Matthew Kirtley

Matthew Kirtley
Born 6 February 1813(1813-02-06)
Tanfield, County Durham, England
Died 24 May 1873(1873-05-24) (aged 60)
Known for Locomotive Engineer
Relatives Thomas Kirtley (brother)
William Kirtley (nephew)

Matthew Kirtley (6 February 1813 – 24 May 1873) was an important early locomotive engineer. His brother Thomas Kirtley was also a locomotive engineer (on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (1847)) as was his nephew, William Kirtley, who served as locomotive superintendent on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, 1874-1898.

Kirtley was born in February 1813 at Tanfield, Durham. At the age of thirteen he began work on the Stockton and Darlington Railway; he was fireman on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and was present at its opening. Eventually he became a driver on the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR): he is believed to have driven the first L&BR train (and the first main line train) to enter London.

In 1839 he was appointed, first a locomotive foreman, and in 1841 locomotive superintendent of the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway; when that railway became one of the constituents of the Midland Railway, he took over the entire Railway as its locomotive superintendent. When he died in 1873 hundreds of locomotives to his design existed, many of which were to last into the days of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, some fifty years later.

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Business positions
New title Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Midland Railway
Succeeded by
Samuel W. Johnson