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John Fraser

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John Fraser (1819-1881).

1859 Resident Engineer, Leeds, Bradford and Halifax Junction Railway.[1]

1881 September 24th. Died.[2]

1882 Obituary [3] [4]

. . . in 1842, on the completion of his pupilage, was appointed by Mr. Edward Woods, V.P., Inst. C.E., to take charge, as resident engineer, of the construction of the Salford Junction Railways, the Act for which was obtained by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, for the purpose of effecting a connection with the Leeds and Manchester Railway; and under his immediate direction all the designs for the viaducts and bridges, including the cast-iron arched bridge over the River Irwell, were prepared.

In 1846 Mr. Fraser left Manchester for Yorkshire, having been appointed resident engineer under Mr. (now Sir John) Hawkshaw, Past President Inst. C.E., who was the engineer-in-chief, on the West Riding Junction and the Huddersfield and Sheffield Railways.

In 1851-2 Mr. Fraser, still under Mr. Hawkshaw, who about this time left Yorkshire to take up his residence in London, became sub-engineer to the Leeds, Bradford, and Halifax Railway; and, on the establishment of an independent company for the construction of a line from Leeds to Wakefield, he was again appointed sub-engineer, and these lines, together with the Gildersome and Ardsley branches, were completed by him under Mr. Hawkshaw. Subsequently, the Methley Branch, 6 miles, the Ossett Branch, Ossett and Batley, and the Extension to Adwalton, 9 miles in length, were designed and carried out by Mr. Fraser, as engineer-in-chief. . . .

1882 Obituary [5]

JOHN FRASER was born on 28th July 1819 at Linlithgow, Scotland, being the eldest son of Mr. James Fraser, architect, of Manchester, who was at that time engaged in the construction of extensive dock and other works at Charlestown on the Forth, for the Earl of Elgin.

After completing his pupilage under Mr. Thomas Buck, ho was engaged under Mr. Edward Woods as Resident Engineer, having charge of works in the construction of the Salford Junction Railway, Manchester; and subsequently from 1846 to 1856 under Mr., now Sir John Hawkshaw, as Resident Engineer in charge of the works in the construction of the Huddersfield & Sheffield, the Leeds Bradford & Halifax, and the Bradford Wakefield & Leeds Railways, and of their branches, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

During the following period of twenty-five years he was actively engaged in practice on his own account, as a civil engineer in Leeds. He successfully carried out various works, some of which were of considerable magnitude; such as the construction of numerous extensions for the lines above mentioned, and of the following new and important railways in Yorkshire:— the Ossett, Batley, Adwalton, and Gildersome branch lines; the joint West Riding and Grimsby Railways (from Wakefield to Barnby Don and Doncaster); the joint railway to Methley; the joint Halifax and Ovenden Junction Railway; the branch to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway at Bradford; the Bradford Eccleshill & Idle, and the Idle & Shipley Railways; the Ossett & Dewsbury, the Batley & Dewsbury, and the Leeds Castleford & Pontefract Junction Railways; the Bradford & Thornton Railway; and the southern section from Thornton to Halifax of the Halifax Thornton & Keighley Railway.

He also completed recently several railways in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire; such as the line from Newark to Melton and Tilton, about 40 miles in length, and a further section of about 11 miles from Tilton to Leicester, which was nearly completed at the time of his death.

The heavy works on the northern section from Thornton to Keighley of the Halifax Thornton & Keighley Railway were commenced and partly carried out by him, and are now being completed by his sons.

Amongst his other works may be mentioned the new North Bridge at Halifax.

He was well known in parliamentary committee rooms, in which he had a long experience; and as a civil engineer was deservedly held in high esteem for his professional ability and integrity.

He died suddenly on 24th September 1881, at his residence, Grove House, Headingley, Leeds, in the sixty-third year of his age.

He became a Member of the Institution in 1839.

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