- Horwich Works
Horwich railway works was built in 1886 by the
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railwayin Horwich, near Bolton, in the North West of Englandwhen it moved from its original works at Miles Platting.
The first engine was a
2-4-2tank engine designed by John Aspinall. This locomotive was No. 1008 which is now preserved at the National Railway Museum. By 1899 a further 677 locomotives were built, and another 220 under Henry Hoy.
In 1901, the Aspinall-designed 'Atlantic' 4-4-2 express locomotive was introduced and, by 1907 Horwich produced its thousandth engine, a four cylinder compound
In 1923 when the railway became part of the LMS, its Chief Mechanical Engineer was George Hughes who remained at Horwich. In 1926 he was responsible for a
2-6-0locomotive which had an unusual appearance for the time, which became known as the "Horwich Crab." It was extremely successful - about 245 were built, and many lasted into the 1960s. Three of the four future Chief Mechanical Engineers of the post-grouping railways learned their craft at Horwich: Nigel Gresley, Henry Fowler and Richard Maunsell, as well as Alliott Verdon-Roewho went on to found the Avroaeroplane company.
Nationalisation and closure
After the of 1948, twenty new
BR standard class 4 2-6-0tender engines were built. The last steam engine was built at Horwich in 1957 and the last locomotive (number 48756) overhauled on May the 4th 1964. Horwich did continue as a works for other rolling stock up to 1983. The foundry and the spring shop continued in use after this date, though the work force was reduced from 1400 to 300. In this form it was sold by BRELto the Parkfield Group in 1988. The rail connection was finally removed in 1989.
The site is now an industrial estate, appropriately named "Horwich Loco", with most of the buildings still in use.
* Simmons, J., (1986) "The Railway in Town and Country," Newton Abott: David and Charles
* Larkin, E.J., Larkin, J.G., (1988) "The Railway Workshops of Great Britain 1823-1986," Macmillan Press
* Railway Magazine 1964 P600 (last overhauled loco)
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