Donald Alexander Matheson

1860 - 1935

Engineer and railwayman. Matheson was born Tulliallan and raised in Perth, where he was educated at Perth Academy with James Miller (1860 - 1947), another noted railway engineer and architect. He worked Miller in the role of Resident Engineer for the construction of the Glasgow Central low-level lines. He subsequently held the post of Engineer-in-Chief with the Caledonian Railway Company and ensured that many of the railway's major projects were given to his friend Miller.

The pair were responsible for stylish new stations such as Wemyss Bay Railway Station and Ferry Terminal (1903). Between 1901-06, Matheson was responsible the enlargement of Glasgow Central Station, more than doubling its size and installing steel girders spanning up to 170m (350 feet) to create its spacious concourse. He also built the Caledonian Railway Bridge that carries the lines from the station across the River Clyde and another at Stirling.

He was also responsible for the enlargement and re-roofing of Perth Railway Station in 1910 and planning and promoting the building the Gleneagles Hotel, with Miller as architect, and its associated golf courses, personally selecting its site in the 1920s.

Matheson went on to become the General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Company (1922-26) and then Deputy General Manager in Scotland for the London, Midland & Scottish (LMS) Railway Company, one of the 'Big Four' mergers.

He was notable in the civic society of Glasgow, serving on the board of Glasgow Royal Infirmary, as a prominent member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and as a Justice of the Peace. Matheson is commemorated by a plaque in Glasgow Central Station placed there by Institution of Civil Engineers in 2008.

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