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Biographical entry Whitton, John (1820 - 1898)

Yorkshire, England
20 February 1898
Mittagong, New South Wales, Australia


John Whitton was Engineer-in-Chief of the New South Wales Railways 1856-1890. One of his challenges was building the Blue Mountains line, where he overcame the engineering problems by two great zigzags. Although constantly hampered by government cheese-paring, he supervised the laying of 2171 miles (3474 km) of track on which no accident had occurred attributable to defective design or construction.

Published resources


  • Lee, Robert Stuart, Colonial engineer: John Whitton 1819-1898 and the building of Australia's railways, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2000, 352 pp. Details

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Online Resources

See also

  • Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Technology in Australia 1788-1988, Online edn, Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 3 May 2000, Details
  • Institution of Engineers, Australia. Sydney Division. Engineering Heritage Committee, The Historic Engineering Plaques of Australia, The Institution of Engineers, Australia, Milsons Point, New South Wales, 1994, 38 pp. p.11. The Great Zig Zag, Lithgow, N.S.W. Details

Rosanne Walker