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James Price (1831-1895)

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James senior overlooking his new line when it was first opened in 1887
The same view today.

James Price (1831-1895)

1862 Resident engineer of the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway


James Price was father to Edward Bellingham Price, James Price (1855-1936), Alfred Dickinson Price and Alan Price. With two Telford medals and one Telford premium, he was President of the Irish ICE. He designed numerous railways, canals, docks etc. throughout Ireland, including the new Spencer docks in Dublin which included two examples of a revolutionary form of swing bridge, one for the road and one for the railway. These were the first to be 95% supported on water, and were the inspiration for the famous swing bridge over the Tyne at Newcastle, which still functions, among many others. James was offered a knighthood at this time, which he declined on a matter of principle.

He also designed the first colossal Lough Erne drainage and flood relief scheme, and the scheme released thousands of acres of worthless swampy land for agriculture. The work was then carried out by his eldest son, also James, and took seven years to complete. It included what were then the biggest vertical sluice gates in the world.

I. K. Brunel had at that time built a spectacular railway line round Bray Head in County Wicklow, but unfortunately not enough attention was paid to the geology of the area, and several disastrous landslides resulted. James was given the job of sorting it out, and completely realigned the affected stretch, which is still in use.

James had five sons who became civil engineers in their turn, as well as did several grandsons, working all over the world.[1]


1895 Obituary [2]

JAMES PRICE, M.A.I., born on the 18th of January, 1831, at Monkstown, Co. Dublin, was the second son of Mr. James Price, of Newtown Park, Monkstown.

After being educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained the diploma of the Engineering School in 1850, and took the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1851, he received an appointment on the staff of the General Valuation of Ireland, and subsequently was employed by Mr. James Barton, of Dundalk, as general assistant.

From 1855 to 1857 he was engaged, for Mr. Barton, as Resident Engineer in responsible charge of the construction of the Banbridge Junction Railway.

He then acted for eighteen months as engineer on the Wicklow harbour improvements.

In 1859-60 he was Resident Engineer on the construction of the Cootehill and Ballybay line, and was then engaged for two years in charge of the permanent way and works of the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway

At the end of 1862 Mr. Price was appointed Engineer-in-Chief of the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland, with which office was shortly afterwards combined the charge of the Royal, Canal. These posts he held until May, 1877. While in the employment of the Midland Great Western Railway Company he constructed the Spencer Dock, Dublin, for which the degree of Master of Engineering (without fee) was conferred upon him by Trinity College, Dublin, and a purse of money was presented to him by the railway company.

In conjunction with R. Price-Williame, he very successfully worked up the claims of the Midland Great Western Railway, and of several other Irish Railway Companies, against the Postal Telegraph Department on the occasion of the purchase of telegraphs by the Government.

Mr. Price was one of the three engineers selected by the Corporation of the City of Dublin to report jointly upon the purification of the river Liffey - which was presented by Cotton, Price and Palles in September 1874.

From 1877 until his death Mr. Price practised on his own, account in Dublin. During that time he carried out the Galway New Dock Works and the Lough Erne Drainage, a description of which was presented to the Institution in 1890 by his eldest son.....[more]


1895 Obituary [3]



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