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Robert White

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Robert White (1842-1925)

Engineer on the Great Southern of India Railway.

1925 Obituary [1]

ROBERT WHITE was born in Glasgow on 2nd December 1842.

His education was gained at private schools and at the Andersonian College, Glasgow.

He served an apprenticeship of two years, 1858-60, with Messrs. P. and W. MacLellan, of the Clutha Iron Works, Glasgow, and subsequently a further four years as pupil and assistant with the firm of Messrs. Robson, Forman and McCall, Glasgow, being engaged upon the Wemyss Bay, Milngavie, Busby, and Blanc Valley Railways.

In 1864 he was appointed Resident Engineer of the Peterborough, Wisbech and Sutton Railway, under Mr. (afterwards Sir) George Barclay Bruce, until completion of the work.

He then occupied a similar position on the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway, being engaged upon the completion of the Marron Valley extension and other branches.

In 1869 he entered the service of the Great Southern of India Railway as assistant engineer, and remained, in India in the service of that Company, and of its successor - the South Indian Railway Company - until 1881, rising to the position of Deputy Chief Engineer and acting as Chief Engineer of the line. During his service in India he was in charge of the construction of a large portion of what is now the metre-gauge system of the South Indian Railway.

In 1881 he retired from service in India, and on returning to England he engaged in various branches of professional work including Parliamentary and other surveys. He visited Asia Minor for the purpose of reporting upon the property of the Smyrna Quays; also the Rio Tinto Company's Railway in Spain in connexion with a large steel bridge which he designed for that Company.

In 1888 the subject of this memoir entered into partnership with Sir George Barclay Bruce, engaging in general engineering practice, which included works carried out by the firm in connexion with the Buenos Ayres Grand National Tramways, the Rio Tinto Railway and Pier, the Beira Railway and Pier, and Ceara Harbour.

He was for many years associated with Sir George Bruce, as Consulting Engineer to the South Indian and Great Indian Peninsula Railway Companies in London, and he was, with Sir Douglas Fox, Joint Engineer of the Cardiff Railway, and carried out important works in connexion therewith.

On the death of Sir George Bruce in 1908 Mr. White continued the practice of the firm under his own name.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1901 and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was a Member of the British Engineering Standards Association, having served on the Sectional Locomotive Committee from its formation in 1902, and on the Locomotive Conference formed at the request of the Secretary of State for India to prepare designs for standard types of locomotives for Indian Railways, and on the Sub-Committee on Iron for Railway Rolling Stock.

Mr. White died at his residence at Hampstead on 20th March 1925, is his eighty-third year.

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