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WIDDOP, Frederick Charles,: (1877 - 1938?)

Frederick Widdop

Mr F. C. Widdop. The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 4 (September 1, 1931). Image courtesy of the New Zealand Railways Corporation.

Born 21st March, 1877, Mr Widdop was a descendant of early Wellington pioneers. After a course of engineering study at the Wellington School of Design he entered the Railway service in 1891 as a cadet in the Locomotive Branch, from which he shortly after transferred to the Civil Engineering Branch. In 1897 he was posted as Assistant to the District Engineer, New Zealand Railways, Wellington, whence he was transferred to Wanganui in 1900, and to the Chief Engineer's Staff in 1902. Later in the same year he was posted to the Westland District as District Engineer, and from 1908 to 1914 he was District Engineer, Wellington. The years 1922 to 1924 saw him promoted successively to Supervising Engineer, Assistant Chief Engineer, and Chief Engineer of the New Zealand Government Railways. From the latter post he retired in September, 1931.

Mr Widdop's forty years of railway service covered a period of great development, during which the -track mileage increased from under 1,900 to just on 3,400, the total revenue from a little over £1,000,000 to £8,000,000, and the railway bridge problem was transformed from timber to steel construction.

Mr Widdop was elected a Member of The Institution of Civil Engineers in 1920, and was one of the earliest Members of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers, to which he was elected in September, 1914. He was a Member of Council from 1928 till 1932, and thereafter served on a number of Committees of The Institution, including the House Committee, of which he was a member from its appointment in 1932 up to the end. He also represented The Institution for a number of years on the Town Planning Board.

Biography from Proceedings of NZIE, 1938-39, Vol. XXV, p 332