Australian Steam Locomotive Builders

Here is a list of Australian Steam Locomotive Builders … that is the companies from around the world that built the steam locomotives that were used here in Australia.

I can’t say that the list is complete because I often come across the name of another manufacturer who has built a loco for some obscure Australian customer … and those will be added as I find them.

What I can say about the list is that these companies are the ones who built the steam locos that have run everything from mainline passenger services to small industrial trains consisting of a few skips full of gravel.

The abbreviations

CRCommonwealth Railways
MRMidland Railway
NSWGRNew South Wales Government Railways
NARNorth Australian Railways
PWDNSW Public Works Department
QRQueensland Railways
PrPrivate operators
SARSouth Australian Railways
TGRTasmanian Government Railways
TGRngTasmanian Government Railways narrow gauge
TMLRTasmanian Main Line Railway
VRVictorian Railways
VRngVictorian Government Railways narrow gauge
WAGRWest Australian Government Railways
A WAGR Pmr Class steam loco
A Pmr Class Loco built by the North British Locomotive Company in 1950

Australian Iron and Steel – Port Kembla, NSW

Pr

Andrew Barclay & Co – Kilmarnock, Scotland

PWD, Pr

Armstrong Whitworth & Co – UK

QR, SAR

Arnold Jung – Berlin, Germany

Pr

Avonside Engine Co – Briston, England

QR, WAGR, Pr

Baldwin Lima Hamilton – USA

NSWGR, Pr

Baldwin Locomotive Works – Philadelphia, USA

NSWGR, QR, SAR, VRng, Pr

Beyer Peacock & Co – Manchester, UK

NSWGR, QR, VR, SAR, TGR, WAGR, Pr

BHP – Port Kembla, NSW

Pr

Black Hawthorn & Company – Gateshead, UK

Pr

Bundaberg Foundry – Bundaberg, Qld

Pr – various sugar mills along the Queensland coast

Cardiff Railway Workshops – Cardiff, NSW

NSWGR

Clyde Engineering – Granville, NSW

NSWGR

Climax Manufacturing Company – US

Pr

Couillet – Belgium

The company’s full name was: Société Anonyme Usines Métallurgiques du Hainaut – Locomotives Couillet

Pr

Dubs & Co – UK

NSWGR, QR, WAGR,

Pr – TMLR

Peckett & Sons built this loco in 1926 for Melbourne’s Metropolitan Gas Company. It’s now in the hands of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society

Evans Anderson & Phelan – Kangaroo Point, Qld

QR

Eveleigh Railway Workshops – Eveleigh, NSW

NSWGR – numerous classes of locomotives of all types except articulated.

Fox Walker – UK

PR – TMLR

Franco-Belge Corporation – France

QR

George England & Co – UK

VR

Great Central Railway – UK

Pr

Henry Vale & Co – Sydney, NSW

NSWGR

H K Porter & Co – Pittsburgh, USA

Pr

Hudswell Clarke – UK

PWD, Pr – Midland Railway WA

Hunslet Engineering Company – Leeds, UK

NSW PWD
Ida Bay Railway 1937 610mm 0-4-2T with full-length canopy

The SAR F Class were built by three different builders from 1902 to 1922. This particular loco was built by Perry Engineering in 1922

Islington Railway Workshops – Adelaide, South Australia

SAR – numerous classes of all types of locomotives

James Cross – St Helens, UK

QR

James Martin & Co – Gawler, South Australia

SAR, WAGR

John Fowler & Co – Leeds, UK

PWD, Pr

Kerr Stuart – Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Pr

Kitson & Company – Leeds, UK

QR, VR Pr

Lima Locomotive Works – USA

Pr

Lokomotivfabrik Krauss & Co – Munich, Germany

NSWGR, PWD, TGRng, Pr

Manning Wardle Company – Leeds, UK

NSWGR, PWD, Pr

Maschinenfabrik Christian Hagans – Erfut, Germany

TGRng

Midland Railway Workshops – Western Australia

WAGR, Pr

Morts Dock – Sydney, New South Wales

PR – Great Cobar Copper Mining Company, two 610mm 0-4-0ST

Munro & Co – Melbourne, Australia

VR

Dubs & Co built 20 of these heavy mineral tank locos for the NSWGR
Dubs & Company built 20 of these large mineral tank locos for the NSWGR in 1891 with delivery in early 1892

Murray and Paterson – Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland

PR
Aberdare Colliery, Qld

Naysmith Wilson – UK

WAGR, Pr

Newport Railway Workshops – Melbourne, Australia

VR, VRng

Nielson & Co – UK

QR, WAGR

North British – UK

NSWGR, SAR, WAGR, Pr

Orenstein & Koppel – Germany

Pr

Parkinson & Monaghan Engineers – Bathurst Street, Sydney

NSWPD

Peckett & Sons – Atlas Engine Works, Bristol UK

Pr

Phoenix Engine Co – Ipswich Qld

QR

Phoenix Foundry – Ballarat Vic

VR

Queensland Railways – Ipswich Qld

QR

R Hudson

Pr

R&W Hawthorn & Coy – Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK

Pr

Robert Hudson – UK

Pr

Robert Stephenson & Co – Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK

NSWGR, SAR, Pr

625 of the South Australian Railways 600 Class was photographed in Adelaide on 5 May, 1962. These locos had a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement and they were built to operate on everything from heavy mainlines to light branchlines. 10 locos were built by the Railway’s Islington Workshop between 1936 and 1938. All had been withdrawn by September 1969

Rhodes Timber Company – Taree NSW

Pr

Sentinel Waggon Works – Shrewsbury – England

NAR, TGR, WAGR, Pr

Sharp Stewart – Glasgow – Scotland – TGR

Slaughter Grunning, Bristol – UK

VR, QR
In 1865 this company became the Avonside Engine Company

Smith, Forrester & Co – Brisbane Qld

Pr

Societe Anonyme De Gouillet – Belgium

Pr

Societe Cockerill Serang – Belgium

Pr

Springhall & Frost – Ipswich Qld

QR

Thomas Green & Sons – Leeds, UK

Pr

Toowoomba Foundry – Toowoomba Qld

QR & CR

Unknown

There are quite a few steam locomotives, that worked in various parts of the country, that have become orphans when records were lost and details of the builder became uncertain.

There were also plenty of instances of steam locomotives that were cobbled together by sawmills, and other industries, from bits they had lying around. Few records, other than occasional photos, remain of these locomotives so they will be included here with what information is available.

Unknown – Foden steam lorry parts. Used on the Beaudesert Tramway

steam locomotive bult on a Foden Steam Lorry
A 1944 photo of a chain-driven 2-4-0 steam lcomotive that is believed to have been built using parts from a Foden Steam Lorry. When photographed this locomotive was in use on the Beaudesert Tramway in Queensland

Vale & Lacy – Sydney, NSW

NSWGR

Vulcan Foundry – Newton-le-Willows, UK

NSWGR, WAGR,

Vulcan Iron Works – Wilkes Barre, USA

Pr

Walkers Limited – Maryborough, Qld

QR, SAR, VR, CR, TAR, TGR

William Fairbairn & Sons – Manchester, UK

SAR

Yorkshire Engine Company – Medlow Hall Works

QR, Pr

J & A Brown’s No 19 (seen here at Hexham in January 1962) was originally built for war service in Europe in WWI but was acquired for use on the Richmond Vale Railway in the Hunter Valley. 12 identical locos were bought at the same time as No 19with the first arriving in 1926 and the last landing in 1927. The last of these locos were withdrawn in 1973 while this particular loco was out of service by 1967.

Page last updated 21 December, 2021

Bibliography

Armstrong John, 1986, revised second edition 2017, Locomotives in the Tropics, Volume 1, Australian Railway Historical Society, Brisbane Australia

Clarke Peter, An Australian Locomotive Guide, Rosenberg Publishing, Dural Australia

Lowe James W, 1975 reprinted 2014, British Steam Locomotive Builders, Pen and Sword Books Ltd, Barnsley UK

McCarthy K, 1983, Gazetteer of Industrial Steam Locomotives Illawarra District, Australian Railway Historical Society (NSW Division)

Oberg Leon, 1996, 1850s-1990s Locomotives of Australia, Third Edition, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst Australia

Websites
Chris’s Commonwealth Railways Information – comrails.com/sar_locos/r_b_f.html

Puffing Billy – puffingbilly.com.au/

Unless otherwise indicated photographs on this web page are by Weston Langford.
They are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License