Thomas William Worsdell

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Thomas William Worsdell
T.W. Worsdell.jpg
Born(1838-01-14)14 January 1838
Died28 June 1916(1916-06-28) (aged 78)
Education Ackworth School
Parent(s)Nathaniel and Mary Worsdell
Engineering career
Employer(s) London and North Western Railway; Pennsylvania Railroad; Great Eastern Railway; North Eastern Railway

Thomas William Worsdell (14 January 1838 – 28 June 1916) was an English locomotive engineer. He was born in Liverpool into a Quaker family.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Liverpool City and Metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.



T. W. Worsdell – normally known as William – was the eldest son of Nathaniel Worsdell (1809–1886), and grandson of the coachbuilder Thomas Clarke Worsdell (1788–1862). His younger brother, Wilson Worsdell (1850–1920), was also a locomotive engineer. T. C. Worsdell had become a Quaker at some point between 1812 and 1816, and his descendants, including Nathaniel, William and Wilson, were brought up in the Quaker faith. [1]

Wilson Worsdell was an English locomotive engineer who was locomotive superintendent of the North Eastern Railway from 1890 to 1910. He was the younger brother of T.W. Worsdell. Wilson was born at Monks Coppenhall, near Crewe on 7 September 1850 to Nathaniel and Mary Worsdell; he was their tenth child and fourth son. In 1860 he was sent as a boarder to Ackworth, a Quaker school in Yorkshire.

William was born at his parents' house in Liverpool on 14 January 1838. He began school at the age of two, and in 1847 was sent as a boarder to Ackworth, a Quaker school in Yorkshire, where he remained until 1852. [2]

Ackworth School independent Quaker school in West Yorkshire

Ackworth School is an independent school located in the village of High Ackworth, near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England. It is one of eight Quaker Schools in England. The school is a member of the Headmasters' & Headmistresses' Conference and SHMIS The Head is Anton Maree, who took over at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. The Deputy Heads are Guy Emmett and Jeffrey Swales.


He worked at the Crewe Works of the LNWR under John Ramsbottom but in 1865 moved to the United States to the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1871 he was invited by Francis William Webb to return to Crewe. In 1881 he was appointed locomotive superintendent of the Great Eastern Railway, but in 1885 moved to the North Eastern Railway, being replaced at the GER by James Holden. He retired from the NER on 1 October 1890 due to ill health and was replaced by his younger brother Wilson Worsdell.

Crewe Works British railway engineering facility

Crewe Works is a British railway engineering facility built in 1840 by the Grand Junction Railway. It is located in the town of Crewe, in Cheshire. It is currently owned by Bombardier Transportation.

John Ramsbottom (engineer) British railway engineer

John Ramsbottom was an English mechanical engineer. Born in Todmorden, then on the county border of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Ramsbottom was the son of a steam cotton mill owner. He learned about steam engines, rebuilding his father's and also invented the weft fork that enabled looms to be run at high speed. He also created many inventions for railways.

Pennsylvania Railroad former American Class I railroad

The Pennsylvania Railroad was an American Class I railroad that was established in 1846 and was headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was so named because it was established in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Worsdell obtained a number of patents [3] including several (in association with August von Borries, a Prussian locomotive engineer) relating to compound locomotives. T. W. Worsdell used the von Borries two-cylinder compound system in several of his designs for the North Eastern Railway.

August Friedrich Wilhelm von Borries was one of Germany's most influential railway engineers, who was primarily concerned with developments in steam locomotives.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

A compound locomotive is a steam locomotive which is powered by a compound engine, a type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages. The locomotive was only one application of compounding. Two and three stages were used in ships, for example.

Worsdell-von Borries patents

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  1. Hill, Geoffrey (February 1991). The Worsdells: A Quaker Engineering Dynasty. Transport Publishing Company. pp. 7–8, 10. ISBN   0-86317-158-3.
  2. Hill 1991 , p. 57
  3. "Joseph Armstrong. his son & William Dean". Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  4. "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". 19 December 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  5. "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". 19 December 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  6. "Espacenet - Bibliographic data". Retrieved 13 January 2013.
Business positions
Preceded by
Massey Bromley
Locomotive Superintendent of the
Great Eastern Railway

Succeeded by
James Holden
Preceded by
Alexander McDonnell
Locomotive Superintendent of the
North Eastern Railway

Succeeded by
Wilson Worsdell