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British Industrial History

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Edward John Neachell

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Edward John Neachell (1873-1935)


1935 Obituary [1]

EDWARD JOHN NEACHELL was for many years engineer and general manager of the Liverpool Overhead Railway.

He was born in 1873 and served a four years' apprenticeship, commencing in. 1890, with the Electric Construction Company, Ltd., of Wolverhampton. Subsequently he entered the firm's laboratory, and was employed there, and in the testing department, until 1901, taking charge of tests on equipment for tramways, railways, and electric lighting plant.

He joined Messrs. Dick, Kerr's London office as assistant power engineer, and two years later commenced his long association with the Liverpool Overhead Railway, on his appointment as assistant engineer, under Mr. S. B. Cottrell, M.I.Mech.E.

In 1908 he succeeded Mr. Cottrell as engineer and general manager, and held this position until his retirement in 1926. By the end of 1919 the annual number of passengers carried, namely 22,440,103, had grown so large that the Ministry of Transport asked for improved methods of signalling. Mr. Neachell thereupon approached the Westinghouse Brake and Saxby Signal Company, who in 1921 installed the automatic colour-light signalling system, which was the first of its kind in the country.

Mr. Neachell was the inventor of a grease box for lubricating wheel flanges, in order to minimize the wear on check rails.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1903 and was transferred to Membership in 1908. In addition, he was a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

His death occurred at Waterloo, Liverpool, on 5th December 1934, in his sixty-second year.


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