Abraham Fitzgibbon

Abraham 'Abram' Fitzgibbon (23 January 1823 – 4 April 1887) was an Irish-born railroad engineer and a pioneer for narrow-gauge railways.

Abraham Fitzgibbon
Abram Fitzgibbon circa 1863.JPG
Abraham Fitzgibbon circa 1863
Born
Abraham Coates Fitz-Gibbon

(1823-01-23)23 January 1823
Ireland
Died4 April 1887(1887-04-04) (aged 64)
Bushey Heath, England
Alma materChalmers University of Technology
OccupationEngineer
EmployerQueensland Rail
Known forRailway pioneer
Spouse(s)Isabelle Stovin
Children5
Parent(s)Philip Fitzgibbon
Elizabeth Coates

CareerEdit

In the early 1860s, Fitzgibbon was working at Dun Mountain Railway in Nelson, New Zealand, a horse-drawn line upon which he worked from 1860 (3 ft / 914 mm gauge)

Fitzgibbon arrived in the colony of Queensland in June 1863.[1] He was appointed first chief engineer of Queensland Railways after a rise through the ranks in the early stages of the railway department development.[2][3][4][5] The first operations of the Queensland Railways opened in 1865.[6]

There was debate regarding the choice of gauge, 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) versus 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge.[7] It is claimed that Fitzgibbon said that the narrow gauge would be sufficient to last 25 or 30 years and was cheaper.[8] Despite opposition from contemporaries, he successfully advocated for the use of narrow gauge or 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) track in Australia.[9][10][11] By 1867, the controversies included the termination of Fitzgibbon's contract. [12][13][14]

Death and legacyEdit

Fitzgibbon died on 4 April 1887 at Moorside, Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, England.[15]

The Fitzgibbon suburb of Brisbane is named after Abraham Fitzgibbon.[16][17]

Queensland railways continue to be 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge to the present day.

See alsoEdit

Other narrow gauge pioneers in order of influence:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "THAT'S SO!". The Queenslander. National Library of Australia. 31 August 1867. p. 4. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  2. ^ Buchanan, Robyn (1 September 2012), An imported railway – the background to construction of Queensland's early railway, T, School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, retrieved 4 March 2014
  3. ^ Armstrong, John; Australian Railway Historical Society. Queensland Division (1985), Locomotives in the tropics. Volume 1. Queensland railways 1864-1910. Volume 1 : Queensland railways 1864–1910, Australian Railway Historical Society, Queensland Division, ISBN 978-0-909937-12-6 Armstrong observes the rise of Fitzgibbon over the rival engineers of the time
  4. ^ Kerr, John (1998), Triumph of narrow gauge : a history of Queensland Railways (Rev. ed.), Boolarong Press, ISBN 978-0-86439-204-6
  5. ^ "THE GAZETTE". The Courier (Brisbane). Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 5 October 1863. p. 2. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  6. ^ Our journey – About Queensland Rail Archived 1 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "PARLIAMENT". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 18 May 1864. p. 2. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  8. ^ "The Raliway Gauge". The Brisbane Courier (16, 727). Queensland, Australia. 22 August 1911. p. 4. Retrieved 3 December 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Adoption of the 3ft. 6ins. gauge for queensland railways (1983)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  10. ^ Knowles, J. W (1983), "Adoption of the 3ft 6ins gauge for Queensland railways. -Presented to a meeting of the Society on 26 May 1983-", Historical Papers (Brisbane), 11 (4): –113–125, ISSN 0815-9653 also at Knowles, J. W. (John W.) (1 January 1981), Adoption of the 3ft. 6ins. gauge for Queensland Railways, Royal Historical Society of Queensland, retrieved 4 March 2014
  11. ^ Harding identifies railway engineers came from other Australian colonies and were highly cvritical of the proposed gauge p.36 Harding, Eric (1958), Uniform railway gauge, Lothian Pub. Co, retrieved 4 March 2014
  12. ^ "THE RAILWAY SELECT COMMITTEE". The Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser. Toowoomba, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 22 October 1867. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2 December 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  13. ^ Termination of Fitzgibbon's contract The Brisbane Courier, Saturday 17 August 1867
  14. ^ "TREASURY NOTES AND BILLS". Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser. National Library of Australia. 3 August 1867. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2 December 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Person Page - 38808". www.thepeerage.com. Archived from the original on 15 September 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  16. ^ "Fitzgibbon – suburb in City of Brisbane (entry 42576)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  17. ^ "History of Fitzgibbon". Our Brisbane. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2007.

External linksEdit