was appointed Assistant to the Chief Electrical Engineer. On nationalisation in January 1948, he became Electrical Engineer, Southern Region, and in October 1949, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer for the same Region. He was appointed Chief Officer (Electrical Engineering), Railway Executive Headquarters in 1950, and following the abolition of the Railway Executive in 1953, became Chief Electrical Engineer, British Railways Central Staff, British Transport Commission. See Locomotive Mag., 1950, 56, 172..
He contributed many papers on Electric Traction subjects to the proceedings of professional Institutions, as well as to the technical Press. Awards received are the following:- 1950/51 The Institution of Locomotive Engineers Award for his Paper Electric Traction Prospects for British Railways. 1961 /62 The Institution of Locomotive Engineers Frederick Harvey Trevithick Award for his Paper Progress of 50-cycle Traction on British Railways. April 1962 Society of Engineers Premium for his Paper Railway Electrification at Industrial Frequency. May 1962 The Institution of Civil Engineers Award of the Telford Gold Medal for his Paper Electric Traction in the British Railways Modernization Plan. Mr. Warder took a major part in the A.C. Electrification Conference, 1960 and made visits to countries overseas, including America, Canada and India, to study and report on Electrical Engineering developments. Warder served on various outside committees and councils, as follows: Electrical Research Association :- Council, Finance & General Purposes Divn. 6-Industrial Applications Committee, Committee. Permanent Member of Conference Internationale des Grands Reseaux Electriques. Also, Committee 19-Influence of A.C. Electrified Railways on Power Transmission Lines. International Union of Railways-U.I.C. Vth Commission Committee of Heads of Departments. British Standards Institution: Electrical Industry Standards Committee, Committee, International Electrotechnical Commission. Mechanical Industry Standards British National Committee of the Mr. Warder was elected a Member of the Institution of Locomotive Engineers in 1949 and was elected a Member of Council in 1951. He had been a Vice-President since 1957.
Pearson Man of the rail (p. 150) noted that Warder, who had the senior professional post in his field in British Railways, was a sturdy man of about middle height with a florid face He loved his job and thoroughly enjoyed doing big things and being important. The 'I.s' in his memoranda were numerous, and he never attempted to conceal his egoism. I always found him easy to get on with; but he did not like the general staff idea. He had many battles to fight, and he used his electrical engineering jargon to good effect in beating off opposition. His actual costs often soared beyond the estimates for his projects and he was constantly having to explain increases. He and I struggled with more than one report on this aspect. But he weathered all the storms and managed to come up smiling. He was a likeable man.
Papers; Progress of 50 cycle traction on British Railways.. J. Instn Loco. Engrs. 1961, 51, 747-813. Paper 630
Weir, William Douglas
Born on 12 May 1877 in Glasgow, the eldest of three children of James Weir (18431920) who with his brother George had in 1873 founded a marine engineering and maintenance company. James patented several inventions (including the Weir feed-pump), which in 1886 the brothers began to manufacture in a machine shop and smithy at Cathcart near Glasgow. These premises were developed into the Holm Foundry, and the business of G. and J. Weir was formed into a limited liability company in 1895. William Douglas was educated at Allan Glen's School and at Glasgow High School. At sixteen he entered an apprenticeship in the family business. He was successively director (1898), managing director (190215), and chairman (191053) of G. and J. Weir. He was made Viscount Weir in 1938 (presumably in association with the Glasgow Exhibition of that year). He was an administrator in both World Wars and chaired the Weir Committee on railway electrification, prior to which he had chaired a Committee which led to the formation of the National Grid in 1925. The Weir Committee on railway electrification reported in 1931: the other members were Wedgwood of the LNER and Sir William McLintock. Witnesses listed were Sir John Aspinall. Sir Philip Dawson, M.P. Sir Andrew Duncan. Sir Henry Fowler, K.B.E. Mr. H. N. Gresley, C.B.E. Sir Brodie Hendereon, .C.M.G., C.B. Mr. Frank Hunt, C.V.O. Mr. Herbert Jones. Mr. 3. M. Kennedy. Mr. F. Lydall. . Mr. C. H. Merz. Mr. J. Milne, C.S.I. Sir Philip Nash, K.C.M.G., C.B. Mr. H. W. H. Richards. Mr. 0. E. R. Bherrington, M.C. Mr. Roger Smith. Sir John Snell, G.B.E. Siz Josiah Stamp, O.B.E. Sir Herbert Walker, K.C.B. He died on 2 July 1959, at Eastwood Park, Giffnock in greater Glasgow. The bare bones of this entry came from an ODNB biography by Richard Davenport-Hines, who does not mention either railway electrification or the Glasgow Exhibition. See also R.A.S. Hennessey. 'Sparks' the electrical consultants. Backtrack, 2008, 22, 564-9. The ODNB should consult Hennessey's work and other literature to produce a more balanced entry. Contemporary reception of Weir Report see Locomotive Mag., 1931, 37, 197..
.Elected to the Board to fill the vacancy left by MacDonald. Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 82
Chief Electrical Engineer, South African Railways. See Locomotive Mag., 1955, 61, 33,
Manager of the Glasgow Corporation Tramways at the time of the initial electrification of them in 1897; persuaded to become general manager of the Metropolitan District Railway in London in 1904 during its period of electrification. M.A.C. Horne. London's District Railway. Volume 2.