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Robert Wallace Urie

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Robert Wallace Urie (1854-1937) was the last chief mechanical engineer of the London and South Western Railway following the retirement of Dugald Drummond in 1913 until his own retirement at the grouping of 1923.

1854 October 22nd. Born

Married Jane Chalmers

1884 Birth of his son David Chalmers Urie who became a locomotive engineer with the Highland Railway and later the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.

1937 January 6th. Died

1937 Obituary [1]

ROBERT WALLACE URIE was the last locomotive engineer of the London and South Western Railway. He was born in Ardeer in 1854 and was educated at Glasgow High School.

In 1869 he commenced a six years' apprenticeship, in Glasgow, which was divided between Messrs. Gauldie, Marshall and Company, Messrs. Dubs and Company, and Messrs. William King and Company. During the succeeding years he was employed by various locomotive-building firms as a draughtsman.

He then joined the Caledonian Railway in a similar capacity under Mr. Dugald Drummond, M.I.Mech.E., and was later engaged on investigations on higher steam pressures.

In 1890 Mr. Urie was appointed chief draughtsman at St. Rollox, and six years later was made works manager. He went with Mr. Drummond to the London and South Western Railway in 1897, and was appointed works manager at Nine Elms.

Twelve years later the works were moved from Nine Elms to Eastleigh. Mr. Urie's appointment as locomotive superintendent dated from 1912, and he held that position until the merging of the London and South Western Railway in the Southern Railway in 1923, when he retired.

He served on a committee of locomotive engineers responsible for the design of standard locomotives during the War, and organized Eastleigh works for the production of munitions. His own locomotive designs were invariably two-cylinder machines, and included three varieties of 4-6-0 tender engines, one of which formed the pattern for the king Arthur class; and some heavy 4-8-0 and 4-6-2 tank engines. Mr. Urie was also the inventor of the "Eastleigh" superheater.

His death occurred at Largs, Ayrshire, on 6th January 1937.

He had been a Member of the Institution since 1898.

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