ICE-Thomas Brassey - the world’s greatest railway engineer? - online

5th October 2021 12:00 pm

Thomas Brassey was an English civil engineering contractor and manufacturer of building materials who was responsible for building much of the world’s railways in the 19th century.

He started his career at the age of 16, in 1821. By 1847, he had built about one-third of the railways in Britain, and by the time of his death in 1870 he had built one in every twenty miles of railway in the world. This included three-quarters of the lines in France, major lines in many other European countries and in Canada, Australia, South America and India. He also built the structures associated with those railways, including docks, bridges, viaducts, stations, tunnels, and drainage works.

Born near Chester, he started work on projects in Cheshire following his apprenticeship. He soon moved into railway projects after a meeting with George Stephenson. In 1835 he submitted a tender for building the Penkridge viaduct, which still carries the West Coast Main Line to this day.

This started a worldwide career, working with the other great engineers of his time, and leaving a lasting legacy to his day.

This event is organised by ICE Cheshire Branch and the North West Historical Engineering Group.

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