The first half of the Twentieth Century saw two extraordinary men serve the NSW Railways, and Australia. They were Albert Cecil Fewtrell and Keith Aird Fraser, both born early enough to be able to serve in the First World War, but not so early to
be too old for the Second. Both men were highly decorated for their engineering contribution as military officers. At home, Fewtrell, the older of the two, quickly rose to senior positions, while Fraser, at the age of 29 was one of only two Resident Engineers building the Sydney City Railway, answering directly to Bradfield. Later,
before and after their second military service, they worked together on building thereplacement Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge. Fewtrell was already Chief Civil Engineerat that time and he was succeeded upon his death in office by Fraser. Fraser’s time as Chief Civil Engineer was brief, as he was appointed Commissioner for Railways in 1952 but died after only a few months in that office.
Bill Phippen graduated in Civil Engineering from Sydney University and in 1981 joined the Australian Railway Historical Society and volunteered his building skills to the Society at their premises in Redfern, Central and Alexandria: and as a guide for their St James Tunnel Tours. In 2013 Bill was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia and was the Manager of the Railway Resource Centre until recently. He has recently published two books: The Hawkesbury River Railway Bridges and By Muscle of Man & Horse: Building the Railway under Sydney 1916 – 1932.
Frank Johnson started as a Trainee Civil Engineer in 1964 with the then NSW Government Railways. This led onto a quite varied career in engineering, management and major projects, across both the public and private sectors. He has given several lectures on heritage and is currently Chair of the Sydney Engineering Heritage Committee. Frank has a family connection with this former Chief Civil Engineer, Major-General Fewtrell
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