Armstrong Whitworth & Beardmore
There were three periods of locomotive building: in 1847 a 2-2-2 with condensing apparatus (Fig. 9); between 1861 and 1868 when twenty, part of an order for 285 mixed traffic 2-4-0s mainly for East Indian railways, supplied by many builders; and the final one following WW1, for which Lowe provides a detailed listing and Atkins (below) makes some cogent comments. 1464 locomotives were built at the Scotswood Works before they were reconverted to armaments manufacture in 1937. These included the Ramsay Turbo-electric locomotive, and 327 class 5 4-6-0s for the LMS, fifty 66XX 0-6-2Ts for the GWR, and forty K3 class 2-6-0s for the LNER.
Atkins noted that "More serious as far as the traditional builders were concerned was the incursion into their domain after 1918 of two privately owned shipbuilders and munitions manufacturers, Armstrong Whitworth & Co of Scotswood, Neweastle-upon-Tyne, and William Beardmore & Co of Dalmuir, Glasgow to whom steam locomotives were small beer after battleships. (A third, Vickers at Barrow, had also contemplated locomotive building). Armstrong's board only resolved in October 1918 to engage in locomotive manufacture, yet its first engine, an 0-8-0 for the neighbouring North Eastern Railway, was ceremoniously steamed off the plant only just over a year later on 4 November 1919. Such was their rapid penetration of the locomotive market that in 1920 Armstrong's and Beardmore's collectively accounted for nearly 25 per cent of the total production of the large locomotive builders, and almost 50 per cent of their (reduced) 1922 output. Their secret was modern plant and equipment as a result of the recent war, which enabled them to secure some of the largest locomotive contracts in recent years, which were funded in many cases by post-war government compensation payments. ...Armstrong's had similarly received an order for 50 0-8-0s from the North Eastern Railway. Both of these contracts, however, paled in comparison with the 200 2-8-0s ordered by the Belgian State Railways in February 1920, which Armstrong's 'snatched' from continental builders accord ing to contemporary reports. With their shipbuilding back ground both enterprises could directly load (dismantled) locomotives on ships (sometimes of their own manufacture also!) moored alongside their works.
Whereas Beardmore's built locomotives only to drawings supplied, Armstrong's set up a new locomotive design department, 'poaching' drawing office staff from long-established builders in the North East. The general manager of the locomotive depart ment of Armstrong, Whitworth & Co was Robert B McColl, a Scot and former G & SWR apprentice who had spent some time in the drawing office at Stephenson's c. 1904.
In early 1920 Armstrong's entered into negotiations with the new Soviet Government in Russia regarding the supply of new 0-10-0s, at a rate which the Russians hoped would reach 60 per month. However, owing to the interference by the British Government, Armstrong's merely built 50 boilers which were incorporated on 500 0-10-0s being built in Sweden.
Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland
Record, (21), 111-26.
Armstrong Whitworth was a lete dupplier of Midland Railway locomotives: Hunt did not cite his sources.
The Scotswood Locomotive Works of Messrs Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. Ltd. J. Instn Loco. Engrs, 1922, 12, 634-9.
Lowe: long established engineering firm which decided to enter locomotive engineering following WW1. The bulk of the output was for export, eased by the proximity of the Dalmuir works to the tideway. Locomotives were also constructed for the LMS and the LNER and heavy repairs were performed on a number of locomotives (mainly for Scottish companies). Output included Mallet compound 0-6-6-0s for the Burma Railway.
Atkins noted (see also Armstrong for fuller extract) that "More serious as far as the traditional builders were concerned was the incursion into their domain after 1918 of two privately owned shiphuilders and munitions manufacturers, Armstrong Whitworth & Co of Scotswood, Neweastle-upon-Tyne, and William Beardmore & Co of Dalmuir, Glasgow to whom steam locomotives were small beer after battleships. ...On the 'home front' Beardmore's received an order from the LNWR for 90 'Prince of Wales' 4-6-0s and 60 tenders, then valued at £900,000.
Beardmore's built locomotives only to drawings supplied, unlike Armstrong's which set up a new locomotive design department.
From Howitzers and field guns to locomotives (W Beardmore), Rly
Gaz., 24 December 1920, 816 - 821.
Hume, J.R.and Moss, M.S. Beardmore, the history of a Scottish industrial giant, Heineman, 1979, 364p.
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