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British Industrial History

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Abraham Fitzgibbon

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Abraham 'Abram' Coates Fitzgibbon (1823-1887) was an Irish-born railway engineer and a pioneer for narrow-gauge railways.

1823 January 23rd. Born in Ireland

He became the first chief engineer of Queensland Railways after a rise through the ranks in the early stages of the railway department development.

Despite opposition from contemporaries, he successfully advocated for the use of narrow gauge or 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) track in Australia.

In the early 1860s, Fitzgibbon was working at Dun Mountain Railway in New Zealand, a horse-drawn line upon which he worked from 1860 (914 mm (3 ft) gauge)

Fitzgibbon arrived in the colony of Queensland in June 1863. He was appointed chief engineer of the railways and the first operations of the Queensland Railways opened in 1865.

Involvement in the promotion of the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) track gauge of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway and the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway in Canada, together with the Norwegian engineer Carl Abraham Pihl.

1881 Living at The Rookery, Great Stanmore: Abraham Fitzgibbon (age 58 born Ireland), Retired Civil Engineer. With his wife Isabella Fitzgibbon (age 51 born Birmingham) and their daughter C. Grove (Mrs) White (age 25 born Canada). Three servants.[1]

1887 April 4th. Died at Moorside, Bushey Heath, Herts.[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. Morning Post - Thursday 07 April 1887