peoplepill id: james-carswell
1 views today
1 views this week
James Carswell
The basics

Quick Facts

Was Engineer Civil engineer
From Scotland United Kingdom
Type Engineering
Gender male
Birth 1830, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death 1897 (aged 67 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


The southern approach to the Forth Bridge
Helensburgh Central Station

James Carswell (1830–1897) was a Scottish railway engineer largely remembered for his design of glazed roof on Queen Street Station, Glasgow and the huge approaches to the Forth Rail Bridge.


He was born in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire in 1830 the son of Anne and Thomas P. Carswell. His father was an iron-founder and merchant and it is likely that he was initially apprenticed as an iron-founder. His depth and understanding of iron construction shows both a practical knowledge and a strong design understanding. In 1851 he moved with his family to 106 South Portland Street in the Gorbals in Glasgow. At this time James is described as a mining and land engineer. Here he began working as Resident Engineer for the Monklands Railways. Through amalgamation this then became the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway before finally becoming the North British Railway in 1865.

In 1861 he was living with his wife and family in Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire doing project work in northern England. In 1879 he became Chief Engineer to the North British Railway. From 1882 he spent most of his time working on the huge engineering task of designing the approach structures to the Forth Rail Bridge. However, unlike the engineers of the bridge itself, he received no knighthood or indeed any other civil recognition.

In later life he lived at 7 Western Terrace in western Edinburgh.

He died aged 66 on 20 January 1897 at his son’s house, Killin House on St Thomas Road in the Grange, Edinburgh. His son James Smith Carswell (1862–1942) is described as a "steel manufacturer".

James senior is buried in the Dean Cemetery on the west side of the city in the northern Victorian extension. His wife and children lie with him. His father lies two plots to the west.

Known Works

  • Rebuilding of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Station (now known as Glasgow Queen Street railway station) (1878)
  • Springburn railway station (1875)
  • Approach bridges and engineering supporting the Forth Rail Bridge (1882–1890)
  • Inverkeithing railway station (1890)
  • Covered platforms at Haymarket railway station, Edinburgh (1894)
  • Railway Workers Houses, Fort William (1895)
  • Helensburgh Central railway station (1897) completed after his death


He was married to Annie Porter (1835–1897) who died a few months after he did.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 22 Jul 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comments so far.
From our partners
Reference sources
arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes