Beyer, Peacock and Company

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Beyer, Peacock and Company Limited
IndustryLocomotive manufacturing
Founded1854
England
FoundersCharles Beyer
Richard Peacock
Henry Robertson
Defunct1966 (1966)
Headquarters
Areas served
Africa, South America, Asia, Australia and South Pacific
ProductsLocomotives and machine tools
Websitebeyerpeacock.co.uk Edit this on Wikidata

Beyer, Peacock and Company was an English railway locomotive manufacturer with a factory in Openshaw, Manchester. Founded by Charles Beyer, Richard Peacock and Henry Robertson, it traded from 1854 until 1966. The company exported locomotives, and machine tools to service them, throughout the world.

Founders[edit]

German-born Charles Beyer had undertaken engineering training related to cotton milling in Dresden before moving to England in 1831 aged 21. He secured employment as a draughtsman at Sharp, Roberts and Company's Atlas works in central Manchester, which manufactured cotton mill machinery and had just started building locomotives for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. There he was mentored by head engineer and prolific inventor of cotton mill machinery, Richard Roberts. By the time he resigned 22 years later he was well established as the company's head engineer; he had been involved in producing more than 600 locomotives.

Richard Peacock had been chief engineer of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway's locomotive works in Gorton when he resigned in 1854, confident in his ability to secure orders to build locomotives. Beyer’s resignation presented Peacock with a partnership opportunity. However, the business at the outset (Beyer, Peacock & Co.) was a legal partnership and the partners were therefore liable for debts should the business fail; in a mid-Victorian economic climate of boom and bust, it was a risky venture. Beyer could raise £9,524 (nearly £900,000 in 2015) and Peacock £5,500, but they still required a loan from Charles Geach (founder of the Midland Bank and first treasurer to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers), of which Beyer and Peacock had been founding members. Soon afterwards, however, Geach died, the loan was recalled, and the whole project nearly collapsed. Thomas Brassey came to the rescue, persuading Henry Robertson to provide a £4,000 loan in return for being the third (sleeping) partner.[1] It was not until 1883 that the company was incorporated as a private limited company and renamed Beyer, Peacock & Co. Ltd. In 1902 it took on its final form as a public limited company.[2][note 1]

During the Great Depression, faced with competition from tramways and electric railways, the company began to look for alternatives so that they were not dependent on one product. In 1932 they acquired their first company and in 1949 formed a joint company with Metropolitan-Vickers to build locomotives other than steam. By 1953 Beyer, Peacock had acquired more than five subsidiary companies; two others followed five years later. In 1958 Beyer, Peacock (Hymek) Ltd was formed.[2]

Gorton Foundry[edit]

Not to be confused with Gorton Works (also known as Gorton Tank).
Layout of the Gorton Foundry workshops of Beyer, Peacock and Co. Ltd

Beyer and Peacock started building their Gorton Foundry in 1854 two miles east from the centre of Manchester at Openshaw on a 12-acre site, on the opposite (south) side of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) line from Peacock's previous works.[note 2] The site was chosen because land was cheaper than in the city, allowing ample room to expand, and there was a good water supply from an MS&LR reservoir. At the Foundry, Beyer designed and manufactured machine tools needed to build the locomotives, and oversaw locomotive design and production. Peacock dealt with the business side, often travelling to continental Europe to secure orders.[3]

In July 1855 the first locomotive, built for the Great Western Railway, left Gorton Foundry. Between 1854 and 1868 the company built 844 locomotives, of which 476 were exported. The company sold mainly to the British colonies, Southern Africa and South America; it never broke into the North American market.[2]

During the First World War Beyer, Peacock manufactured artillery; in August 1915 Gorton Works was put under government control with production switching almost entirely to the war effort, especially heavy field artillery. During the Second World War, the company was again brought under government control but continued to build locomotives throughout the war.[2]

Condensing locomotives for underground railways[edit]

Beyer, Peacock's innovative condensing locomotive of 1871 – the inaugural motive power for London's underground railway. The large black pipe and another on the right-hand side took steam from the cylinders to the side tanks rather than ejecting it into the atmosphere as on conventional locomotives.

A technological innovation that strengthened the company's reputation was the world's first successful condensing[note 3] locomotive design for London's first underground railway – the Metropolitan Railway A Class 4-4-0 tank engine. Between 1864 and 1886, 148 were built for various railways; most operated until the lines' electrification in 1905. The locomotives' main designer, Hermann Ludwig Lange (1837–92), was a native of Beyer's home town, Plauen, Saxony (now Germany) who had undertaken an apprenticeship followed by engineering training. Beyer had invited him to England in 1861 and employed him for the first year in the company workshops, then as a draughtsman under his direction. He became chief draughtsman in 1864 or 1865. After Beyer's death in 1876, he became chief engineer and co-manager of the company.[1][4]

Beyer-Garratt articulated locomotives[edit]

The three separate units of a Beyer-Garratt locomotive. The tractive effort of this locomotive was double that of its 4-8-0 predecessor. (Click to enlarge.)

An articulated locomotive design that became renowned in the 20th century was another innovation, the Beyer-Garratt articulated locomotive (generically known as a "Garratt"), invented by Herbert William Garratt, who was granted a patent in 1908; Beyer, Peacock had sole rights of manufacture in Britain. After the patents ran out in 1928, the company began to use the name "Beyer-Garratt" to distinguish their locomotives.[2] They became widely used throughout Africa, South America, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, where difficult terrain and lightly laid, tightly curved track, usually narrow-gauge, severely limited the weight and power output of conventional locomotives. In Garratt's design, two girders holding a boiler[note 4] and a cab were slung between two "engine" units, each with cylinders, wheels and motion. The weight of the locomotive was therefore spread over a considerable distance. Both engine units were topped by water tanks. The unit adjoining the cab end also held a fuel bunker.[5][6]

Between 1909 and 1958, Beyer, Peacock built more than a thousand Garratts;[7] significant types are listed below. Among them, three of the most significant are preserved (see the "Preserved steam locomotives" table below):

Diesel and electric locomotives[edit]

In the decade following 1954, the company built four types of diesel-powered locomotives and two electric types, listed below.

Decline and closure[edit]

The late 1950s saw a rapid transformation in locomotive manufacture. In 1955 British Railways decided to switch from steam to diesel traction and by then overseas railways had done the same. A major problem the company soon faced was that it had chosen to make diesel-hydraulic locomotives when the Western Region had opted for lightweight locomotives with hydraulic transmission under the British Railways Modernisation Plan of 1955; but British Railways opted for diesel-electrics.[note 5] The company all but closed down the Gorton Foundry at the end of 1958.[2]

In 1966, after 112 years of operation, all production ceased at Gorton Foundry.[2] During that time, the company had built nearly 8,000 locomotives.[7]

As of 2012 the building that housed the former boiler shop, tender shop and bolier mounting shop – 550 feet (167 metres) in length – remained in use as part of the Hammerstone Road Depot of Manchester City Council.

Gallery[edit]

(click to enlarge)

Classes of locomotives[edit]

Steam[edit]

Conventional[edit]

Beyer-Garratt (articulated)[edit]

Steam turbine[edit]

Diesel[edit]

Electric[edit]

Preserved locomotives[edit]

Click "Show" to display.

Preserved steam locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock
BP No. Built Company built for Locomotive number Class Wheel arrangement Preserved at
33 1856 Statens Järnvägar 3 (43) Prins August B 2-4-0 On display at Swedish Railway Museum, Gävle
239 1861 Statens Järnvägar 22 (506) Thor Ä(Qä) 0-4-2}T On display at Swedish Railway Museum, Gävle
1863 T.B./later NORTE 29 Basconia 4-4-0}T On display at Abando Station, Bilbao
533 1865 Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen 13 (NS 705) 9-16 2-4-0 On display at Dutch Railway Museum, Utrecht
710 1866 Metropolitan Railway 23 A 4-4-0 T London Transport Museum, at Covent Garden
627 1866 Statens järnvägar 75 Göta A(Aa) 2-2-2 On display at Swedish Railway Museum, Gävle
809 1867 Statens järnvägar 93 Jernsida G(Gc) 0-6-0 Nynäs, Swedish Railway Museum, Gävle, see 1442
846 1868 St. Petersburg & Helsingfors Railway 9 B1 0-4-2 T Finnish Railway Museum, Hyvinkää
1255 1873 Isle of Man Railway 1 Sutherland 2-4-0 T Stored pending rebuild (Isle of Man Railway)
1255 1873 Isle of Man Railway 3 Pender 2-4-0 T On display at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (sectioned exhibit)
1416 1874 Isle of Man Railway 4 Loch 2-4-0 T In service (Isle of Man Steam Railway)
1417 1874 Isle of Man Railway 5 Mona 2-4-0 T Stored (Isle of Man Railway)
1442 1867 Statens järnvägar 161 Wik G(Gc) 0-6-0 Nynäs, Swedish Railway Museum, Gävle marked Gc 93
1524 1875 Isle of Man Railway 6 Peveril 2-4-0 T On display at the Port Erin Railway Museum
1647 1877 NSW Government Railways 1905 Z19 0-6-0 NSW Rail Museum
1767 1878 NSW Government Railways 120
(1210 after 1924)
Z12 class 4-4-0 Canberra Railway Museum
1827 1879 Beyer, Peacock and Company 1827 0-4-0 ST Operational at Foxfield Railway
1933 1880 Bergslagernas Järnvägar 27 K 0-6-0 Nynäs, Swedish Railway Museum, Gävle
2028 1880 Manx Northern Railway 3 Thornhill 2-4-0 T Privately preserved (Isle of Man)
2038 1880 Isle of Man Railway 7 Tynwald 2-4-0 T Dismantled for spares. Frames moved to Southwold Railway
2101 1881 Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Staatsspoorwegen 326 (NS 1326) 301-475 2-4-0 On display at Dutch Railway Museum, Utrecht
? 1883 Ferrocarril del Sud 46 ? 4-4-0 Mar del Plata railway station on static display
2601 1886 Mersey Railway/J. & A. Brown 1 The Major I 0-6-4 T NSW Rail Museum, Thirlmere, NSW, Australia
2605 1886 Mersey Railway 5 Cecil Raikes I 0-6-4 T Museum of Liverpool
2711 1886 Western Australian Government Railways A11 A 2-6-0 Meredith, Victoria, Australia?
3276 1890 Ferrocarril Alcoy Gandia 2 Villalonga 2-6-2 T On display at Al-Azraq Square, Alcoi, Spain
3282 1891 Ferrocarril Alcoy Gandia 7 Cocentaina 2-6-2 T On display at Gandia station, Spain
3402 1891 NSW Government Railways 3203 C32 4-6-0 NSW Rail Museum
3413 1892 NSW Government Railways 3214 C32 4-6-0 Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum
3436 1892 NSW Government Railways 3237 C32 4-6-0 Operational, Lachlan Valley Railway
3610 1894 Isle of Man Railway 8 Fenella 2-4-0 T In service (Isle of Man Railway)
3641 1894 Nippon Railway, Japan B104 B10 4-4-0 -> 4-4-2 T Kominato Railway, Ichihara, Chiba, Japan
3815 1896 Isle of Man Railway 9 Douglas 2-4-0 T Stored (Isle of Man Railway)
3911 1897 Nippon Railway, Japan 5540 5500 4-4-0 Ome Railway Park, Ome, Tokyo, Japan
4028 1898 Tobu Railway, Japan 5 B1 4-4-0 Tobu Museum, Sumida, Tokyo, Japan[9]
4029 1898 Tobu Railway, Japan 6 B1 4-4-0 Tobu Museum, Sumida, Tokyo, Japan[9]
4221 1901 NSW Government Railways 3265 Hunter C32 4-6-0 Operational, Powerhouse Museum
4372 1902 NSW Government Railways 5069 D50 2-8-0 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum
4662 1905 Isle of Man Railway 10 G.H. Wood 2-4-0 T In service (Isle of Man Steam Railway)
4663 1905 Isle of Man Railway 11 Maitland 2-4-0 T Stored pending rebuild (Isle of Man Railway)
4748 1906 Central Uruguay Railway 88 N 2-6-0 On display (Paysandú station, Uruguay)
4750 1906 Central Uruguay Railway 92 N 2-6-0 On display in bad shape (San José, Uruguay)
4751 1906 Central Uruguay Railway 93 N 2-6-0 On display (Young, Uruguay)
4943 1907 Central Uruguay Railway 96 N 2-6-0 On display (City bus terminal, Artigas, Uruguay)
5054 1908 NSW Government Railways 5112 D50 2-8-0 Bathurst
5074 1909 NSW Government Railways 5132 D50 2-8-0 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum
5126 1908 Isle of Man Railway 12 Hutchinson 2-4-0 T In service (Isle of Man Steam Railway)
5292 1909 Tasmanian Government Railways K1 K 0-4-0+0-4-0 Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)
5382 1910 Isle of Man Railway 13 Kissack 2-4-0 T Awaiting new boiler (Isle of Man Railway)
5399 1910 Central Uruguay Railway 119 N3 2-6-0 In working order (CEFU, Montevideo, Uruguay)
5400 1910 Central Uruguay Railway 120 N3 2-6-0 In service (AUAR, Montevideo, Uruguay)
2254 1911 South Maitland Railways 10, 17–20, 22–28, 30–31 10 2-8-2 T 2 Operational, 12 in
5548 1912 Victorian Railways D2 604 D2 4-6-0 On display at ARHS Vic Railway Museum, Australia
5807 1914 NSW Government Railways 3112 C30 4-6-4 T Stored, Private ownership, Canberra
6268 1926 Victorian Railways G 42 G 2-6-0+0-6-2 Puffing Billy Railway
6296 1926 Isle of Man Railway 16 Mannin 2-4-0 T On display at the Port Erin Railway Museum
1572 1928 London and North Eastern Railway 8572 LNER B12 (GER Class S69) 4-6-0 Operational at the North Norfolk Railway
6639 1930 South African Railways 2352 GL 4-8-2+2-8-4 Manchester Museum of Science and Industry
6935 1939 Fyansford Cement Works Railway 2 2-6-0+0-6-2 Bellarine Railway, Victoria, Australia
7340 1950 Rhodesia Railways 398 Isidumuka 15A 4-6-4+4-6-4 Flying Fifteen Group, Steam Incorporated Paekakariki
7428 1951 South African Railways 127 NGG 16 2-6-2+2-6-2 Puffing Billy Railway, Victoria, Australia
7430 1951 South African Railways 129 NGG 16 2-6-2+2-6-2 Puffing Billy Railway, Victoria, Australia
7624 1951 South Australian Railways 402 400 class 4-8-2+2-8-4 National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide
7631 1951 South Australian Railways 409 400 class 4-8-2+2-8-4 National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide
7582 1953 Rhodesia Railways 509 14A 4-8-2+2-8-4 Mainline Steam Heritage Trust Plimmerton New Zealand
7531 1954 NSW Government Railways 6029 AD60 4-8-4+4-8-4 Canberra Railway Museum
7650 1955 East African Railways 5918 EAR 59 class 4-8-2+2-8-4 Nairobi Railway Museum
7702 1955 East African Railways 5930 EAR 59 class 4-8-2+2-8-4 Nairobi Railway Museum
7541 1956 NSW Government Railways 6039 AD60 4-8-4+4-8-4 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum
7542 1956 NSW Government Railways 6040 AD60 4-8-4+4-8-4 NSW Rail Museum
7544 1956 NSW Government Railways 6042 AD60 4-8-4+4-8-4 Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum
7681 1956 South African Railways 4083 GMAM 4-8-2+2-8-4 Mainline Steam Heritage Trust Mercer, New Zealand
7863 1958 South African Railways NG138 NGG 16 2-6-2+2-6-2 Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)
7865 1958 South African Railways NG140 NGG 16 2-6-2+2-6-2 Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)
7868 1958 South African Railways NG143 NGG 16 2-6-2+2-6-2 Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)
Preserved diesel locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock
7911 1962 British Railways D7017 BR Class 35 Hymek Bo-Bo West Somerset Railway
7912 1962 British Railways D7018 BR Class 35 Hymek Bo-Bo West Somerset Railway
7923 1962 British Railways D7029 BR Class 35 Hymek Bo-Bo Severn Valley Railway
7980 1963 British Railways D7076 BR Class 35 Hymek Bo-Bo East Lancs Railway
? 1964 British Railways D8568 British Rail Class 17 Bo-Bo Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway
8038 1965 British Railways D7628, 25278 Sybilla BR Class 25 Bo-Bo North Yorkshire Moors Railway - Operational
8039 1965 British Railways D7629, 25279 BR Class 25 Bo-Bo Great Central Railway (Nottingham) - Operational
8043 1965 British Railways D7633, 25283 BR Class 25 Bo-Bo Dean Forest Railway - Operational
Preserved electric locomotives built by Beyer, Peacock
BP No. Built Company built for Locomotive number(s) Class Wheel arrangement Preserved at
1956 NSWGR 4601 46 Class Co-Co Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum
1956 NSWGR 4602 46 Class Co-Co Dorrigo Steam Railway & Museum
1956 NSWGR 4615 46 Class Co-Co Junee Roundhouse Museum on permanent loan from the Sydney Electric Train Society
1956 NSWGR 4627 46 Class Co-Co Sydney Electric Train Society
1956 NSWGR 4638 46 Class Co-Co NSW Rail Museum, Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot[10]
1961 British Railways E3054, 82008 BR Class 82 Bo-Bo Barrow Hill Engine Shed

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The public company was incorporated as Beyer, Peacock & Co. (1902) Ltd; the "(1902)" was dropped in 1903.
  2. ^ The two works were adjacent, on either side of the line between the present-day stations of Ashburys and Gorton.
  3. ^ By condensing steam, little of it emanated from the locomotives, and using coke (later, "smokeless" Welsh coal) greatly reduced smoke pollution.
  4. ^ Significant in the performance of the boiler, hence power output, was that the Garratt's firebox was no longer confined to the narrow space between a locomotive's frame but was constrained only by the much greater distance between girders.
  5. ^ Beyer Peacock (Hymek) Ltd was formed as a joint venture between Bristol Siddeley Engines, which was licensed to build Maybach engines, and Stone-Platt Industries, licensed to build Mekydro transmissions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bruce, J. Graeme (1971). Steam to silver. London: London Transport. ISBN 9780853290124.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Beyer Peacock & Co Ltd". Science Museum Group. Science Museum Group. 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  3. ^ Hills, R.L.; Patrick, D. (1982). Beyer, Peacock: Locomotive builders to the world. Glossop: Transport Publishing Co. ISBN 0903839415.
  4. ^ "Hermann Ludwig Lange". Grace's Guide to British industrial history. Grace's Guide Project. 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  5. ^ Walker, Rosanne (18 August 2011). "Garratt, Herbert William (1864-1913)". Encyclopedia of Australian Science. The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Beyer-Garratt". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b Atkins (1999), p. 104.
  8. ^ Paxton, Leith; Bourne, David (1985). Locomotives of the South African Railways (1st ed.). Cape Town: Struik. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0869772112.
  9. ^ a b c Tobu Museum exhibit guide Archived 22 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 11 March 2009 (in Japanese).
  10. ^ 'Veteran electric finds new home as in-traffic units face uncertain future'. Railway Digest. July 1998. p. 10.

Select bibliography[edit]

  • Atkins, P. (1999). The golden age of steam locomotive building. Atlantic. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-0906899878.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Durrant, A.E. (1981). Garratt locomotives of the world (rev. and enl. ed.). David & Charles. ISBN 0715376411.
  • Hills, Richard L.; Patrick, D. (1982). Beyer, Peacock, locomotive builders to the world. Glossop: Transport Publishing Co. ISBN 0-903839-41-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Lowe, James W. (1989) [1975]. "Beyer, Peacock & Company". British steam locomotive builders. London: Guild Publishing. pp. 59–64. ISBN 0900404213.

External links[edit]