Vulcan Foundry

British Locomotive Manufacturers

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This works was established by Charles Tayleur in 1830 at Newton-le-Willows approximately at the half-way point of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. With the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway it was realised that a locomotive manufacturing works in Lancashire would obviate the cost involved in transporting locomotives from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Robert Stephenson joined Tayleur in 1832, but left the partnership probably due to pressure from Stephenson's Tyneside associates.

The first locomotive was completed in 1833, the first of two 0-4-0s ordered by Hargreaves for the North Union Railway. This was similar to Stephenson's Planet design 'A' and was named Tayleur. The second one was Stephenson. In 1833 three 2-2-0s were built for the Warrington & Newton Railway and were similar to Stephenson's Planet design 'B', with two inside cylinders. Two 4-2-0s were built and sent to America for the Philadelphia & Colombia Railroad. followed by three more of the same type in 1835 for the South Carolina Railroad. They were the first bogie locomotives to be built in Britain but no details are available as to how the bogie was mounted or pivotted.

Became Vulcan Foundry in 1847 and a limited company in 1863.

Eight 2-2-2s were built for the Paris & St Germain Railway (1835/6), one 0-4-2 for the Belgian State Railway (1835). two 0-4-0s for the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad. (1836). one 2-2-2 to Russia (1837) and two 0-4-2s to Vienna. These exports formed the beginning of an excellent export trade which the firm built up and maintained throughout. The Stephenson influence was strong and in the 1840s many 'long boilered' types were built.

In 1847 the firm's name changed from Charles Tayleur to the Vulcan Foundry and in 1864 it became a limited liability company. Limited was added to the title from 1 January 1898.

In 1852 the first locomotives to run in India were built. They were to the 5' 6" gauge for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and comprised eight 2-4-0s. This order for India was to be the first of many spanning over a century, when average output over this period was one locomotive every fortnight.

The first Fairlie locomotives to be built by Vulcan were two for the Dunedin & Port Chalmers Railway (3ft 6in gauge) and two for the Peruvian Government Railway (2ft 6in. gauge). All were 0-4-4-0Ts built in 1872. Other Fairlie locomotives supplied included the single Fairlie Taliisin for the Festiniog Railway (1876), and the large 0-6-6-0Ts in 1910 for the Mexican Railways,

In 1870 the first locomotive to run in Japan was built: a 2-4-0T, with outside cylinders for the 3ft 6in gauge and weighed 14 tone cwt. An unusual 0-4-0ST was supplied in 1873 to the Tredegar Iron Company with 3ft diameter flangeless wheels, to run on angle iron rails..From1870 many of the well known Kirtley double frame 0-6-0 locomotives were supplied to the Midland Railway.

A steady flow of orders came from the home. railways, including Ireland, and from Russia, Uruquay, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Spain etc., but the dominating orders were from India and the Argentine. To indicate how strong the Indian and Ceylon market was, out of 1032 locomotives built between 1907 and 1918, 977 were exported to those countries in including 4-6-0, 0-6-0, 2-8-0, 0-6-4T, 4-4-0, 0-4-2, crane tanks and 4-4-2 types.

Following WW1 this pattern continued. Thirty eight 4-8-0s were supplied to the Kenya & Uganda Railway's metre gauge in 1922-4. Twenty standard LMS 0-6-0Ts were built in 1924 (LMS 7100-7119), followed in 1926/7 by one hundred more (LMS Nos. 16460-16509 and 16550-16599). An order was placed by the LMS for sixty-five compound 4-4-0s: LMS Nos 1160-1184, (built 1925); 1185-1199 and 900-924 in 1927.

Orders in the early 1930s were still mainly from India, with smaller orders from Tanganyika and the Argentine. The trade recession was felt in 1932/3 and in 1934 a large order. from the LMS for Stanier designed two cylinder 4-6-0s and 2-8-0s helped considerably in maintaining work in the shops. Twenty-four 4-8-0s were built In 1935 for the Chinese National Railway.

Few locomotives were built in the early years of WW2, but in 1943 work was concentrated on building Austerity 2-8-0s to the Ministry of Supply design of which 396 were built during 1943-;5 after which a batch of fifty 0-6-0ST of standard design were builtS. At the end of WW2 one hundred and twenty 2-8-0 Liberation class were built for UNRRA for service in Europe. These were large ;ocomotives with two outside cylinders of were 21 5/8in  x 28in, boiler heating surface total 2933 ft2, grate area 44 ft2 and a boiler pressure of 227 psi. The maximum axleload was 18½ tons and the weight of locomotive and tender was 142+ tons. The tender was mounted on two bogies and carried 5500 gallbns of water and 10 tons of coal. For their wheel arrangement they were gigantic machines.

There was a severe shortage of locomotives in India due to the War, but the post Independence India either built these at home or obtained them from elsewhere.

The Vulcan Foundry was re-equipped to manufacture diesel and electric locomotives and in March 1955 Vulcan Foundry became a member of English Electric group together with Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn. So ended a magnificent record of steam locomotive building with a total of 6210 units. Lowe

See also Harry Jack Clement Edwin Stretton, Rly Arch., 2008 (18), 66:Jack warns that Stretton's compilations of the locomotive output from the Vulcan Foundry are fictitious.

Collingwood, Gerald
Youngest son of William and like father became Managing Director of the Vulcan Foundry: see Bond My lifetime with locomotives.

Collingwood, Sir William
Born London, 18 August 1855; died 2 November 1928. Managing Director, Vulcan Foundry from 1892. Educated Dedham Grammar School. Trained under William Adams at Bow Works and then at Stratford. District Locomotive Superintendent East Indian Railway, 1880–92. Awarded KBE 1917. Who Was Who and  Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1911, 17, 23 (included portrait).

Tayleur, Charles
Marshall states that Tayleur was borm at Rodington Hall, Shrewsbury in 1785 and died at Morley, Devon on 14 June 1854. He was a director of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway and founder of the Vulcan Foundry at Newton-le-Willows which was well placed to serve the new railway.

Whalley, Frederick Seymour
Born 1 May 1885. Educated King's School, Canterbury and City & Guilds Techniccal College. Trained as an engineer at Vulcan Foundry, then joined running department of LNWR before joining North Western Railway in India. In 1923 he became the Gerneral Manager of the Vulcan Foundry, in 1929 its Managing Director and in 1941 its Vice Chairman. He dird on 17 November 1958. Obituary J. Instn Loco. Engrs., 1958, 48, 510 (with portrait)...

Books & other references to:
The Vulcan Locomotive Works, 1830-1930. London: Locomotive Publishing Co. Ltd. 122 pp.
Reviewd in Locomotive Magazine in 1931, 37, 179.This is a detailed description of the up-to-date plant of the locomotive works of the Vulcan Foundry Ltd. at Newton-le-Willows, as well as a record of varied designs of locomotives built there. Established in 1830, the firm celebrated its centenary last year, and historical accounts of its achievements during that period form practically a chronicle of locomotive development. Numerous illustrations and a series of collotype plates show the varied types of locomotives constructed during that period. A special chapter is devoted to the Indian standard locomotives supplied during recent years, and another section deals with the latest methods of shipment of locomotives for railway overseas. To those interested in British locomotive history the book will be found to contain much interesting data, with illustrations which have not hitherto been published. The work represents a considerable amount of research in the archives of the firm.
Gudgin, D.S.E. Vulcan Foundry locomotives, 1832-1956. Truro: Bradford Barton, 1976. 96pp.
Ottley 10536: KPJ has not inspected, but presume that is mainly pictorial.
Dewhurst, P.C. and Holcroft, Harold. The Fairlie locomotive - Part 2. Later designs and productions. Trans. Newcomen Soc., 1966, 39, 1-34.

The Vulcan Locomotive Works.. Locomotive Mag., 1905, 11, 8.

2012-11-13