Gooch, Daniel 1816 - 1889

Daniel Gooch, 1st baronet was born in 1816 at Bedlington. He was the first locomotive superintendant of the Great Western Railway (GWR) in 1837 and worked under Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He established the company’s locomotive works at Swindon

He played an important role in ordering Stephenson 2-2-2 ‘Star’ class locomotives from Robert Stephenson’s firm for use on the railway. Later he went on to develop locomotives to his own design. He designed Great Western which performed brilliantly between London and Exeter. The ‘Iron Duke’ class, a development of this handled all the fastest trains on the GWR until 1892. Gooch also designed heavy 4-4-0 saddle-tank engines, employed in the steeply graded lines in Devon and Cornwall.

The Great Western Railway adopted a broad gauge of 7 ft 0 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm) between 1838 and 1892 in contrast to the standard gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in). The two systems were used together until 1845 when the broad gauge was rejected by the Gauge Commission. Gooch played a part in arguing the merits of broad gauge.

He resigned from the company in 1864 to take key responsibility for the laying of the Atlantic cable and was made a Baronet for this work. He rejoined in 1865 and acted as Chairman. He was also Conservative MP for Cricklade 1865-1885. He died in 1889 at his residence, Clewer Park.