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Robert Charles Frederick Ogilvie

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Robert Charles Frederick Ogilvie (1854-1908), railway engineer

1909 Obituary [1]

ROBERT CHARLES FREDERICK OGILVIE, born at Barnstaple, North Devon, on the 20th September, 1854, was the elder son of the late Mr. Robert Ogilvie, of Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, from whom he inherited his taste and capabilities for railway engineering. His late uncles, Alexander and Patrick Ogilvie, were also men well known in the railway engineering world.

Mr. Ogilvie started his professional career at an early age, serving a pupilage under the late Mr. Joseph Beattie, on the London and South Western Railway, from 1869 to 1872, and a further pupilage of 3 years under the late Mr. W. Martley, on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway.

On the expiration of Mr. Ogilvie's pupilage in December, 1875, he was employed in the drawing office at Longhedge until 1877, when he was appointed outdoor assistant, and subsequently at intervals had charge of the shops at Chatham and at Dover, of the hydraulic machinery at Blackfriars, and of the running shed at Battersea.

In August, 1878, he left the London, Chatham and Dover Railway to take up the appointment in India of chief locomotive and carriage draughtsman on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway at Parel Works, Bombay.

After 6 years in India he returned to England in October, 1884, and was employed on Sir Alexander Rendel's staff superintending work for various railways at home and abroad until 1886, when he was appointed locomotive and carriage superintendent of the Great Southern Railway of Western Australia, then under construction. Mr. Ogilvie designed and supervised the manufacture of the whole of the rolling stock, a work involving many special features, in the course of which he showed great ability and tact.

On the completion of this work in October, 1889, he proceeded to Spain to take charge of the erection of the rolling stock, and to act as locomotive and carriage superintendent of the Great Southern of Spain Railway. At the beginning of 1890 he was appointed manager, taking over each section of the line as it was completed, organizing the working, appointing the staff, and opening the line for public service, all of which he carried out in an entirely satisfactory and successful manner.

In 1900 he returned to England, and subsequently became chairman and director of several companies in London in which he was interested, and to whom his knowledge of engineering was most valuable.

His leisure hours were devoted to various inventions in connection with railway engineering, the fruit of his practical experience, upon which he was engaged when his labours were brought to an end by his sudden death on the 4th April, 1908, at his residence, Ditton Hill, Surrey. His loss will be deeply regretted by all who were professionally associated with him, as well as by a wide circle of friends at home and abroad.

Mr. Ogilvie was elected an Associate Member of The Institution on the 7th December, 1880.

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