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Biographical Information

Name: Sir Thomas Bouch
Born on 25 February 1822 in , Cumbria, North West England, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Deceased on 30 October 1880

After the death of his father, Bouch takes up an apprenticeship with a firm of mechanical engineers in Liverpool. Finding the job unsuitable, he returns to Thursby to become an assistant to George Larmer, a railway surveyor.


Appointed Engineer and Manager for the Edinburgh and Northern Railway.


Associate Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers.


Bouch leaves the E&N railway to begin work as a consultant engineer.


Marries Margaret Nelson (then twenty-one years old). They have three children together.

July 1870

A bill is passed in parliament for the construction of Tay Bridge. Bouch leads the design. The bridge is completely slightly behind schedule and the first train crosses on 26 September 1877.

June 1878

Queen Victoria crosses the Tay Bridge and later knights Bouch.

September 1878

The foundation stone is laid for a crossing of the Firth of Forth designed by Bouch.

28 December 1879

On a Sunday the bridge across the Tay for which Bouch had become most famous collapses killing 75 people aboard a train. He is blamed in the inquiry for the accident.

July 1880

Bouch is released from the services of the North British Railway after the results of the Tay disaster inquiry are presented to Parliament in June.

August 1880

On doctor's orders, Bouch takes a period of complete rest due to an illness. After two months, during which he seems to recover only to catch a cold of which he dies on 30 October 1880.

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