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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following on from Neil's comment on Doug's review of the Lilliput 140_C_314 about looking out for locomotives from North British whenever he is out and about (in Australia and presumably elsewhere), I was wondering just how many British Locomotive Works there actually were. I once read that the British city / town which produced the largest number of locomotives was not one of the well known railway company works of Crewe, Swindon, Doncaster or Ashford but one which produced large numbers of unglamorous small tank locos for use in quarries and other places. As I have a residual connection with Leeds, I think this was the city in question, but I don't know much about the locomotive words based there and even less how many they built. The companies I have identified are Kitson, Hunslet (they are still building steam locomotives, follow this link), Fowler (There's a restored Fowler in Queensland Australia - link).

Stephenson's locomotive works were located in Newcastle. Barclays & Co were located in Kilmarnock, which is not to be confused with Andrew Barclay Locomotive works also base in Kilmarnock.

So how many more were there and has anyone any idea of how many locomotives were produced?

David
 

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My money would be on Leeds. Hunslet, Hudswell Clarke, Manning Wardle and Fowlers all across the road from each other, plus Kitsons. The other possibility would be Glasgow - North British, Neilsons, Dubs, and no doubt others I've forgotten.

Given the rate at which they all amalgamated with each other you could have a job for life trying to tot them up. Don Townsley filled a very large (and very good) book* on Hunslet alone. From the beginning in Leeds you've got Murray, Fenton & Wood; Murray, Fenton & Jackson; Todd, Kitson & Laird; Laird, Kitson & Co; Kitson, Thompson & Hewitson; Kitson & Co; Harthorn, Davy & Co; Shephard & Todd; E.B Wilson & Co; Wilson & Craven and we aren't even up to 1860 yet !

*The Hunslet Engine Co - Over a Century and a Half of Locomotive Building - Don Townsley, PLateway Press, 1998
 

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I remember Metropolitan Vickers in Stockton & Barrow in Furness and Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn in Darlington all around the late 50`s and early 60`s
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 29 Aug 2008, 05:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'd have thought Glasgow would have had the greatest concentration of them but would have to look into it.

You would be right about that. The NBL produced just over 28,000 locos and was the biggest single producer in Europe and probably the world. I doubt even China has made more steam locos. I was an udergraduate drawing office trainee at the NBL many years ago. The 28,000 includes the locos built by the companies which amalgamated in 1903 to form the NBL - Sharp Stewart, Neilson Reid, and Dubs. I was also born in Springburn within sound of the factory hooter which is maybe why I have always been a steam loco man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I came across this list of steam locomotive builders and related products. It appears to be very comprehensive. Some of the information listed gives estimates for the number of locomotives produced but I don't think there's enough in this one source to be able to come to any definite conclusion. It's a fascinating resource none the less.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 29 Aug 2008, 22:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I came across this list of steam locomotive builders and related products. It appears to be very comprehensive. Some of the information listed gives estimates for the number of locomotives produced but I don't think there's enough in this one source to be able to come to any definite conclusion..
There is also the little matter of what counts as a 'locomotive works'. If you go for a definition of an independent company having constructed for sale at least two locos substantially built at the works from parts of their own manufacture (excludes collieries, ironworks and other manufacturing outfits who may have built or assembled from parts locos for their own use) then my interpretation of the list comes to 135 distinct 'locomotive works'. It has to be recognised that this is all very rough and ready: some of the early builders used more than one site to build their locos; and then subsequent amalgamations mean that the same works location may have had several different builders name plates over the door as the years go by. Add in the locomotive works of the railway companies, and I should think about 200 would be a likely total.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was thinking of Ready To Run locomotives leaving the works.

David
 

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Nothing to do with steam but I remember going into a factory I think in Barnsley South Yorkshire or near Barnsley probably around 1990 and seeing the body of a channel tunnel electric loco the ones that pull the shuttles.
 

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QUOTE Nothing to do with steam but I remember going into a factory I think in Barnsley South Yorkshire or near Barnsley probably around 1990 and seeing the body of a channel tunnel electric loco the ones that pull the shuttles. smile.gif

Qualter Hall on Summer Lane I think, better known for building colliery skips and winding gear etc. I think they were sub-contracted by someone else (Procor ?).
 
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