List of structures built by Thomas Brassey

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Thomas Brassey in his mid-forties

Thomas Brassey (7 November 1805 – 8 December 1870) was an English civil engineering contractor and manufacturer of building materials who was responsible for building a large portion of the world's railways in the 19th century. For some of these constructions he was the sole contractor but he usually worked in partnership with other contractors, particularly Peto and Betts.

Railways and associated structures[edit]

Brassey arranged the building of over 8,500 miles (13,700 km) of railway tracks. By 1847 he had built one third of the railways in the United Kingdom and by the time of his death he had built one in twenty of the miles of railway in the world. He also built structures associated with railways - bridges, stations, etc. - and non-railway related structures. The following is an incomplete list of his projects. For the British railways the dates given are the date of the relevant Act of Parliament; for railways elsewhere and for other structures the date given is the date of the contract.

Railway lines[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

1830s[edit]
Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Grand Junction Railway (part) 1833 10 16
London and Southampton Railway (part) 1834 36 58
Chester and Crewe Railway 1837 11 18
Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway (part) 1837 7 11
Sheffield and Manchester Railway 1837 19 31
1840s[edit]
Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Lancaster and Carlisle Railway 1844 70 113
Colchester and Ipswich Railway 1844 16 26
Chester and Holyhead Railway 1844 31 50
Ipswich and Bury Railway 1845 27 43
Kendal and Windermere Railway 1845 12 19
Trent Valley Railway 1845 50 80
Caledonian Railway (First contract) 1845 125 201
Clydesdale Junction Railway 1845 15 24
North Wales Mineral Extension Railway 1845 5 8
Scottish Midland Junction Railway 1845 33 53

Scottish Central Railway

1845 47 76
Haughley and Norwich Railway 1845 33 53
Shrewsbury and Chester Railway 1846 35 56
Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway 1846 30 48
North Staffordshire Railway 1846 48 77
Buckinghamshire Railway 1846 40 64
Mineral Line (Wales) 1846 6.5 10
Great Northern Railway 1846 75 121
Royston and Hitchin Railway 1846 13 21

Shepreth Extension Railway

1846 5 8

Shrewsbury and Hereford Railway

1846 51 82
Denny Branches 1846 3.5 6
Birkenhead and Chester Junction Railway 1847 17.5 28
Leicester and Hitchin Railway 1847 62.5 101
Hooton and Parkgate Railway 1847 5 8
Richmond and Windsor Railway 1847 15 24
London and Southampton Railway Loop line 1847 7 11
Shrewsbury Extension Railway 1847 3 5
Blackwall Extension Railway 1847 1.75 3
Oswestry Branch Railway 1848 2 3
1850s[edit]
Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
North and South-Western Junction Railway 1851 4 6
Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway 1851 30 48
Harleston and Beccles Railway 1851 13 21

London, Tilbury and Southend Railway

1852 50 80
Warrington and Stockport Railway 1853 12 19
Bideford Extension 1853 6 10
Crystal Palace and West-end Railway 1853 5 8
Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway 1853 32.5 52
Portsmouth Direct Railway 1853 33 53
Worcester and Hereford Railway 1853 26 42
Severn Valley Railway 1853 42 68
Coalbrookdale Railway 1853 5 8
Woodford and Loughton Railway 1853 7.5 12
East Suffolk Railway 1854 63 101
Inverness and Nairn Railway 1854 16 26
Leominster and Kington Railway 1854 14 23
Salisbury and Yeovil Railway 1854 40 64
Stokes Bay Pier and Branch Railway 1855 2 3
Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway 1856 40 64
Leatherhead, Epsom and Wimbledon Railway 1856 10 16
Cannock Mineral Railway 1857 10 16
Portpatrick Railway 1857 17 27
Knighton Railway 1858 12 19
Woofferton and Tenbury Railway 1859 5 8
Wenlock Railway 1859 4 6
Nuneaton and Hinckley Railway 1859 5 8
South Staffordshire Railway 1861 4 6
Llangollen Railway 1859 6 10
Ringwood and Christchurch Railway 1859 8 13
West London Railway (Extension) 1859 9 14
Tendring Hundred Railway 1859 3 5
1860s[edit]
Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Ashchurch and Evesham Railway 1862 11 18
Epping and Ongar Railway 1859 13 21
South Leicester Railway 1860 10 16
Tenbury and Bewdley Railway 1860 15 24
Llangollen and Corwen Railway 1860 10 16
Cannock Chase Railway 1860 3 5
Disley and Hayfield Railway 1860 3.5 6
Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway 1861 11 18
Wenlock and Craven Arms Railway 1861 14 23
Ludlow and Clee Hill Railway 1861 16 26
Dunmow Railway 1864 19 31
Enniskillen and Bundoran Railway 1861 36 58
Moreton Hampstead Railway 1862 12 19
Wellington and Market Drayton Railway 1862 16 26
Bala and Dolgelly Railway 1862 18 29
Christchurch and Bournemouth Railway 1863 4 6
Evesham and Redditch Railway 1863 18 29
Kensington and Richmond Railway (and Spurs) 1864 7 11
Silverdale Railway 1864 13 21
Wolverhampton and Walsall Railway 1865 7 11
East London Railway 1865 2.5 4
Hull and Doncaster Railway 1864-9 15 24
Unknown dates[edit]
Railway Length
miles kilometres
North Devon Railway 47 76
Woodbridge Extension Railway 10 16
Kingston Extension Railway 4 6
Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge Railway 48 77
Chertsey Extension Railway 3 5
London and Bedford Railway 50 80
Runcorn Branch Railway 9 14
Sirhowy Railway 2 3
Arpley Branch Railway, Warrington 1.5 2
Ebbw Vale Railway 2 3
Hereford Loop Railway 2 3
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 93 150
Glasgow, Barrhead and Neilson Railway 11 18

France[edit]

75 per cent of the total mileage, including:

Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Paris and Rouen Railway 1841 82 132
Orléans and Bordeaux Railway 1842 294 473
Rouen and Le Havre Railway 1843 58 93
Amiens and Boulogne Railway 1844 53 85
Rouen and Dieppe Railway 1847 31 50
Mantes and Caen Railway 1852 113 182
Le Mans and Mezidon Railway 1852 84 135
Lyons and Avignon Railway 1852 67 108
Sambre and Meuse Railway 1853 28 45
Caen to Cherbourg 1855 94 151
Dieppe Railway (laying second road) 1860

Elsewhere in Europe[edit]

Railway Country Date Length
miles kilometres
Barcelona and Mataró Railway Spain 1848 18 29
Prato and Pistoja Railway Italy 1850 10 16
Norwegian Railway Norway 1851 56 90
Dutch Rhenish Railway Netherlands 1852 43 69
Turin and Novara Railway Italy 1853 60 97
Royal Danish Railway Denmark 1853 75 121
Central Italian Railway Italy 1854 52 84
Turin and Susa Railway Italy 1854 34 55
Elizabeth and Linz Railway Austria 1856 40 64
Bilbao and Miranda Railway Spain 1858 66 106
Victor Emmanuel Railway Italy 1859 73 117
Ivrea Railway Italy 1859 19 31
Jutland Railway Denmark 1860 270 435
Maremma and Leghorn Railway Italy 1860 138 222
Meridionale Railway Italy 1863 160 257
North Schleswig Railway Denmark 1863 70 113
Lemberg and Czernowitz Railway Austrian Empire (now Ukraine) 1864 165 266
Viersen and Venlo Railway Now in Germany to Netherlands 1864 11 18
Warsaw and Terespol Railway Poland 1865 128 206
Kronprinz Rudolph Railway 1867 272 438
Czernowitz and Suczawa Railway Austrian Empire (now Ukraine) 1867 60 97
Vorarlberg Railway Austria 1870 55 89
Suczawa and Jassy Railway Romania 1870 135 217

Canada[edit]

Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Grand Trunk Railway, Quebec to Toronto 1854–1860 539 867

Argentina[edit]

Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Central Argentine Railway 1864 247 398
La Boca and Barracas Railway 1865 3 5

Australia[edit]

Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Great Northern, Great Eastern and Great Southern Railways, New South Wales 1859 54 87
Queensland Railway 1863 78 126

India[edit]

Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Eastern Bengal Railway 1858 112 180
Delhi Railway 1864 304 489
Chord Railway 1865 147 237

Mauritius[edit]

Railway Date Length
miles kilometres
Mauritius Railway 1862 64 103

Tunnels[edit]

Tunnel Line & Country Date Length
Shugborough Tunnel Trent Valley Line, England 1847 2,331 ft (710 m)
Hausenstein Tunnel Basle to Olten line, Switzerland 1853 1.5 miles (2 km)
Bellegarde Tunnel France 1854 2.5 miles (4 km)

Stations[edit]

Many hundreds, including:

Station Date Notes
Trent Valley Line Stations 1847
Chester 1848 had the longest platforms in the country at the time of its opening
Caledonian Railway Stations and Maintenance 1848
Shrewsbury 1848
Salisbury 1859
Nantwich

Viaducts and other structures[edit]

Many, including:

Structure Date Line
Penkridge Viaduct 1837 Grand Junction Railway
Malaunay Viaduct 1844 Paris to Le Havre railway
Mirville Viaduct 1844 Paris to Le Havre railway
Brantham Cutting, Manningtree 1845
Austreberth Bridge 1847 Paris to Le Havre railway
Cefn Mawr Viaduct 1848 Chester to Shrewsbury railway
Chirk Viaduct 1859
Welwyn (or Digswell) Viaduct

Bridges[edit]

Again a large number, including:

Structure Date
Bury Saint Edmunds Station Bridge 1846
Richmond 1848
Barnes 1849
Coghines Bridge, Italy 1855
Victoria Bridge, Worcestershire 1861
Severn 1861
Stonework for the Runcorn bridge 1868
Kew 1869

Non-railway projects[edit]

Victoria Embankment opposite Somerset House, February 2008
Structure Date Notes
Bromborough Road, Cheshire 1834 including Saughall Massie road bridge
Greenock Harbour 1845
Birkenhead Docks 1850
Victoria Docks, London 1851 over 100 acres (40 ha), with associated warehousing
Minories Warehouses 1857
Ludlow Drainage 1861
Metropolitan Mid Level Sewer, London 1861 12 miles (19 km)
Rio Janeiro Drainage 1862
Barrow Docks 1863
Worm Drainage 1863
Letton Drainage 1864
Dee Reclamation Works 1865
Calcutta Waterworks 1865
Victoria Embankment, London 1866
Nepean Bridge 1869
Callao Docks, Peru 1870

References[edit]

  • Helps, Arthur (2006) [1872]. The Life and Works of Mr Brassey. Nonsuch. pp. 106–114. ISBN 1-84588-011-0.
  • Walker, Charles (1969). Thomas Brassey, Railway Builder. London: Frederick Muller. pp. 168–173. ISBN 0-584-10305-0.