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British Industrial History

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James Richard Bell

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James Richard Bell (1841-1913)

1914 Obituary [1]

JAMES RICHARD BELL died at Ightham, Kent, on the 14th July, 1913. Born at Wick in 1841, he joined the Indian Public Works service in 1868.

At first employed in the Madras Presidency, he was later transferred to the State Railways department of India, in which service he remained until his retirement in 1896. He gained a high reputation in the construction of bridges, amongst the more notable structures erected by him being the Empress bridge over the Sutlej, the Muttra bridge across the Jumna, Ferozepur bridge and the Sher Shah bridge over the Chenab. He also devised successful means for training rivers by means of bunds.

He carried out a large number of difficult surveys and constructed many miles of railway on the North Western, East Coast, Indus Valley and other systems, but perhaps his most important service to India was the construction, in a remarkably short time, of the line from Ruk to Bolan, giving military access to Kabul. Mr. Bell was for several years Consulting Engineer to Government for State railways.

He was elected a Member of The Institution on the 2nd December, 1879.

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