Leeds Engine:Histories: Bradford Firms

A Brief History of Bradford Locomotive Industry

Unlike Leeds there were only a handful of railway engines built in the nearby city of Bradford. All of these were constructed by firms located on Thornton Road. There were many firms serving the various mills in the city.

John Smith, quite a common name combination not to be confused with the brewery in Tadcaster, had a works on Thornton Road. The iron foundry was shown as being run by Smith and Richardson in 1837, the name was changed in 1842. One locomotives was supplied to Grand Junction Railway in 1840 possibly built by the Haigh Foundry in Wigan though this is not listed against this maker!

Thwaites and Carbutt were located in the Vulcan Works also on Thornton Road. Principal products were the Root's patent blower for use in forges etc. Other items supplied included hoists, compressors and engines for rolling mills. In 1848 they manufactured a locomotive which apparently EB Wilson had refused to build. This was built to a patented design by John Jones of Bristol. The design incorporated a unique transverse segmental cylinder betwixt the driving wheels. A drawing for this loco can be seen in Ahrons book and the vibratory loco page as listed below.

Later in 1866 three 0-6-0 engines were supplied to Boulton of Cardiff. An odd engine was built by Sharp Stewart and Thwaites acted as an agent for this one.

The locomotives
John Smith
1840 2-2-2 GJR 60 "Tantalus"
Thwaites and Carbutt
1848 0-4-2 South Yorkshire Rly 5 "Albion"
1866 0-6-0 Boulton's Sidings, Cardiff Three built

For more information see:-
Title Author ISBN
The British Steam Railway Locomotive 1825-1925 E.L. Ahrons 9781851701032
British Steam Locomotive Builders James W Lowe 9781473822894
External page about Vibratory engines


This article was produced by Andrew Johnson