D. E. Marsh

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Douglas Earle Marsh (1862–1933) was the Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway from November 1904 until his early retirement on health grounds in July 1911.

Early career[edit]

Marsh was born at Aylsham in Norfolk on 4 January 1862, and was educated at Brighton College and University College London. He worked for the Great Western Railway under William Dean becoming Assistant Works Manager at Swindon in 1888. In 1896 he became Chief Assistant Mechanical Engineer of the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster railway works under H.A. Ivatt, where he participated in the design of the Ivatt Atlantics.[1]


Marsh succeeded R.J. Billinton as the Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent at Brighton Works on 23 November 1904.[2] Marsh's locomotive classes included two designs of Atlantic 4-4-2 (H1 Class and H2 Class), and four designs of 4-4-2T (I1, I2, I3, and I4). In 1910 he designed two 4-6-2T tank locomotives of the J1 and J2 classes. His least successful design was the LB&SCR C3 class 0-6-0 freight locomotives. Marsh also rebuilt many of his predecessors' locomotives with larger boilers thereby creating the A1X, B2X, C2X, E4X, E5X and E6X classes. In 1907 he introduced an example of the Schmidt superheater on one of his LB&SCR I3 class locomotives, with dramatically improved results. Whilst at Brighton he abolished the Stroudley yellow livery for passenger locomotives and removed the names from them.

During Marsh's period in office Brighton railway works built up a serious backlog of locomotives awaiting repair, and by 1910 30% of the locomotive stock was unusable.[3] Marsh received a lot of the blame for this situation although it was partly because the works was overwhelmed with work.

Resignation and retirement[edit]

Marsh was never popular with the workforce at Brighton. He resigned on the grounds of ill health in July 1911, following accusations of a number of irregularities in his accounting.[4] Shortly after his resignation he became a consulting engineer for the Rio Tinto Company until 1932. He died in Bath in May 1933.


  • GB191028252, published 30 November 1911, Improvements in and relating to systems and apparatus for washing out and filling locomotive boilers and the like[5]


  1. ^ Marshall, John (1978). A biographical dictionary of locomotive engineers. Newton Abbott: David and Charles. p. 153. ISBN 0-7153-7489-3. 
  2. ^ *Gould, David (1995). Bogie Carriages of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. The Oakwood Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-85361-470-9. 
  3. ^ Marx, Klaus (2007). Lawson Billinton: a career cut short. Usk: Oakwood Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-85361-661-0. 
  4. ^ Ellis, C. Hamilton (1971). The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. Ian Allan. p. 205. ISBN 0-7110-0269-X. 
  5. ^ "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Worldwide.espacenet.com. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 


, 1978.

  • Klaus Marx, Douglas Earle Marsh: his life and times. Oakwood Press, 2005.
Business positions
Preceded by
R. J. Billinton
Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
Succeeded by
L. B. Billinton
as Locomotive Superintendent
Succeeded by
Albert Panter
as Carriage and Wagon Superintendent