William Wilson (engineer)

William Wilson ( born May 18, 1809 in Walbottle, England; † 17 April 1862 in Nuremberg ) was a British mechanical engineer and engineer of the first German railway.


William Wilson was hired in 1829 with George Stephenson as a mechanic. For on December 7, 1835 opened the first railway line in Germany between Nuremberg and Fürth, the first steam locomotive by Stephenson was delivered, as no suitable engine available on time and at an acceptable price in Germany at this time. At the request of Louis Railway Company was also provided by Stephenson limited to eight months and the train driver and engineer in the person of Wilson. This should instruct the staff in the operation of the locomotive and train successors and received a temporary contract for eight months. Stephenson made ​​a maximum working time of 12 hours per day to the condition. The travel expenses were borne by the Ludwig Railroad Society. He also took over the establishment and later the management of a railway workshop. He received his qualification a corresponding high salary, which exceeded the merit of the Director General of the railway company. His salary was initially 1500 florins a year, with it, a remuneration of 240 guilders. On December 7, 1835 finally drove William Wilson as a train driver the first German railway locomotive with the eagle on the newly built section of the Ludwig Railway. After eight months, he made ​​no move to leave. Both due to safe occurrence in this trip as well because of its high qualification of the contract was eventually extended with Wilson again. The passengers wanted to go with none other than the long English. If he was not driving the locomotive itself, decreased revenue. Beginning in 1842, he moved with his second mate Bock from Müller as a train driver. His health was seriously damaged by his work, but there he stood in all weathers in a skirt and cylinder without weather protection on the locomotive. It was not until the winter of 1845/46 were the drivers leather coats for weather protection, eight years later, the locomotives were fitted with protective roofs. Despite tempting offers of the Bavarian State Railways, he remained at the Ludwig Railroad. From 1859 he could no longer fulfill his regular service because of a deterioration in his health. In the 25 - year celebration of the Ludwig Railroad he was highly honored. On April 17, 1862, he died of his illness. He was buried with great interest of the population at the Nuremberg St. John's Cemetery, where his grave is still located.