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Robert Ogilvie

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Robert Ogilvie (1815-1875), brother of Alexander and Patrick Ogilvie, also well known in the railway engineering world.

1875 Obituary [1]

MR. ROBERT OGILVIE was born at Kerriemnir, Forfarshire, in 1815.

His education was commenced at Paisley and was completed at the Edinburgh University. His connection with Engineering began in 1845, when he was employed by Mr. Thomas Brassey, Assoc. Inst. C.E., as superintendent of the permanent way and ballast engines on the London and South-Western railway.

In 1849 he went to Ireland, and took charge, for Mr. Dargan, of the locomotives on the various lines of railway in which that gentleman was interested, as well as the steamers belonging to him then running between Ireland and Liverpool, and working on the lakes in connection with the Ulster Canal.

He subsequently joined the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway Company as Locomotive Superintendent, a position which he held until 1853, and on leaving which he was presented with a testimonial by the employees who had been under his direction.

He then renewed his connection with Mr. Brassey, who, in conjunction with Mr. Alexander Ogilvie, Assoc. Inst. C.E., was constructing the railway from Crediton to Barnstaple and Bideford.

On the completion of the works Mr. Robert Ogilvie became the sole manager of these lines, controlling and directing every department for a period of eight years, and with such success and satisfaction to all concerned that on the termination of his engagement he was presented with a silver tea and coffee service by the townspeople of Barnstaple, and at other periods with a silver vase and a gold watch and chain by the officials.

In 1863 Mr. Ogilvie took charge, for Mr. Edward Price, Assoc. Inst. C.E., of the construction of the South-Eastern railway of Portugal, including the erection of the locomotives.

After a few years health necessitated his return to England, and in 1866 he was employed by Messrs. Brassey, Wythes, and Wheelwright as general manager of the Central Argentine railway from Rosario to Cordova, a distance of 260 miles. Many of his old employees accompanied him to South America, and several remain in that country who would never have left England but for the confidence they reposed in their old friend, of whose probity and kindness of heart they had received repeated and satisfactory proofs.

On his return home in 1869 Mr. Ogilvie endeavoured to recruit the energies of body and mind, which had been severely taxed by residence abroad. He retired to a farm near Barnstaple, where he sought recreation in agricultural pursuits, But the interval of leisure allowed him was brief, a short illness ending his useful career on the 8th of April, 1875.

Mr. Ogilvie was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 1st of March, 1853.

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