Industrial Steam Locomotive Manufacturers
Hughes Locomotive and Tramway Engine Works Ltd.
Now at Crich Tram Museum
In 1865, Henry Hughes, who was a timber merchant engineer, began building horse-drawn tramcars and railway rolling stock at the Falcon Works in Loughborough. His first company was known as the Hughes’s Locomotive & Tramway Engine Works Ltd. Records are very sparse, but it seems that he began producing steam locomotives about 1867 for the Paris Exhibition. His main business, however, was tram engines, lightweight steam engines (usually with condensers) which drew passenger cars, made possible by the Tramways Act 1870. Among these was “The Pioneer” for the Swansea and Mumbles Railway. These were distinct from those tramcars where the boiler and mechanism was integral with the passenger car. Amongst the first steam locomotives built there was “Belmont”, which ran on the Snailbeach District Railways, and three 2 ft 3 in (686 mm) gauge 0-4-0STs for the Corris Railway supplied in 1878. The Corris locomotives are said to have been works numbers 322, 323 and 324, implying that the tram vehicles and steam locomotives were included in a single numerical sequence.Sir Haydn at Talyllyn Railway
In 1881 Hughes’ built two 3 ft (914 mm) gauge 0-4-0STs for the Liverpool Corporation Water Committee for use in the construction of the waterworks at Lake Vyrnwy in Wales. In 1881 the company ran into legal problems and in 1882 it was in receivership.
Late in 1882 it reformed as the Falcon Engine & Car Works Ltd. and supplied three more locomotives of the same design for the railways at Vyrnwy. Again there are few records, but the factory remained busy with both railway and tramway locomotives and rolling stock. Among these were tank locomotives for Ireland, Spain and the Azores. Some were subcontracts from other firms, such as Kerr Stuart, at that time in Glasgow.In 1889 the assets were taken over by the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation, which had been set up as the British arm of Charles Francis Brush’s Brush Electric Company in America. It then became known as the Brush Electrical Engineering Company.
In all, about 250 steam locomotives were built in addition to the tram engines. Production finished after the First World War and the company concentrated on transport-related electrical equipment, including tramcars, trolley buses and battery-operated vehicles.
During World War 2, Brush Coachworks diversified into aircraft production, building 335 de Havilland Dominies for the Royal Air Force. Wing sections were built for Lancaster bombers and Hampden fuselages were overhauled.
The coachworks continued after the war with omnibus bodies mounted on Daimler chassis using Gardner five-cylinder diesel engines and Daimler preselector gearboxes. Close to Derby and its railway workshops, it retained its contacts with the railway and in 1947 joined with W.G.Bagnall to produce diesel locomotives. When British Railways began to replace its fleet of steam engines, Brush entered the market for main line diesel-electric locomotives.Brush Bagnall Loco at Chasewater Railway
In 1957 it and Brush Electrical Machines were bought up by Hawker Siddeley to become the Brush Electrical Engineering Company Limited. As part of Hawker Siddeley Electric Power Group it then passed toBTR plc and became Brush Traction.
It is now part of FKI Energy Technologies. The locomotive works was subsequently purchased by the Brush Traction Company and is still in use for the repair of locomotives.