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Arthur Reginald Cooper (1877-1949)

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Arthur Reginald Cooper (1877-1949), chief engineer of the London Passenger Transport Board


1949 Obituary [1]

WE regret to learn of the death of Mr. Arthur Reginald Cooper, the first chief engineer of the London Passenger Transport Board, on Tuesday, March 8th. Mr. Cooper retired in December, 1937, after thirty-seven years of service with the Underground Railways of London.

He was born at Oxford in 1877 and at the conclusion of his education at Magdalen College School passed through the workshops and drawing-offices of the former Great Western Railway Company at Swindon. After a period of study at the University College, London, he was appointed an assistant engineer at the London Electrical Supply Corporation's station at Deptford in 1899, where for two years he was occupied on the modernisation and reconstruction of the plant.

In 1906, after he had spent five years with the Central London Railway, Mr. Cooper was appointed superintendent of the Bakerloo Line, which was opened that year between Baker Street and Lambeth North. Two years later his duties were extended and he also became engineer to the Metropolitan District Railway.

When the London Underground Railways were linked up he was appointed chief engineer of a number of lines, including the Metropolitan District, the London Electric, the City and South London and the Central London Railway. During this period his department was also responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of buildings for the London General Omnibus Company and associated tramway companies. When the London Passenger Transport Board was formed in 1933 he was appointed its chief engineer.

In the course of his career Mr. Cooper initiated and carried out many noteworthy schemes connected with the development and improvement of the underground railway system o£ London. In addition to major schemes, such as the widening of the District Line between Hammersmith and Northfields and the reconstruction of Aldgate East Station, he was closely concerned with the construction of a. new station at King's Cross on the Metropolitan Line and the extensive re-planning of that line between Finchley Road and Harrow. The two last-named and a number of other works wore completed after his retirement.

In work on the quietening of travel in the tubes and the improvement of ventilation he spent much time and made a number of innovations which were much appreciated by the travelling public. As an engineer with training and interests in the civil, mechanical and electrical branches of the profession he was a member of a number of institutions.

He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, of the March 18, 1949 Permanent Way Institution and one of the founder members of the Institute of Transport. During his career he served on Government committees dealing with the electrification and the equipment of railways.

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