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England's Biggest Locomotive Building City
Engine making in Leeds goes back to the late 18th century and in 1812 the first commercial use of steam locomotives in the world began here with Murray, Fenton and Wood built locomotives hauling coal on the Middleton Railway. Leeds is proud to have built more railway engines than any other place in England, including the big engine building cities of Swindon, Doncaster and Crewe. This is a surprise to many as the Leeds built locomotives were largely for export or for un-glamourous working lives in industry or even down mines.
A Diverse Range of Products
Leeds firms also produced stationary engines, all varients of steam road locomotives, rollers and lorries. Leeds was an important centre of steam crane production as well as planes, trams, buses and cars. With these pages it is hoped to provide plenty of information about the several firms that operated in the Leeds area. Click on the links on the left of the page to visit our series of histories of the engine makers, our database of Leeds built engines, picture galleries, walking tours of the sites today and all sorts of features about our engine making heritage.
85 years ago on this day in 1938.
In 1938 John Fowler & Co had decided to concentrate on the internal combustion market. When they received another order for one of their popular narrow gauge steam locos for an Australian sugar mill they sent the order to Hudswell Clarke, it left their works on this day in 1938. Fowler subsequently sold the rights to Bundaburg Foundry who produced the locos as Bundaburg Fowlers"
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