Throughout its history, the NBR was fortunate in having dedicated people to work the railway, from the engine drivers, firemen and guards,to the station masters, porters and clerks, each one was proud to be an ‘NB’ man.
It was the chairmen, general managers, locomotive superintendents and other chief officers who are best remembered for shaping the company from its small beginnings to its eventual position as the largest of the Scottish railway enterprises.
Men like Richard Hodgson, chairman from 1855 to 1866 who ensured the Company expanded in those vital early years through building new trunk lines and branches and absorbing other Companies, firstly the Edinburgh, Perth & Dundee Railway and then the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway. Although his methods were sometimes questionable, his achievements spoke for themselves. People such as Dugald Drummond, Locomotive Superintendent from 1875 to 1882, ensured that the Company’s engines were second to none; and David Deuchars who, as Superintendent of the Line, steadily built up the system’s traffic in the face of tough competition. Of the general managers, John Walker (1874-1891) and John Conacher (1891-1899) can be singled out for praise in steering the Company through some difficult times.