History of Nine Elms Locomotive Works & MPD
Nine Elms railway works was in the district of Nine Elms in the London Borough of Battersea. It was built by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) originally near the Vauxhall end of Nine Elms Lane in 1843, but moved to a larger site south of the main line between 1861 and 1865. Between 1843 and 1850, and then from 1862 to 1908 Nine Elms works was responsible for the construction of more than 800 steam locomotives for the LSWR, to the designs of John Viret Gooch, Joseph Hamilton Beattie, William George Beattie, William Adams and Dugald Drummond. The carriage and wagon shops were transferred from Nine Elms to Eastleigh in 1891, followed by the locomotive works between 1908 and 1910. This allowed for the expansion of the existing motive power depot, which survived on the site until 1967.
John Viret Gooch (1812-?) was the locomotive superintendent of the London and South Western Railway from 1841 to 1850. He was the brother of Sir Daniel Gooch, 1st Baronet (24th August 1816, - 15th October 1889), first chief mechanical engineer of the Great Western Railway from 1837 to 1864 and its Chairman from 1865 to 1889.
Joseph Hamilton Beattie (1808-1871) , locomotive engineer London and South Western Railway. Beattie was a highly innovative engineer, introducing the country's first successful 2-4-0 locomotive, pioneering coal-burning fireboxes, feed-water heating and balanced side valves. His locomotives were amongst the most efficient of the time. 3 of his most famous locomotive design, the 2-4-0 T Well Tanks, were in service for 88 years, until 1962. 2 have been preserved - see the Swanage Railway, Bodmin & Wenford Railway and the National Railway Museum, York.
Joeseph Beattie was born in Ireland on 12th May 1808. He was educated in Belfast and initially apprenticed to his father, a Londonderry architect. He moved to England in 1835 to serve as an assistant to Joseph Locke on the Grand Junction Railway and from 1837 on the London and Southampton Railway. After the line opened he became the carriage and wagon superindent at Nine Elms and succeeded John Viret Gooch as locomotive engineer on 1st July 1850.
William George Beattie, locomotive engineer, was the son of Joseph Hamilton Beattie. He joined the London and South Western Railway in 1862 as a draughtsman at Nine Elms Locomotive Works. He succeeded his father as Locomotive Engineer of the LSWR following Joseph's death in 1871. He was not however a success in this post and was forced to resign in 1878. He died in 1918.
William Adams (1823-1904) was the Locomotive Superintendent of the North London Railway from 1858 to 1873; the Great Eastern Railway from 1873 until 1878 and the London and South Western Railway from then until his retirement in 1895. He is best known for his locomotives featuring the Adams Bogie, a device with lateral centering springs (initially made of rubber) to improve high-speed stability. He should not be mistaken for William Bridges Adams (1797-1872) a locomotive engineer who, confusingly, invented the Adams Axle - a radial axle box used on locomotives of William Adams's design. On the LSWR he designed 524 locomotives, supervised the expansion of Nine Elms Works and the transfer of the Carriage and Wagon Works to Eastleigh. Failing health forced his retirement on 29th May 1895. He lived in Putney until his death on 07th August 1904.
Dugald Drummond (1st January 1840 - 8th November 1912) was a Scottish steam locomotive engineer. He had a career with the North British Railway, LB&SCR, Caledonian Railway and London and South Western Railway. He was the brother of the engineer Peter Drummond. He was a major locomotive designer and builder and his London and South Western Railway engines continued in main line service with the Southern Railway to enter British Railways service in 1947. Drummond was born in Ardrossan, Ayrshire on 1st January 1840. His father was permananent way inspector for the Bowling Railway. Drummond was apprenticed to Forest & Barr of Glasgow gaining further experience on the Dumbartonshire and Caledonian Railways. He was in charge of the boiler shop at the Canada Works, Birkenhead of Thomas Brassey before moving to the North British Railway's Cowlairs Works in 1864 under S.W. Johnson.
Article provided with thanks to Les Hoath
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