Edward W. Young, member of the (British) Institution of Civil Engineers, was one of six engineers who were brought to the Cape Colony from Britain by W.G. Brounger* to build the first railway in the Colony. The other five engineers were J. Bisset*, W. Perrolt, A. Priestley, J.W. Roberts, and W.B. Taylor. They arrived on the Athens in December 1858. The line started at Cape Town and was completed to Wellington in 1862. Young later published Simple practical methods of calculating strains on girders and trusses; with a supplementary essay on economy in suspension bridges (London, 1873, 132 p).
He was again (or still) at the Cape during 1880-1883, when he was a member of the South African Philosophical Society. In June 1880 he read a paper before the society, "On surveying with the omnimeter", and exhibited the instrument. [Eckhold's omnimeter was a theodolite fitted with a microscope with which the tangents of vertical arcs could be read on a linear scale]. Years later he returned to this topic, presenting a paper on "Surveying with the omnimeter" before the Institution of Civil Engineers. The paper was published in the Institution's Minutes of Proceedings for 1894. Meanwhile, at the next meeting of the South African Philosophical Society in July 1880, he spoke on the possible introduction of trout into the rivers of the Colony, pointing out the low water temperatures required for them to breed successfully.