Sir Harold Winthrop Clapp ( 1875 - 1952)

Sir Harold Winthrop Clapp (1875-1952) was a transport administrator who over the course of thirty years had a profound effect on Australia’s railway network. In two decades as its Chairman of Commissioners, he revolutionised Victorian Railways, with unprecedented attention to customer service and innovations such as more powerful locomotives, air-conditioned carriages, and faster services culminating in the introduction of the flagship Spirit of Progress express train. Seconded to the Federal Government in World War II, he played a pivotal role in the manufacture of fighter aircraft in the defence of Australia. As Director-General of Australia’s Land Transport Board, he presented a report on railway gauge standardisation that ultimately led to the eventual linking of all Australian mainland capital cities by a uniform track gauge.

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