William Stroudley Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1833 - 1889 *** Full Name: William Stroudley *** Occupation: English Steam Locomotive Engineer *** Date of Birth: William Stroudley was born on March 6th 1833 *** Place of Birth: William Stroudley was born in Sandford-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England *** Family background: His father was William Stroudley and his mother was Anne. His father worked as a machinist for a local paper mill *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with two other brothers *** Education: William Stroudley may have received some form education ***
William Stroudley Fact 1: William Stroudley was born on March 6th 1833 and during the 19th century period in history when great strides were made in the industrial revolution, the Victoria era was coming to a close and there were vast technological advances being made
William Stroudley Fact 2: At the age of thirteen he began working in a local paper mill. In that same year he also became apprenticed to John Inshaw’s firm of engineers in Birmingham.
William Stroudley Fact 3: The apprenticeship last for seven years and he gained a substantial knowledge of stationary engines as well as steam barges.
William Stroudley Fact 4: In 1854 be began training as an engineer with Swindon Works, he worked under Daniel Gooch at Great Western Railway.
William Stroudley Fact 5: Not long after that he moved to the Great Northern Railway and worked under Charles Sacre in the Peterborough workshops. Later on he became the running foreman at their motive power depot.
William Stroudley Fact 6: By 1861 he would become appointed as manager of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Cowlairs Works.
William Stroudley Fact 7: In June of 1865 he became appointed as the locomotive and carriage superintendent at Highland Railway in inverness.
William Stroudley Fact 8: Due to their lack of an serious financial backing, Stroudley was unable to create anything of any significance only actually producing one locomotive. What he was able to do was reorganize the company’s Lochgorm Works and modernized and reduced operating costs for the existing fleets railway.
William Stroudley Fact 9: During 1870 he moved South and took an appointment with the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway as a locomotive superintendent at their Brighton works after J.C. Craven was forced to resign.
William Stroudley Fact 10: When he took over this position there were seventy two different classes in use of locomotives.William Stroudley Fact 17: His most popular passenger class was the tender engine or “Lyon’s” class which was produced in 1876, a larger version called the Richmond class was produced in 1877.
William Stroudley Fact 11: He found there was a desperate need for standardization to rapidly reduce the running and operational costs.
William Stroudley Fact 12: With the company having already faced bankruptcy in 1866 he found this task particularly challenging.
William Stroudley Fact 13: With the growth of suburban traffic and increased revenues during the 1870’s and 1880’s Stroudley was able to dramatically improve not only the performance and reliability of his locomotive stock but was also able to introduce several highly successful standardized classes to the stock.
William Stroudley Fact 14: The Belgravia Class locomotives designed at Brighton would become Stroudley’s first passenger locomotives during 1872. These locomotives were very similar in design to those he created for Cowlairs at the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway during his time there in the 1860’s.
William Stroudley Fact 15: Also in 1872 he developed and introduced tank engine classes the first of three which would be produced in large numbers.
William Stroudley Fact 16: The Terrier was produced in 1872 and some were still in active use in the 1960’s. Another of his designs, the G class, produced in 1874 was still in use until 1914.
William Stroudley Fact 18: However the locomotive he would be most associated with would be the Gladstone class B1 glass, express engine produced in 1882 with the last one being used up until 1933 with the first one having been preserved in the National Railway Museum in York.
William Stroudley Fact 19: Having spent his whole life involved in designed and producing locomotive engines, William Stroudley died of bronchitis on December 20th 1889 aged fifty six while on a visit to Paris to attend the Paris Exhibition which was showing one of his locomotives.
Influence & Legacy: He would largely be remembered for his modernization and complete reorganization of the Brighton Railway works as well as the repair facilities located at New Cross. He will also be remembered for his innovative designs on railway carriages and steam engines for London, Brighton and South Coast Railway which were used for the cross channel ferries between Dieppe and Newhaven.
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