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British Industrial History

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Charles Baister

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Charles Baister (1855-1934)

1934 Obituary [1]

CHARLES BAISTER was for fifteen years locomotive superintendent of the Northern Division of the North Eastern Railway.

He was born in 1855 and entered the Darlington works of the Stockton and Darlington railway in 1869 as an apprentice under Mr. William Bouch, M.I.Mech.E., and served until 1875, after which he went to Middlesbrough, and assisted in the construction of the ill-fated Tay Bridge, which was wrecked in the storm of 1879.

He again returned to London and joined the South Eastern Railway, but shortly afterwards went to sea as engineer on a tramp steamer which was used for carrying dispatches during the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-8.

In 1880 Mr. Baister returned to the North Eastern Railway and successively took charge of the locomotive running sheds at Stockton, Blyth, and Hull. He was appointed assistant outside superintendent for the Central Division of the railway in 1893, under Mr. (afterwards Sir) Vincent L. Raven, M.I.Mech.E., and in 1902 became district locomotive superintendent for the Northern Division, with headquarters at Gateshead.

He was one of six North Eastern Railway officials who were selected in 1904 by the general manager, Sir George Gibb, to visit the United States to study American locomotive practice and transport conditions.

In 1906 he was appointed locomotive superintendent for the Northern Division, and held this position until his retirement in 1921.

Mr. Baister was elected a Member of the Institution in 1898.

He died on 7th June 1934.

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