Category Archives: Industrial Steam Loco Manufacturers

Fox Walker & Co. Bristol

Fox Walker & Co.

Fox Walker commenced building steam locomotives at the Atlas Engine Works in St George, Bristol in 1864. The firm supplied industrial four-coupled and six-coupled tank engines, mainly saddle tanks. The early records are very incomplete and little is known about the first ten years trading. They also built a number of stationary engines and were amongst the pioneers of steam tramway propulsion. A number of home railways were supplied ith six coupled tank locomotives for shunting and goods train duties including the Eastern & Midlands, Whitland & Cardigan, Gwendraeth Valley, and Midland Railways. Nine powerful inside cylinder 0-6-0STs were supplied to the Somerset and Dorset Railway.05029 No.5 Beaudesert 0-6-0ST Fox Walker 266-1875 C & RCannock & Rugeley Colliery No.5  Beaudesert 0-6-0ST Fox Walker  266/1875.  Acquired new

The last building that took place by Fox Walker was the Class SWTE tram engines in 1879 followed by four semi-portable horizontal high pressure engines. The last works number was 424 and from 1862 to 1880 approximately 410 steam locomotives were built.

Fox Walker was taken over by Thomas Peckett in 1880 as Peckett & Sons. Peckett & Sons followed on with the well-established industrial saddle tank locomotives, the designs at first being changed but little. The characteristic chimney with copper top, the brass dome and safety valve cover and spring balance safety valves and the shapely cab.


Gibb & Hogg Ltd., Airdrie

Gibb & Hogg Ltd.

Gibb & Hogg were Airdrie-based locomotive builders whose designs generally followed the pattern of the Kilmarnock manufacturers, but with certain differences. The saddle tank is a more curvaceous design than those found on Barclay products.  The Ramsbottom safety valves are mounted on the dome, while a tall stove-pipe chimney is fitted. A feature of Gibb & Hogg products is the provision of splashers over the driving wheels, and the open back to the cab should be noted.Gibb & Hogg 0-4-0ST Built 1898Gibb & Hogg loco built 1898

Gibb & Hogg, Victoria Engine Works,  Airdrie
Established in 1866 but locomotives were not built until McCulloch Sons & Kennedy  closed in 1890. Twenty Kilmarnock type 0-4-0STs, except for one 0-6-0ST supplied to the Eden Colliery. Lowe lists all. One supplied to Meyer of Widnes in 1903 .  Firm ceased production in 1912.

Grant Ritchie & Co. Kilmarnock

Grant Ritchie

Grant Ritchie & Co., Townholme Engine Works, Kilmarnock
Formerly Grant Bros. Lowe lists 45 locomotives constructed between 1879 and 1930. Output included three crane tanks, two of which were for Glengarnock Iron & Steel Co. Outpout was predominantly 0-4-0ST, or 0-4-2ST type. 522/1907 was supplied to Young’s Paraffin Lamp & Mineral Oil Co at PumpherstonGrant Ritchie 805-1918 0-4-0STGrant Ritchie loco 805-1918

Grant Ritchie & Co. were originally manufacturers of colliery winding equipment, but also built steam locomotives up to the 1920s.  In the development of their products the company followed the designs of Andrew Barclay.  Features of the Grant Ritchie are the double-lever safety valves on the dome and the single slide bars of the motion.

Hudswell Clarke & Co. Ltd., Leeds

Hudswell Clarke & Co.

Hudswell, Clarke and Company Limited (HCCL) was an engineering and locomotive building company in Jack Lane, Hunslet, West Yorkshire, England.

The company was founded as Hudswell and Clarke in 1860. In 1870 the name was changed to Hudswell, Clarke and Rogers. There was another change in 1881 to Hudswell Clarke and Company. The firm became a limited company in 1899.

The locomotive part of the business is now part of the Hunslet Engine Company. Locomotive-building was always only one part of a diverse product inventory that included underground diesel-powered mining locomotives, hydraulic pit-props and related mining equipment.

Like most well-known industrial steam locomotive manufacturers, Hudswell, Clarke & Co. Ltd. of the Railway Foundry, Leeds, have designed and built locomotives for all conditions of service in most parts of the world, even when individual engines have been called for. Nevertheless, through the years a steady stream of industrial locomotives has been supplied to basic standard designs, the 0−4−0 saddle tank, “maid of all work” for shunting, being well represented by the Standard 14″.05175 Stafford Hudswell Clark 0-6-0T 319-1889 Hednesford 9-4-1957

West Cannock loco Stafford  0-6-0T Hudswell Clark  319/1889

In 1929, a new design was developed from the earlier 14″ by 20″ outside cylinder 0−4−0 saddle tank with its characteristic short tank. The new engine’s main features included cylinders with the stroke increased to 22″, and the smoothing of the external lines with the provision of a full length tank of increased capacity. In all, thirty-five of these locomotives have been produced up to the present time, all virtually duplicate orders apart front minor modifications to drawgear or buffers, etc., to suit individual customer‘s requirements. They have all been built to standard gauge (4′ 8½”).

In 1911 Hudswell Clarke entered into an agreement with Robert Hudson for the manufacture of narrow gauge locomotives. This arrangement produced sixteen standardised designs, designated ‘A’ to ‘Q’, which ranged from four-coupled (0-4-0) 5 hp engines to six-coupled (0-6-0) 55 hp models. The designs were sufficiently flexible to allow for the various track gauges in use. Over the years, 188 locomotives were supplied to these designs.

In later years, Hudswell Clarke designed and built diesel locomotives for both main-line and private company use, mainly for use on shunting operations.

In the 1930s the company manufactured narrow gauge steam outline diesel-hydraulic locomotives for use at amusement parks around the country.

Hunslet Engine Co. Ltd., Leeds

The Hunslet Engine Company

The Hunslet Engine Company is aBritish locomotive – building company founded in 1864 at Jack Lane, Hunslet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England by John Towlerton Leather, a civil engineering contractor, who appointed James Campbell (son of Alexander Campbell, a Leeds engineer) as his Works Manager.

In 1871, James Campbell bought the company for £25,000 (payable in five instalments over two years) and the firm remained in the Campbell family ownership for many years. Between 1865 and 1870, production had averaged less than ten engines per year, but in 1871 this had risen to seventeen and was set to rise over the next thirty years to a modest maximum of thirty-four.

The first engine built in 1865 was Linden a standard gauge 0-6-0 delivered to Brassey & Ballard, a railway civil engineering contractor as were several of the firm’s early customers. Other customers included collieries. This basic standard gauge shunting and short haul ‘industrial’ engine was to be the main-stay of Hunslet production for many years. From the start, Hunslet regularly sent fitters to carry out repairs to its engines on customers’ premises and this is a service that the Hunslet Engine Company were still offering in 2006, over 140 years after their establishment.05081 No.8 0-6-0ST Hunslett 3807-1953  27-3-1954

No.8 0-6-0ST Hunslet 3807/1953

Post World War I

After the war, trading conditions were very difficult but Hunslet were once more able to attract overseas orders and they also received a series of repeat orders from the London, Midland & Scottish Railway for a total of 90LMS Fowler Class 3F  ‘Jinty’ 0-6-0T shunting engines. It was during the 1930s that Hunslet built their largest locomotives. These two 0-8-0 tank engines, built for a special train ferry loading job in China (which they fulfilled for many years) were at that date the largest and most powerful tank engines ever built. A year or so later the same design formed the basis for an 0-8-0 tender engine for India. Many other ‘large-engine’ orders were received in these inter-war years.


Other independent British manufacturers failed to survive the depression and Hunslet with considerable foresight acquired the patterns, rights and designs of other builders notably Kerr Stewart and the Avonside Engine Co.

Current Operations

The Hunslet Engine Company, is now part of the LH Group of Companies. It now owns the right to use the following British locomotive names, as well as being able to service and repair them, and supply replacement parts:

  • Andrew Barclay
  • Avonside Engine Co.
  • North British Engine Co.
  • Greenwood & Batley
  • Hudswell Clarke
  • John Fowler & Co.
  • Kerr Stewart
  • Kitson & Co.
  • Manning Wardle

Sharp Stewart, Manchester

Sharp, Stewart

The company was founded in Manchester in 1811 and had its base at the Atlas Works. Originally it was known as Messrs Sharp Roberts and was a manufacturer of machine tools and cotton spinning machinery; the company’s first locomotive was built in 1833 for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was a four-wheeled 2-2-0 with vertical cylinders over the leading wheels. After a number of modifications, three similar engines were built for the Dublin & Kingstown Railway. Although they were relatively fast, they were too hard on the track at speed.

A new 2-2-2 design was produced with horizontal inside cylinders under the smokebox and additional bearings to support the crank axle. Around 600 of these locos were built between 1837 and 1857. Ten of the first were sold to the Grand Junction Railway, with the “Sharpies” becoming a standard to compare with the “Bury” engines.05125 No.6. 0-6-0ST Sharp Stewart 2643-1876 Driver Richard Whitehouse

Cannock Chase Colliery Co. No.6  0-6-0ST was a Sharp Stewart loco 2643-1876 acquired new.

The company moved to Glasgow in 1888 and took over Walter Neilson’s Clyde Locomotive Company in Springburn, renaming it the Atlas Works after the Manchester premises.

In 1903 Sharp, Stewart amalgamated with the Glasgow firms Neilson, Reid & Co. & Co. and Dubs & Co.. to form the North British Locomotive Company.


Haydock Foundry, Richard Evans

Richard Evans & Co.

Evans, Richard & Co. Haydock Colliery
Six 0-6-0WTs were designed by Josiah Evans and constructed at Haydock between 1869 and 1887. They had piston valves actuated by outside valve gear: first two Stephenson open links and remainder with Gooch box links. No. C Bellerophon illustrated. No. F Golbourne described and ilustrated in Loco. Mag., 1901 December.Richard Evans & Co. - Bellerophon

Bellerophon, built in 1874 by Richard Evans & Co. Ltd. at the Haydock Foundry, for work on the firm’s colliery lines in South Lancashire.

Now at Foxfield Railway, Staffs.

Hawthorns, Leith

Hawthorns, Leith

In 1857 the ‘Cape Town Railway and Dock Company’ obtained the permission of the Cape Government to build railways from Cape Town to Wellington and Wynberg. In 1859 this locomotive made by Hawthorns & Co Leith Engine Works in Scotland, arrived in South Africa together with its driver, William Dabbs. When the conversion to the narrower gauge was completed in 1881, the period of service of Blackie and of its driver came to an end. Proclaimed a national monument in 1936.Hawthorns Leith_Blackie 0-4-2

Hawthorn’s Shipyard

“R&W. Hawthorn & Co were an old established locomotive building firm of   of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Leith Engineering Works, Sheriff Brae, Leith were bought by R&W Hawthorn & Co from James B. Maxton & Co, to set up a works  to build railway locomotives in Scotland.


By 1860 they were building marine engines and boilers under the name of Hawthorns & Co.

A number of small ships were built at their Granton yard . They were the first company on  the east of Scotland to lengthen vessels ( 1860/70’s) at the slipway at Granton.


Hawthorn Leslie & Co Ltd was established in 1886, acquiring the businesses of Hawthorn & Co  and Andrew Leslie & Co.


In 1912, Hawthorns & Co acquired the shipyard of Thomas Morton & Co which lay adjacent to Ramage & Ferguson’s yard.


The whole site ( including Hawthorns, Ramage & Ferguson and Cran & Somerville)  was, in 1924, acquired by Henry Robb Ltd., and named ‘Victoria Shipyards’.

R & W Hawthorn Leslie & Co. Ltd., Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Hawthorn Leslie

R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Limited, usually referred to as Hawthorn Leslie, was a shipbuilding and locomotive manufacturer.

05360 Tony 0-6-0ST HL 3460-1921 HawkinsHawkins loco ‘Tony’ 0-6-0ST Hawthorn Leslie 3460/1921

The Company was formed by the merger of the shipbuilder A.Leslie & Hebburn with the locomotive works of R & W Hawthorn at St.Peter’s in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1886. The Company disposed of its locomotive manufacturing interests in 1937 to Robert Stephenson & Co. which became Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Ltd.

After the merger the locomotive side continued manufacturing for main-line, light and industrial railways, including a large number built for export, usually to the designs of the Crown Agents.


Kitson & Co. Ltd., Leeds

Kitson & Co.

The company started as James Kitson at the Airedale Foundry, off Pearson Street, Hunslet in 1835 with Charles Todd as a partner. Todd had been apprenticed to Matthew Murray at the Round Foundry in Holbeck, Leeds.

Initially it made parts for other builders, until it was joined in 1838 by David Laird, a wealthy farmer who was looking for investments, the company becoming Todd, Kitson and Laird. This year saw the production of the company’s first complete engines, either for the North Midland or the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. However, Todd left almost immediately to form Shepherd & Todd and the company was known variously as Kitson and Laird or Laird and Kitson.

The order for six engines by the Liverpool and Manchester began with0-4-2 Lion, which still exists. Around 1860, it was withdrawn from service and sold to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, where it was jacked-up off its wheels and used for pumping water. In 1930 it was restored and remains in preservation at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

In 1842, Laird, not receiving the financial return he expected, left the partnership. Kitson was then joined by Isaac Thompson and William Hewitson, the company becoming Kitson Thompson and Hewitson. In 1851 the company exhibited an early tank locomotive at the The Great Exhibition, and were awarded a gold medal. In 1858 Thompson left and it became Kitson and Hewitson, then finally Kitson and Company in 1863 when Hewitson died.

05136 Griffin 0-6-0ST Kitson 5036-1913 Taken 1929-1934

Cannock Chase Colliery Co. loco Griffin  0-6-0ST Kitson 5036-1913, acquired new.

The company built about 5,400 locomotives over a period of 101 years, with orders for British railways including the Midland Railway, the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and theSouth Eastern Railway, and worldwide. From 1855 many Indian railways became major customers.

From 1866 Kitson’s produced a large proportion of the Midland Railway double-framed goods engines designed by Matthew Kirtley.