William Pollitt


William Pollitt

Colonel Sir William Pollitt was general manager of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MSL&R) from 1886 to 1902, the final three years being as General Manager of the renamed Great Central Railway.

He had been appointed Accountant for the company in 1869 having previously served as chief clerk to that post. As Accountant he was responsible for an initiative in 1878 to reduce third-class fares to a penny a mile, which increased the net contribution from that class of passengers.

He was appointed to the newly-created post of Assistant General Manager in 1885. This post appears to have been created to bolster Underwood, the General Manager, whose health was failing. In turn Pollitt acceeded to the General Managership when Underwood was elected to the Board.

Among other achievements he piloted the MSL&R's strategic line from Beighton to Annesley via Chesterfield, which came into law in 1889.

Pollitt's disputes with John Bell of the Metropolitan Railway were notorious.

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