British Railway History Item
Thomas William Worsdell
Thomas William Worsdell was born in 1838, as the eldest son of Nathaniel Worsdell (constructor of the Liverpool & Manchester's first carriages, and Carriage Superintendent of the Grand Junction Railway).
Worsdell gained some initial experience at Crewe, but then in 1865 visited the US for 6 years. During this time, he became Master Mechanic at the Pennsylvania Railroad's Altoona Works. On his return in 1871, he became the Works Manager at Crewe for F.W.Webb. Then in 1882 he took the office of Locomotive Superintendent with the GER.
His period with the GER was short, as in 1885 he was offered (and accepted) the post of Locomotive Superintendent with the North Eastern Railway. At the NER, T.W.Worsdel had his brother, Wilson Worsdell, as his assistant.
Worsdell's early 2-cylinder compounds for the GER were not particularly successful. Characterised by an austere lack of external fittings, his 0-6-0 tender and 2-4-2T designs would become the outline of GER and NER designs for the next 20 years or so.
While at the NER, Worsdell brought about a period of standardisation, with his basic designs rapidly replaced the oldest heterogenous designs of the NER.
He retired in 1890 due to bad health, but lived until 1916.
Last Updated : Friday 14th April 2006 05:51