Hunslet group of locomotive companies

There used to be a group of relatively small locomotive companies within the Hunslet area of Leeds which shared adjacent sites and tended to have related engineers and managers. Part of the activities of this group was described by Michael Rutherford in a series of his Railway Reflections in Backtrack. The firms considered herein were Hudswell & Clarke, Hunslet Engine Co,  Manning Wardle and what Lowe entered under Shepherd and Todd who established the Railway Foundry. Kitsons shared some of the dramatis personae, but is listed separately.

Pocket pugs from Jack Lane: Quarry engines and their cousins, Part 1. (Railway Reflections No. 78). Michael Rutherford. Backtrack, 2001, 15, 349-55.
Narrow gauge locomotives for quarries and similar industrial uses, especially those produced in Leeds by such firms as Manning Wardle,.

Pocket pugs from Jack Lane: Quarry engines and their cousins, part 2. (Railway Reflections No. 79). Michael Rutherford. Backtrack, 2001, 15, 412-21.
Hunslet locomotives for the North Wales slate quarries. First locomotive supplied in 1882.

Townsley, D.H. The Hunslet Engine Works. Plateway, 1998.
Redman, R.N. The Railway Foundry Leeds 1839-1969. Norwich: Goose, 1972.
Ottley 10532

The Railway Foundry

The Railway Foundry had a convoluted beginning and was established by Charles Todd and Shepherd (presumably the latter was a financier) to manufacture locomotives, carriages wagons. They received the first order in for two locomotives without tenders. The following is from Lowe.

During 1840-1 some 2-2-2s were built for North Midland Railway; some four-coupled types for the Manchester & Leeds Railway some locomotives of an unknown type were supplied to the Paris-Orleans Railway, and two 6 ft singles were built for the Hull & Selby Railway to John Gray's design including his patent expansion gear, known as the 'horse-leg' motion and were probably the first two locomotives to use expansion gear, other than one Liverpool and Manchester Railway locomotive No. 46 Cyclops built by the Haigh Foundry in 1836 and fitted experimentally with Gray's gear. Two 0-6-0s, also to Gray's designs, were supplied in 1844 to the the Hull & Selby Railway with the cylinders set low under the smokebox, but trouble was experienced with the cyliinders working loose as a satisfactory attachment could not be made to the frames. Two singles for the York & North Midland Railway (No. 9 Antelope and No. 10 Ariel, were also fitted with Grays' motion.

Todd left the firm in June 1844 and Shepherd was joined by E. B. Wilson in 1845, but Wilson only stayed one year. The firm was taken over by James Fenton in 1846 becoming Fenton Craven & Company.

During this period six 2-2-2s were built for the East Lancashire Railway (1846/7): four of these were rebuilt in the Bury shops firstly as 2-4-0s and then as 0-6-0s. The majority of locomotives built by Fenton Craven were Stephenson's 'long boiler' type with all wheels in front of the firebox. For passenger work a number of outside cylinder 2-4-0 long boilered types were built, including ten for the York & North Midland Railway and five for the Eastern Counties Railway. For passenger work they were a failure, mainly due to the overhang at each end, particularly at the rear causing violent oscillations resulting in frequent derailments. The six-coupled goods locomotives built to the same patent were not so troublesome, the cylinders being inside and speed not being a requirement.

Further passenger locomotives were built with single drivers 6 ft diameter and outside cylinders. Some went to the London & North Western and Eastern Counties Railways.

The partnership of Fenton and Craven lasted less than a year and at the end of 1846 E.B. Wilson appeared once more and took over the business completely, retaining Fenton as Works Manager. The title of the company now became E.B. Wilson & Co. In some instances the maker's plates bore the name The Railway Foundry, Leeds', Wilson's name not being shown.

Plans were implemented to increase the capacity of the works in building locomotives from about ten per annum to over fifty and extensions were put in hand including a new erecting shop with twelve pits. Building for the home market certainly increased and, as the firm's reputation for good workmanship and reliability became known over a wider area, orders multiplied.

In 1847 a famous design was evolved in the form of a 'single' express passenger locomotive: the Jenny Lind type. It was a development of John Gray's singles for the Brighton Railway with the characteristic 'mixed' framing with outside bearings to the leading and trailing wheels only. There has been much controversy as to who was actually responsible for the design. David Joy was chief draughtsman (see Joy Diaries in Railway Magazine 'Some links in the evolution of the Locomotive' the part published in June 1908) indicates that Joy claimed to have carried out all the design work and drawing. Other claims were for Wilson himself, and James Fenton, but whoever it was, the Jenny Lind type was extremely successful. Over seventy were built, and no less than twenty-four were sold to the Midland Railway.

The fluted dome cover and safety valve casing became almost a trademark of Wilson's locomotives and the design of these fittings are attributed to the manager's wife, Mrs James Fenton. The locomotives were highly finished with mahogany strips around the boiler, polished and varnished. The feed pumps were driven off an eccentric fixed to the outside of the driving axle. Front and rear springs were of thick slabs of Indian rubber in circular cast iron pots. They were later changed to leaf springs as it was found that the rubber lost its elasticity very quickly.

Outside frames were provided for the leading and trailing wheels, and inside frames for the drivers. The inside frames stopped short of the firebox to enable a wide firebox to be used. The inside cylinders had the slide valves between them, operated by Stephenson's motion.

The largest Jenny Lind was the Salopian built for the Shrewsbury and Birmingham Railway in 1849.

Many Midland Railway locomotives were rebuilt at the Railway Foundry as Derby lacked the capacity at that time. In 1853 locomotives were supplied to the Hanoverian State and West Flanders railways followed by orders from Denmark, India, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

Standardisation was developed to a marked degree and between 1848 and 1858 the majority of locomotives built to 2-2-2, 2-4-0 and 0-6-0 wheel  formations were to a standard pattern and any modifications required by customers were charged for. The standard 0-6-0 had double frames with outside cranks. Approximately 160 of the type were built and sold to railways in the UK and overseas. The standard 2-4-0 was modified when Archibald Sturrock ordered fifteen with outside bearings to all wheels in 1851. The Railway Foundry built few tank locomotives. Many locomotives of standard types wer built for stock, which involved a large amount of  capital being tied up when customers were not forthcoming.

The few specials included several Crampton patent locomotives, including some four-wheeled driven by a dummy crankshaft fixed mid-way. One was supplied to the York & North Midland Railway and three to the Nottingham & Grantham Railway. 0-4-0WTs were built in 1852 for the contractors building the Portland Breakwater: one was bought by the Torbay & Brixham Railway in 1868. John V. Gooch designed a 2-4-0T for the South Slesvig Railway of which six were built in 1854. The largest order received was for 25 0-4-2s and ten 2-2-2s for India. In 1857 twenty goods locomotives were built for the Madrid, Saragossa and Alicante Railway.

E. B. Wilson & Co. manufactured other engineering goods such as pumping engines, carriages, wagons, ironwork etc., and also entered into contracts to provide motive power for the smaller railway companies such as the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton, and the East & West Yorkshire railways. This brought the company into a vulnerable financial position and on the death of Wilson in 1856 a manager was appointed: Alexander Campbell from the locomotive building department of Scotts of Gireenock. However, due to an action in Chancery, the works were forced to close down  in 1858 despite the large number of orders which were placed with the firm. As a railway locomotive works it had become one of the nost up to date in the country.

In 1844 E.B. Wilson employed some forty men and in 1845 considerable expansion took place and by 1847 the number of workmen had increased tenfold, and at that time it was expected to turn out seventy-five locomotives per annum. Perhaps the most well-known type built was the 0-6-0 inside cylinder double frame goods md possibly over 160 were built to this standard design. Manning Wardle took over part of the workshops in 1862 and Hudswell Clarke & Rogers took other parts of the factory in 1860. Manning Wardle took over the goodwill and patterns. The majority of locomotives built were 2-2-2, 2-4-0, and 0-6-0 types and approximately 635 wers built at the Railway Foundry.

N. Groves' Great Northern locomotive history notes that the BWLR acquired the residual locomotive stock from one of the trustees, Mr. Edwin Turner.
Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record, (21), 111-26.
E.B. Wilson through its Jenny Lind design greatly influenced early Midland Railway locomotives: Hunt did not cite his sources.

Hudswell & Clarke

The Railway Foundry in Leeds was refounded in 1860 by W.S. Hudswell and John Clarke. It was mainly, but not exclusively, a manufaturer of industrial locomotives. Lowe did not include a list. Much of their output took the form of standard 0-6-0STs and 0-4-0STs.

Mainline locomotives included 0-6-0s supplied to the Cockermouth & Workington Railway, the NER and NSR between 1862 and 1870; 4-4-0T for the Lynn & Fakenham Railway and Yarmouth & North Norfolk Railway; five 0-6-0Ts for the Barry Railway in 1889/91; a 4-4-0T for the Selangor State Railway in 1890; three 2-4-2Ts for the Barry Railway in 1897; five 0-6-2Ts for the Rhymney Railway in 1899 and several locomotives for the Londonderry & Lough Swilly Railway: two 4-6-2T in 1899 and two more in 1901 (with Allan straight link motion); two 4-8-0s in 1905 and two 4-8-4Ts Nos 5 and 6 in 1913.

Six 0-6-0Ts were supplied to the PTR in 1900; six 0-6-2Ts to the TVR in 1902; 24 0-6-0Ts to the Manchester Ship Canal (Lowe does not quote a date); two locomotive units were supplied for steam rail motors (railcars) for the Rhymney Railway in 1907 (Cravens supplied the bodies). In 1904 a 2-6-0T was supplied to the Castlederg & Victoria Bridge Tramway (No. 4) and this was followed by an 0-4-4T (No. 5) in 1912; More 0-6-0Ts were supplied to the Manchester Ship Canal between 1912 and 1914. Ten 0-6-0Ts and five 0-4-0STs were supplied to the Port of London Authority (PLA).

During WW1 0-4-0WTs were supplied to the Air MInistry and 0-60WTs to the War Department. More 0-6-2Ts were supplied to the Rhymney Railway and Cardiff Railway. Approximately 1600 locomotives had been manufactured by 1927. The standard range continued to develop,

During WW2 a standard 0-6-0ST became the Austerity standard shunting engine. The last steam locomotives was an 0-4-0ST WN 1893/1961 which went to the NCB . A grand total of 1807 steam locomotives were manufactured over 101 years. Rodgers joined the firm in 1866 and the name changed to Hudswell, Clarke & Rodgers in 1870, but the Rodgers was dropped in 1881.

Redman, R.N. Hudswell Clarke locomotives (1) The standard 14" design. Ind. Rly Rec., 1965, 1, (7)

Hunslet Engine Co. Ltd.

Lowe noted that the Hunslet Engine Co. was formed in 1864 by John Towlerton Leather, a railway contractor and civil engineer. Leather obtained the services of James Campbell, son of Alexander Campbell, who was manager of Manning Wardle. This led to close collaboration in design between the two firms. Arthur Leather did not develop an interest in locomotive manufacture and control of the firm eventually passed to James Campbell (and his brother) in 1875.

WN 1/1865 was an 0-6-0ST Linden for Brassey & Ballard (Lowe Fig. 285). An interesting 2-2-0WT (WN 52/1871) with a vertical boiler for the Oudh & Rohilkund Railway was intended as an inspection vehicle and was the firm's only single. In 1872 six 4-4-0STs were were supplied to the 3ft 6in gauge Prince Edward Island Railway. Four 4-6-0Ts and one 4-4-0T were supplied to Tasmania. Three locomotives were supplied to the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways: 0-6-4ST WN 206/1878 Beddgelert; 2-6-2T WN 901/1906 Russell, and 0-6-4T WN 979/1908 Gowrie.

Back-to-back 0-8-0STs were supplied to the Carthagena & Herrerias Steam Tramway (Fig. 286 which shows that the "tramway" must have been a proper railway as the locomotives were not diminutive). Hunslet supplied the Listowel & Ballybunnion Railway motive power (Lartigue monorail).

Motive power for other Irish lines included three 2-6-0Ts in 1889 for the Tralee & Dingle Light Railway, an 0-4-2T  tramway type of locomotive with two cabs for the same railway and a 2-6-2T supplied with Holden oil firing equipment. Three 4-6-0Ts were supplied to the West Clare Railway.

Edgar Alcock joined the firm as Works Manager in 1912 and revitalized it.

During WW1 155 very small (grate area 3.95ft2) 4-6-0Ts were supplied to the War Department for use on 60cm gauge liht railways.

Much larger locomotives were constructed in the period following WW1: 26 superheated 4-6-0s for metre gauge lines of the Indian Railways. Similar locomotives were supplied to Ceylon in 1922. 4-6-4Ts were supplied to the Burma Railways. Ninety 3F 0-6-0Ts were supplied to the LMS between 1924 and 1928.

When Manning Wardle closed in 1927 Hunslet bought a portion of their works. Eight 0-8-0Ts were built in 1930 for the Gold Coast Railway.

During WW2 Alcock's design was adopted by the War Department as the Austerity 0-6-0ST. Following WW2 0-6-0PTs were supplied to the Western Region.

Dewhurst, P.C. and Holcroft, Harold. The Fairlie locomotive - Part 2. Later designs and productions. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1966, 39, 1-34.
Townsley, D,
End of an Era, Hunslet's steam locomotive production, 1949-71. Rly Wld, 1987, 277 - 280; 413 - 416.

Manning Wardle

According to Lowe, Manning Wardle & Co was established at the Boyne Engine Works, Leeds in 1858 by Alexander Campbell and C.W. Wardle. Alexander Campbell had been Works Manager of the locomotive building department of Scott Sinclair & Co. of Greenock and had come south in 1856 to manage the affairs of E.B. Wilson & Co. at the Railway Foundry on the death of Mr Wilson, and when the firm closed down he set about establishing his own works with the financial assistance of Wardle — a local vicar. More capital being required, John Manning became a partner. Drawings and patterns from E.B. Wilson & Co. were obtained and the earlier locomotives of Manning Wardle & Co. bore the characteristics of Wilson's designs.

Manning Wardle & Co. concentrated on building contractors and industrial tank locomotives and built up an excellent reputation in this field. In proportion very few tender locomotives were built after the 1870s.

Their first locomotive was a small 3 ft gauge 0-4-0ST for Dunston & Barlow Ltd., Sheepbridge followed by two 5' 6" gauge 2-4-0WTs for the Royal Portuguese Railway, all in 1859 and in the same year two 0-6-0Ts were built and two outside cylinder 0-4-0s for the Earl of Dudley. In 1860 they built their only examples of 2-2-2 passenger locomotives: four for the New South Wales Government Railway; and two 4-4-0s were built for the same railway in 1862.

Many contractors both in the UK and abroad were supplied with 0-4-0STs and 0-6-0STs: these types dominated during the firm's existence: the former with outside cylinders and the latter with inside cylinders. Standard classes were established for both main types. These locomotives had straight sided saddle tanks and were equipped with a water feed pump and one injector. A high crown round top firebox was generally used in which the steam collector was fitted. The safety valve cover was usually elongated to clear the cab of steam. Wooden brake blocks were fitted The wheels had crank pin bosses cast on opposite  sides, the unused one acting as a crude balance weight. In the case of the six-coupled tanks compensating beams linked the leading and driving springs with the intention of making tle locomotives ride better over uneven tracks. This was an advantage at low speed but at higher speeds the locomotives were very unstable with yawing and pitching. The compensating beams were omitted later.

By the end of 1880, 311 0-4-0STs and 298 0-6-0Ts had been built out of a total of 760 locomotives built.

Non-standard types built during this period included nine 4-4-0STs with outside cylinders for the Buenos Ayres Western Railway in 1869-70. Three small 0-4-0Ts were built with the Fell system for the Leopoldina Railway of Brazil. A six-coupled tender locomotive was built in 1873 for the 2ft 6in gauge Pentewan Railway in Cornwall. Lowe called the appearance of the locomotive as "bizarre".

A four-coupled crane tank was built in 1875 for the Kirkstall Forge Co., the crahe parts being supplied by Jos. Booth & Bros. Rodley.

Tram locomotives

Manning Wardle were the pioneers of the dummy type, where the engine was independent of the passenger cars. In 1866 two 0-4-0STs, surrounded with bodywork were built for the 4 ft gauge Pernambuco Tramway Co. in Brazil; a total of eight had been built by 1870. The exhaust steam was passed back into the saddle tank. In 1870 three tramway units were built for the Buenos Ayres .tramways. At each end of the locomotive an articulated coach was attached. When tram locomotives became popular in the 1880s the company supplied very few compared with other builders. Ten were supplied to the North Staffordshire tramways from 1880 to 1882. Three were supplied to the standard gauge lines of the Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramway Co. in 1883: standard practice was not followed in the last eleven tram locomotives as they were all fitted with inside cylinders.

In 1882 two 0-4-0STs were built for the Secretary of State for War and were used during Major General Gordon's Sudan expedition. These ware claimed to be the first armoured locomotives put into service.

In 1886 a second 0-6-0 named Trewithen was supplied to the Pentewan Railway.. During 1891/2 one 2-6-2T and one 2-6-4T were built for the metre gauge Malta Railway. They both had outside cylinders. Three 1ft 11½in gauge 2-6-2Ts were built in 1897 for the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway: Yeo, Exe and Taw.

By 1900 over 1500 locomotives had neen built; the demand for these small tank locomotives did not seem to decrease.

In 1906 Manning Wardle supplied steam rail motors (railcars): six 0-2-2 units were built for the Taff Vale Railway. Four similar units were supplied to the Great Northern Railway of Ireland in 1907 and finally two for the Dublin, Wicklow & Wexford Railway.

Seven large 0-6-2Ts were supplied to the Taft Vale Railway in 1907. Additional crane tanks were built in 1913 and 1915, also 2-4-0Ts for South America and Calcutta, a 2-6-0T for the Knott End & Garstang Railway, 4-4-2T for New Zealand, two 0-6-2Ts for Iquique and four 0-4-2Ts for the Great North of Scotland Railway in 1914/15.

During WW1 locomotive production was reduced to supplying steelworks, collieries, etc. with locomotives, although quite a number were sent abroad to Spain, New Zealand, Australia, India and S. America. Ten Ministry of Munitions 0-6-0STs with outside cylinders were supplied to the Inland Waterways and Docks department.

Following WW1 Manning Wardle suffered from the trade depression. Although their locomotive design had kept abreast of the times, their manufacturing methods did not. Consquently, the competition for contracts, with keen prices and deliveries required, brought the firm to a halt. In 1927 the firm went into voluntary liquidation. The goodwill of the company was bought by Kitson & Co., a near neighbour; and the Hunslet Engine Co., its friendly rival, acquired part of the Boyne Engine Works.

It was an unfortunate end to a firm which had earned a reputation for excellent locomotives which could be found in all quarters of the globe.

The last works number was 2047 of 1926. Some numbers were blanks, others taken by petrol engines, and air engines so that the number of steam locomotives built from 1859 to 1926 was 2004.

Hunt, David. Locomotive builders to the Midland Railway. Midland Record, (21), 111-26.
Firm supplied a few locomotives to Midland Railway: Hunt did not cite his sources.
Smithers, Mark. The Manning Wardle pedigree. Rly Wld Ann., 1988, 6-13.

Individual locomotives

1134/1890: wt 16½ tons 12in x 17in cylinders

Originally supplied to Logan & Hemingway as their No. 11
In 1902 owned Jackson & Co., Doncaster
Used on Mid-Suffolk Light Railway in 1902 where named Lady Stevenson
Passed to WC&PR Portishead extension
Used on construction of Portishead Power Station: then broken up c1927

Comfort, N.A.: Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Locomotion Papers No. 22
See also Abbott's Crane locomotives.


British Locomotive Manufacturers

Steam index home page