Walkers Limited

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Walkers Limited
Industry Engineering
Successors Downer EDi
Founded 1863
Founders John Walker
Defunct March 2001
Headquarters Maryborough
Products Railway locomotives
Railway rolling stock
Parent Evans Deakin Industries

Walkers Limited was an Australian engineering company, based in Maryborough, Queensland. It built ships and railway locomotives. The Walkers factory still produces railway locomotives and rolling stock as part of Downer Rail.


Preserved Queensland BB18¼ class at Enoggera in April 2009
Preserved Emu Bay Railway 10 class on the Zig Zag Railway in July 2011

In 1863 John Walker and three friends set up the Union Foundry of John Walker & Co in Ballarat, Victoria. In 1867 a branch was opened in Maryborough.[1]

The Ballarat assets were disposed of in 1879 and in 1884, the business became a limited company under the title John Walker & Co Limited, being renamed Walkers Limited in 1888. The company produced most of the parts for machinery at sugar mills.[2]

In 1980 Walkers Limited was sold to Evans Deakin Industries. It was included in the purchase of Evans Deakin by Downer Group in March 2001 and today the Maryborough factory continues to operate as part of Downer Rail.[3][4]


In 1884, the firm began work on 5 hopper barges for the Queensland Department of Harbours & Rivers. During construction the decision was taken to convert them to also serve as Auxiliary Gunboats, which made them the largest warships built in Australia before federation. During World War II, Walkers constructed two River class frigates, a Bay class frigate and seven Bathurst class corvettes, in addition to other smaller vessels. Post war naval contracts included seven Attack class patrol boats in the late 1960s and eight Balikpapan class landing craft heavy in the early 1970s. After the completion of the latter, Walker's Maryborough shipyard closed in 1974.

Royal Australian Navy ships[edit]


The company's first locomotive was built at Maryborough in 1873. The first major contract for locomotives came in 1896, when an order for thirty B15 class steam locomotives was placed by Queensland Railways.[1] In the 1960s Walkers offered a diesel-hydraulic unit to Queensland's sugar operators. Although not successful, it did sell six to BHP, Whyalla from 1962. It had more success with its DH class shunter with over 130 built for Queensland Rail, the New South Wales Government Railways and Emu Bay Railway.

Steam locomotives[edit]

Diesel electric locomotives[edit]

Diesel hydraulic locomotives[edit]

Electric locomotives[edit]

Electric multiple units[edit]

Tilt Trains[edit]


  1. ^ a b West, AM (1994). Made in Maryborough. Brisbane: Australian Railway Historical Society, Queensland Division. 
  2. ^ "Maryborough". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Evans Deakin Industries Limited delisted.com.au
  4. ^ Annual Report 30 June 2001 Downer EDI
  5. ^ "EDI Wins Light Rail Order Extension" Railway Digest June 1995 page 9