He was born at Tanfield, County Durham, the son of a colliery owner, and elder brother of Matthew Kirtley (b. 1813.) Thomas began his career as an engine driver on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway with his brother. He founded the locomotive builder Thomas Kirtley and Co. of Warrington in 1837, but this company failed in 1841. After briefly working for his brother on the Warrington and Newton Railway he was appointed locomotive superintendent of the North Midland Railway in 1843, but lost his role at the formation of the Midland Railway in May 1844 and served as an inspector. In 1845 he worked for the Trent Valley Railway for Thomas Brassey. In February 1847 he was appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway following the dismissal of John Gray, but nine months later he suffered a brain tumor and died.
|Locomotive Superintendent of the
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
John Chester Craven