The Hunslet Engine Company
is a British locomotive
-building company founded in 1864 at Jack Lane, Hunslet
, West Yorkshire
by John Towlerton Leather, a civil engineering contractor, who appointed James Campbell (son of Alexander Campbell, a Leeds engineer) as his Works Manager.
In 1871, James Campbell bought the company for £25,000 (payable in five installments over two years) and the firm remained in the Campbell family ownership for many years. Between 1865 and 1870, production had averaged less than ten engines per year, but in 1871 this had risen to seventeen and was set to rise over the next thirty years to a modest maximum of thirty-four.
The early years 1864-1901
- Standard gauge
The first engine built in 1865 was Linden
a standard gauge 0-6-0 saddle tank
delivered to Brassey and Ballard
, a railway civil engineering contractor as were several of the firm's early customers. Other customers included collieries. This basic standard gauge shunting and short haul 'industrial' engine was to be the main-stay of Hunslet production for many years. From the start, Hunslet regularly sent fitters to carry out repairs to its engines on customers' premises and this is a service that the Hunslet Engine Company were still offering in 2006, over 140 years after their establishment.
- Narrow gauge
In 1870, Hunslet constructed their first narrow gauge engine Dinorwic
, a diminutive gauge 0-4-0
saddle tank for the Dinorwic Slate Quarry
. This engine... Read More