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Yorkshire Engine Company

The Yorkshire Engine Company (YEC) was a small independent locomotive manufacturer in Sheffield, England. The Company was formed in 1865 and set up business at the Meadowhall Works. The first order received was for three 2-2-2 locomotives for the Great Northern Railway, although the specification was changed and they were supplied as 2-4-0s. arrangement. Next came orders for fifty 0-6-0 locomotives for two Indian railways, followed some time later by orders from three Russian railways. Locomotives were supplied to Argentina, Australia and Japan, and a number of small 0-4-0 saddle tanks were supplied to local collieries. The company continued to take on general engineering work to supplement the building of locomotives for most of its existence. The building of locomotives to Robert Fairlie's patent started at the end of 1871. Between 1872 and 1883, 13 0-6-6-0 double ended machines were supplied to the Mexican Railway in 3 batches. The middle batch had Walschaerts valve gear, believed to be the first time that this design was built in Britain. The Mexican locomotives were capable of burning coal or wood as a fuel, while two supplied to Sweden burnt peat, but the peat burners were not a success and were rebuilt at four 2-4-0 saddle tanks. 10 2-6-6-2 Fairlies were built for Peru, but 4 eventually went instead to the Trancaucasian Railway near the Black Sea, and 6 were eventually shipped to a new Nitrate Railway Company in 1882. At 85 tons each, they were reported to be the heaviest locomotives in the world in 1885. When there was insufficient work, the company built 0-4-0 saddle tanks for stock, which enabled collieries and engineering works to buy locomotives off the shelf. This practice continued throughout the life of the company. By 1880, the company was in serious financial difficulties and, despite a successful call to shareholders for more money, the company chose voluntary liquidation as the best option in July 1880. In September 1883, the second Yorkshire Engine Company was launched, although few locomotive manufacturers were profitable at the time. Early YEC locomotives produced for the UK market consisted mainly of 0-4-0STs and 0-6-0STs, with the collieries and steelworks of Yorkshire as regular customers. YEC undertook orders for mainline locomotive for the UK and overseas countries.
Various locomotives were built for the Great Northern Railway, Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and the Great Eastern Railway. In 1874, an order of 13 F class locomotives was dispatched to New Zealand. In 1901 four F Class 0-6-2T locomotives were built for use on the Metropolitan Railway main line to Aylesbury. More orders from the Metropolitan Railway followed in 1915 and 1916 for larger G Class 0-6-4Ts. Unlike the F Class, the G Class locomotives passed to the LNER and only lasted in service for 30 years. 1928 saw deliveries to the LNER directly from Sheffield. These 9 locomotives (LNER 2682 to 2690) were Class N2 0-6-2Ts for working suburban trains. Along with a number of other private builders, YEC built a batch of GWR 5700 Class 0-6-0PTs in 1929/1930. The business was bought by the United Steel Companies Limited (USC) in 1945. Between 1949 and 1956 50 GWR 9400 Class 0-6-0PTs were built for British Railways. The last of these, BR No. 3409 (YE2584 of 1956), was the last steam locomotive built at Meadowhall and the last BR locomotive to be built to a pre-nationalisation design. The order for these locomotives had actually been given to the Hunslet Engine Company in Leeds but as they were already busy, the work was sub-contracted to Sheffield. The design for a modern 0-6-0ST locomotive was bought from Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns and locomotives of this type were built for various steel works, primarily as replacements for locomotives worn out during WW2. In 1952 a range of 4 designs of diesel locomotives were produced; the DE1, 2, 3 (never built) and 4 ranging from 240 hp to 400 hp. When Rolls-Royce Diesels introduced their C range engine, it was quickly adopted by locomotive builders for use in diesel-hydraulic locomotives, and YEC used the C series engines in a new range of locomotives, the first of which was introduced in 1955 and which continued to evolve until 1965. In 1960 and 1961 batches of 180 hp diesel-hydraulic locomotives, totalling 20, were built for British Railways. Yorkshire Engine Co built the chassis and bodies of the 10 prototype Class 15 locomotives under contract from British Thomson Houston Co. Ltd. (BTH). Locomotive construction ended in 1965. The rights to the YEC designs and the good will of the business were sold to Rolls-Royce ‘Sentinel Division’ at Shrewsbury who had previously supplied a high proportion of diesel engines used by YEC and were a competitor in the industrial locomotive market. When Rolls-Royce hit financial problems in 1971 they stopped all locomotive work.
L44 steam locomotive This seems to be the Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T E Class no. 1 (London Transport L44), built between...
Metropolitan 1 I think this is the same steam locomotive as picture #7694. The Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T E Class ...
Romney White & Dymchurch 10 Impressive sight of a steam locomotive line-up, by the looks of it four engines are puffing away her...
Doctor Syn Photo of the Romney White & Dymchurch's number 10 steam locomotive, Doctor Syn, a 1931 built 4-6-2 s...
2895 at Elsecar Railway 6/3/2010 2895 0-6-0DE Earl of Strafford at the Elsecar Railway. My thanks for the guided tour go to...
Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Photo of the Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T E Class no. 1 steam locomotive, restored and in working ord...
Winston Another RHDR steam locomotive, seemingly a 4-6-2. I guess this is the Yorkshire Engine Company built...
Steam locomotive Doctor Syn Front view of the Romney White & Dymchurch 10 (see picture #7898 also) In black livery with white d...
D 2853 Shunter. Saw this diesel-hydraulic shunter,170hp 0-4-0,built by the Yorkshire Engine Company,about to pull an...
Arnold Machin. Built in 1958,Arnold Machin was purchased by the Eccles Slag Company and worked in their sidings unt...
RHDR 10 DR SYN My personal favourite taken at New Romney in August 1980. Ed.: See picture #8762 also for this ...
Metropolitan 1 steam locomotive Metropolitan number 1 at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. See also picture #7896 Photo © The...

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