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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 (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2000), 352 pp. Details

Book Sections


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 (Milsons Point, New South Wales: The Institution of Engineers, Australia, 1994), 38 pp. p.11. The Great Zig Zag, Lithgow, N.S.W. Details

Rosanne Walker