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James Brunlees

1816 - 1892

Civil engineer. Born in Kelso. Brunlees constructed railways in Britain and South America, including the Bolton & Preston Railway, the Mersey Railway, for which he built a tunnel under the River Mersey, the Sao Paulo Railway (Brazil) and a rack railway over Mont Cenis Pass in the Alps. He was also responsible for the docks at Avonmouth and Whitehaven, together with piers at Southport (1860) and Southend-on-Sea (1890). Brunlees used novel and economical techniques in the construction of the former, which became the first iron leisure pier built in Britain. It was 1097m (3600 feet) long when opened, but extended to 1335m (4380 feet) in 1868.

Brunlees was also the consulting engineer with the original Channel Tunnel Company (1872 - 1886), which planned but failed to built the first link between Britain and continental Europe.

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