Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Barton Wright

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William Barton Wright, locomotive superintendent, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

Barton Wright was born at Murton House near North Shields on 13 November 1828 and died in St Leonard's on Sea on 7 May 1915.

He was apprenticed to Daniel Gooch at Swindon with whom he was related through his mother. He rose to become assistant to the works manager, Sturrock, and then superintendent of the Paddington locomotive depot.

In October 1854 he was appointed locomotive, carriage & wagon superintendent of the Madras Railway

He was the Locomotive Superintendent of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway from 1875 until 1886 when he returned to India, Barton Wright held office at a time when the L&YR both in locomotive stock and public reputation was at a low level.

In 1875 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway appointed Barton Wright to bring order to its scattered workshop facilities and initiate strict standardization, based notably on his 4-4-0, 0-6-0, and 0-4-4T designs. The 0-6-2T was in overall locomotive engineering terms even more significant. Marshall noted that "Few engineers since Daniel Gooch could have assumed responsibility for a more wretched collection of engines than that which greeted Barton Wright". These were sound although unexciting designs, and were continued by his successor Aspinall.

Barton Wright, with Ramsbottom, were responsible for initiating work on the new locomotive works at Horwich.

In June 1886 he resigned and moved to London to advance his financial interests in India.

He was Director of the Assam Railways & Trading Co. until about 1893.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Steam Index