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Alfred Collett

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Alfred Collett (1854-1895)


1895 Obituary [1]

ALFRED COLLETT, son of the Rev. W. L. Collett, M.A., late vicar of St. Stephen’s, Hammersmith, was born on the 17th of May, 1854, and received his preliminary education at Dr. Huntingford‘s school, Wimbledon.

After a course of training in the Applied Sciences Department of King’s College, London, he was articled in December, 1873, for four years to Messrs. Wilkinson and Smith, engineers, of Westminster, by whom he was employed in surveying, levelling, taking out quantities, designing gas and railway works, and in the preparation of parliamentary plans and estimates.

His first appointment, which he held between May, 1877, and September, 1878, was that of contractor's engineer on the Yarmouth and Stalham Railway.

He then acted for nine months as Resident Engineer during the construction of the Lynn and Fakenham line, and afterwards had charge of the erection at Yarmouth of a terminal station, station yard and repairing- and running-sheds, and of extensions of the Yarmouth and Stalham Railway to North Walsham and of the Lynn and Fakenham Railway.

In 1881 Mr. Collett was appointed Engineer, under Mr. Henry Gale, of a mountainous district of the Donna Theresa Christina Railway in Brazil.

On its completion he returned to England and was engaged on survey work at Wigan for Sir Douglas Fox.

From October, 1883, to February, 1885, he acted for Messrs. Sir John Hawkshaw, Son and Hayter as a District Engineer on the surveys for the Dom Pedro I. Railway in Brazil, being for some months, during the absence of the Chief Engineer, in sole charge of the large staff employed and also representing the Company in Brazil.

Mr. Collett was then for three years Resident Engineer and Locomotive Superintendent of the Buenos Ayres and Pacific Railway, having charge of the construction and maintenance of the line.

From 1888 to 1890 he was Chief Engineer for the Argentine Government during the construction of the Chilecito, the Chumbicha and Catamarca, and the Salta and Jujuy Railways, acting at the same time as Consulting Engineer in Buenos Ayres to the Pacific Railway Company.

Mr. Collett was next engaged, on his own account, between 1890 and January, 1892, in general engineering work in Buenos Ayres and Monte Video, where he constructed tramways of considerable extent and represented the Low Moor Iron Company and the firm of Messrs. Sharp, Stewart and Company. He also carried out 450 miles of survey for the Interior of Uruguay Railway.

In January, 1892, he left South America on being appointed Engineer and Manager of the Barcelona Waterworks. During his residence in Spain Mr. Collett had several opportunities of inspecting the construction of the Monistrol-Montserrat Rack-Railway, a line formed for the purpose of conveying pilgrims and visitors to the monastery situated half-way up the mountain of Montserrat in the province of Catalonia, about, 18 miles from Barcelona.

As that line possessed many points of interest, he presented to the Institution a brief description of it, which, in conjunction with two other Papers on Mountain Railways, was read early in the present year.

In February, 1895, Mr. Collett was appointed Resident Engineer and Manager to the Natal and Nova Cruz Railway in North Brazil, where his active supervision was at once successfully employed. His useful career was however destined to be prematurely cut short : during a season of unusually trying heat he contracted yellow fever, which unhappily proved fatal on the 28th of June.

Mr. Collett was elected an Associate Member on the 5th of April, 1881, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 5th of April, 1892.


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