William Henry Barlow was born in Charlton, London in 1812. A civil engineer, he worked in several dockyards before he obtained a job as an engineer with a railway line. After working for six years in Turkey, he returned to England where he worked as assistant engineer to the Manchester and Birmingham Railway.
In 1842 Barlow joined Midland Railway. During his tenure with Midland, he designed and built a rail-line to London. He also designed the main terminal at Saint Pancras. For his much copied terminal, he created an immense, iron-and-glass vault, that remained the widest span for twenty-five years.
Barlow provided advice for cathedral restoration and publishing several writings dealing with structural problems. He was the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
An engineer whose name became synonymous with the Railway Age, Barlow died in 1902.
Last modified 6 August 2007