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Alexander Newlands

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Alexander Newlands (1870-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

1938 Obituary [2]

ALEXANDER NEWLANDS, C.B.E., was born at Elgin in 1870, the son of Mr. A. Newlands, of Pondpark, Elgin, and died in Glasgow on the 28th August, 1938.

He was educated at West End school, Elgin, and after serving a pupilage with Messrs. Gordon and MacBey entered the service of the Highland Railway in 1892. He was at first attached to the engineering staff at the head office in Inverness, and was engaged in parliamentary surveys for the Kyle extension of the Dingwall and Skye section of the line.

In 1893, he was made resident engineer on these works, which included a deep-water pier at Kyle of Lochalsh and some of the heaviest rock cutting in the country, and which were completed in 1897. Meanwhile he was associated with the promotion of a number of lines in the Highlands, many of which reached the Parliamentary Committee Rooms and were highly contested there by opposing Bills.

In 1897, Mr. Newlands was made resident engineer on the widening of the Highland main line from Blair Atholl northwards, and subsequently supervised the continuation of this work over the summit of the Grampians to Dalwhinnie, a total distance of 24 miles. In 1899, he was appointed Chief Assistant, and in 1901 Assistant Engineer, finally being promoted Engineer-in-Chief in 1914.

After the merging of this undertaking in the London Midland and Scottish Railway System in 1921, he became Divisional Engineer, Inverness, and in 1924 was transferred to the Crewe Division in a similar capacity.

He was appointed Chief Civil Engineer of the L.M.S.R. in 1927, retiring on the 1st July, 1933. His work included the reorganization of the Civil Engineering Department, the expenditure of a very large amount of money on schemes associated with the Remission of Government Passenger Duty and Development (Loan Guarantee and Grants) Act, 1929, and the construction of the Mid-Nottingham Joint Railway for the development of the Mid-Nottinghamshire coalfield.

Mr. Newlands took a keen interest in the utilization of water-power, and served as a member of the Board of Trade Water-Power Resources Committee and of the Water-Power Section of the Conjoint Board of Scientific Societies. He received the C.B.E. in 1920.

He was the author of “A Short History of the Growth and Development of the Scottish Railway System,” and of “The British Railways,” a statistical and financial discussion of modern railway operation. He was elected an Associate Member of The Institution in 1895, and was transferred to the class of Member in 1912. He was elected a Member of Council in November, 1931. In 1926, he was President of the Permanent Way Institution. He was also a Member of the American Railway Engineering Association and of the Institution of Water Engineers. He was a Justice of the Peace for Inverness-shire.

He married in 1900 Bessie Hamilton, third daughter of the late Rev. J. McGilchrist, and had three daughters.

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