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Alexander James Adie (1808-1879)

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Alexander James Adie (1808-1879), railway engineer

1808 Born the son of Alexander James Adie

Studied at the High School in Edinburgh and then Edinburgh University before training as a civil engineer under James Jardine.

1836 Appointed Resident Engineer on the Bolton and Preston Railway.

Designed an impressive skew railway bridge to cross the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. See Bridge 74A, Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Some sources give the date of construction as 1838, but 1841 seems more likely. Various sources state that Adie designed the bridge using the logarithmic method of Edward Sang. The courses of masonry certainly follow the principle laid down by Sang, but Adie makes no mention of Sang in his 1842 Paper to the I.C.E.[1]

1841 Report by A. J. Adie concerning the Bolton and Preston Railway progress: 'Contract No. 3. ..... The Bridge over Cowlin Brook (above Yarrow Bridge) is well advanced, and will soon ready for turning the Arches. The only other Bridges of consequence on this contract are yet to complete is a skewed Bridge over the Lancaster Canal, for which a temporary wooden Bridge has in the meantime been substituted for the passage of the earth to forward the banking, and a Bridge with skewed ends, similar to those built in Bolton, which is to carry the Chorley Turnpike Road over the Railway. Messrs. Nowell can easily finish these Bridges in time, and it is expected that they will make every exertion to drive forward the cutting at the beginning of their contract.'[2]

1863 Appointed Manager of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway.

In February 1846 he followed in his father's footsteps and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

1879 April 3rd. Died at his house, Rockville near Linlithgow,and is buried on the south side of St Michael's Church in Linlithgow.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Volume II, 1842 & 1843 p.176ff. 'On the Construction of the Bridges on the Bolton and Preston Railway’ by A. J. Adie
  2. Bolton Chronicle - Saturday 30 January 1841