Photo: NSW State Archives

This page provides a summary of builders and equipment manufacturers.

ABB Limited


Rolling stock manufacturer (Europe) - Established in 1988, Asea Brown Boveri Limited is a merger of Asea (originated in Sweden in 1883) and Brown Boveri & Cie (originated in Switzerland in 1891). ABB is one of the world’s largest electrical engineering companies and includes locomotive and rolling stock construction subsidiaries. ABB divested its rail businesses to Adtranz in 1999.



Rolling stock manufacturer (Europe) - Adtranz (aka DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems GmbH) was formed by parent company DaimlerChrysler in 1996 to merge the rail businesses of ABB Limited and Daimler-Benz AG. Adtranz was acquired by Canadian railway manufacturer Bombardier Inc. in 2001.



Engine manufacturer (UK) - The Associated Equipment Company (A.E.C.) was formed in 1912 by moving the chassis manufacturing section of the London General Omnibus Company (forerunner of London Transport) into a separate business. A.E.C. built buses, commercial and military vehicles and engines. In 1933 A.E.C. was floated as a separate company and in 1962 it was merged with Leyland to form Leyland Motors. In 1974 Leyland was taken into state hands and following financial difficulties the A.E.C. business closed in 1979.
A.E.C. at Wikipedia

A. Goninan & Co.


Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) - Goninan was established in Newcastle in 1899 as a general engineering and manufacturing company. It later became a major locomotive and rolling stock builder and maintainer. Goninan is located at Broadmeadow (Newcastle, NSW) and was acquired by the United Group Limited. It was then known as United Goninan and is now known as United Group Rail.

Allison Transmission


Transmission manufacturer (USA) - The Allison Engineering Company was originally formed by Jim Allison as the Indianapolis Speedway Team Company in 1915. Jim Allison died in 1928 and General Motors acquired the company in 1929, becoming the Allison Division of General Motors Corporation in 1934. Allison provided many engineering components and built the V1710 aircraft engine. Allison commenced making hydraulic transmissions in 1946 and by the 1980’s was known as Detroit Diesel Allison. In 1987 the company was renamed as Allison Transmission. The engine division of Allison was acquired by Rolls-Royce in 1995.

Alstom Engines Ltd


Engine manufacturer (Europe) - A joint venture of GEC (England) and Alcatel Alstom (France) created in 1989 as GEC Alstom. The company was floated as Alstom Engines Ltd in 1998. Alstom Engines Ltd was acquired by MAN B&W Diesel AG in 2000.

Brush Traction


Electrical equipment manufacturer (UK) – Brush was originally formed as the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation in 1879. While Brush was predominantly an electrical engineering company, they produced road, rail and tramway vehicles and aircraft. Following World War II Brush produced many diesel electric locomotives for British Rail. They were acquired in turn by the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1957, BTR Plc in 1991 and FLI Plc in 1996.



Rolling stock manufacturer (USA) - The Budd Company was founded in 1912 by Edward G. Budd. Budd gained a reputation for innovation and conceived ways to press form sheet steel into complex shapes and to join components into strong, self-supporting structures and produced the world's first stainless steel rail passenger cars. Budd was North America's second-largest producer of railway passenger cars from the 1950s until the mid-1980s. In 1978, The Budd Company was acquired by Thyssen AG of Germany and from 1999 forms part of the ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG of Germany. The company in now known as ThyssenKrupp Budd. ThyssenKrupp Automotive is among the largest automotive suppliers in the world.

Burmeister and Wain


Engine manufacturer (Denmark) - A Danish shipbuilding company and manufacturer of diesel engines based in Copenhagen. Burmeister and Wain built M.S. Selandia, the first diesel powered ship in 1912. Burmeister and Wain are now part of the MAN B&W Diesels Group (B&W = Burmeister and Wain).

Chullora Workshops

Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) – Established by the NSWGR in 1927 to overhaul electric rolling stock. During World War II an annexe was built on the workshops site to build Beaufort bomber aircraft. These workshops were taken over by NSWGR after the War and were used to construct the 600, 620 and 900 series railcars. Located in the Sydney suburb of Chullora, the workshops closed in the late 1990's. The site is now a major depot for Pacific National.

Commonwealth Engineering

Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) – the successor company to Waddingtons in 1947, Commonwealth Engineering Pty. Ltd. (later Comeng) constructed a large share of the NSW rolling stock up to the late 1980's. In addition to their Sydney factory located at Granville, Comeng had factories in Queensland (Rocklea) and Western Australia (Bassendean). Comeng was acquired by Australian National Industries (ANI) in 1982. The Granville plant closed in 1989 and interstate factories were sold to other railway suppliers AdTranz and Goninan (now United Group).
Commonwealth Engineering at Wikipedia



Engine manufacturer (USA) - The Cummins Engine Company was incorporated in 1919 by W G Irwin. The company was named after Clessie Lyle Cummins a self-taught mechanic-inventor employed by Irwin in 1908. Cummins was convinced that the still commercially unproven diesel technology held great promise for its fuel economy and durability. Cummins initially built engines under licence from the Dutch firm Hvid and together with a former Hvid engineer, H L Knudsen, worked on his own designs and produced a pioneering single-disk fuel system. Cummins continues to be a leading worldwide diesel engine manufacturer.

Dana Corporation


Equipment manufacturer (USA) - The Dana Corporation was established by Clarence W Spicer as the Spicer Universal Joint Manufacturing Company in 1904. It was renamed the Spicer Manufacturing Company in 1909 and when attorney Charles Dana joined the company it was renamed as the Dana Corporation in 1916. The company manufactured axles, drive shafts and universal joints for the automotive industry, many based on the inventions of Clarence Spicer. Dana went into bankruptcy in 2007 and has since returned to viable trading.

Davies and Metcalfe

Railway equipment manufacturer (UK) - The company was founded by James Metcalfe with the financial support of David Davies and Edward Hamer as the Patent Exhaust Steam Injector Company originally located at the Rheidol Foundry, Aberystwyth in April 1878. The company later moved to Romiley, Greater Manchester and changed its name to Davies and Metcalfe. It produced a range of locomotive engineering products including lubricators, injectors and ejectors etc. They also manufactured the pneumatic disc brake systems used on modern rail cars. The company is now part of Sabwabco Davies & Metcalfe Ltd. of Leek, Staffordshire.



Coupler manufacturer (Sweden) - Established in 1941, Dellner Couplers AB manufactures automatic couplers and other equipment for the railway and tramway industry. Dellner has plants in Sweden, Poland, China and USA. Part of the Dellner Invest AB group of companies.

Detroit Diesel


Engine manufacturer (USA) - Established in 1932 as a division of the General Motors Corporation that manufactured diesel engines for the small to medium industrial market. The division was floated as the Detroit Diesel Corporation as a joint venture with the Penske Corporation (60%) and GM (40%) in January 1988. The corporation was subsequently acquired by DaimlerChrysler in October 2000. Detroit was consolidated with Mercedes-Benz Industrial Engines to form the DaimlerChrysler Powersystems business unit. In 2006, MTU Friedrichshafen, including the off-highway part of Detroit Diesel in the USA, was acquired by the EQT investment group. A new company, Tognum GmbH, was formed as a holding company for the brands. The on-highway division of Detroit Diesel was retained by DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler AG) as part of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). Both companies use the "Detroit Diesel" name and corporate logo.

Eveleigh Carriage Works

Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) – The NSWGR carriage workshops were located adjacent to the main railway lines in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern. All of the NSWGR rail motors built prior to World War II were constructed and later maintained in these workshops. In addition, the conversion of all of the petrol engined rail motors to diesel power was carried out in these workshops post War. Eveleigh Workshops were closed in 1989. Part of the workshops remain as a depot for heritage operator 3801 Limited.

Harland and Wolff


Engine manufacturer (UK) - Shipbuilding company of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Harland and Wolff built the main diesel engines for the Silver City Comet under licence from the Danish shipbuilder Burmeister and Wain (q.v.)



Engine manufacturer (USA) - The Hercules Engine Company was founded in 1915 to fill the need for heavy-duty industrial type engines for the rapidly expanding trucking industry. Hercules became well known for producing high quality dependable, heavy-duty petrol and diesel engines. Hercules relied on the U.S. Military for the majority of its output. When the military began acquiring “off-the-shelf” type standard engines the company began experiencing severe financial problems and finally ceased operations in April 1999.
Hercules at Wikipedia

Hudson Brothers

Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) - An established timber merchant, Henry Hudson received his first railway contract in 1876. From 1879 to 1895 Hudson Brothers became the major rolling stock builder in NSW. Their original works was near Sydney Central Station but moved to Clyde in 1879. Hudson Brothers purchased Ritchie Brothers plant at Wickham (Newcastle) about 1885 and this was closed about 1892 and sold to A. E. Goninan. Hudson Brothers closed as a result of financial difficulties from a court decision in a dispute with Ritchie Brothers around 1899.


Engine manufacturer (UK) - The origins of Leyland go back to 1892, commencing as a small business based in Leyland, Lancashire. The Leyland name first appeared in 1907. Leyland prospered producing commercial vehicles and buses. In 1968, Leyland Motor Corporation and British Motor Holdings merged to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation. Following a period of financial instability due to losses in the car building side of the business, the company was partially nationalised in 1975. Leyland ceased production in 1991.
Leyland at Wikipedia


Engine manufacturer (UK) – The National Gas and Oil Engine Company was founded by Mr H. N. Bickerton at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire in 1889. Bickerton manufactured gas and oil engines for the domestic and export market and later moved to the manufacture of diesel engines. National supplied numerous engines to the government during World War II. The company was acquired by the Associated British Oil Engine Company (ABOE) in 1950. ABOE subsequently merged with Brush to form the Brush-ABOE Group of Companies. By 1960, National Engines was a subsidiary of Hawker. Siddeley. In 1961, National merged with Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day to form Mirrlees National Limited.
National history on the web

Newage Stamford


Generator manufacturer (UK) - The Cutting Brothers established an electrical engineering business at Stamford, UK in 1905 and was known as Stamford Electrical from 1925. Northern Electric Wireless And General Engineering Company (Newage) was founded in Manchester, UK in 1935 to manufacture generator sets and air compressors. Newage acquired Stamford Electrical in 1950. The company went through a number of mergers and takeovers, including major merger with German Firm AVK SEG in 2001. Cummins Engine Company Inc acquired a majority shareholding in Newage Stamford in 1988 and from May 2006 the company changed its name to Cummins Generator Technologies.



Transmission manufacturer (Japan) - Niigata Converter Co Ltd (NICO) was established in 1952 as a joint venture company between Niigata Engineering Co Ltd of Japan and Twin Disc Incorporated of USA. NICO manufactured transmissions under licence from Twin Disc. With a view to further development, the manufacturing division was merged with Niigata Engineering Co Ltd as the NICO Company in 2001, and NICO Transmission Co Inc was newly launched to develop overseas sales activities. Following the insolvency of the Niigata Engineering Co, NICO merged with Hitachi to form the Hitachi Nico Transmission Co Ltd in 2003.



Engine manufacturer (UK) - Originally formed in 1865 as Davey, Paxman and Davey, Engineers in Colchester, Essex. In 1940, control of the company was transferred to Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln. Ruston (and Paxman) became part of the English Electric Diesel Group in 1966. A succession of mergers and acquisitions saw ownership pass to the GEC Group in 1968, to Alcatel Alstom of France in 1989. In 2000 Alstom became part of MAN B&W Diesel AG of Augsburg and the Paxman business became MAN B&W Diesel Ltd, Paxman.



Engine manufacturer (UK) - Formed in 1906 by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, the company became synonymous with prestige motor vehicles. During World War I Rolls-Royce began building aircraft engines and later diesel engines. During World War II. Rolls-Royce produced the Merlin and Griffon range of engines for the famous Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito and Lancaster aircraft. Rolls-Royce was declared bankrupt in February 1971 and was taken into State ownership. The motor car business was separated in 1973 and Rolls-Royce (engines) returned to private sector ownership in 1987.

Ritchie Brothers

Robert A. Ritchie established his works at Parramatta in 1857 where he first built rolling stock for NSWGR. In 1881 he purchased a plant at Wickham (Newcastle) to supply the Great Northern Railway. Ritchie died about 1889 and his sons continued the business as Ritchie Brothers with a plant at Auburn (Sydney). Ritchie Brothers became a major rolling stock supplier to NSW Railways and closed down in 1953.



Coupler manufacturer (Germany) - This revolutionary coupler was invented by Karl Scharfenberg in 1903 and he founded Scharfenbergkupplung AG in 1915. In 1921 the company became part of the Salzgitter Group. The company later became part of the Voith Group in 1998.


Engine manufacturer (UK) – Shipbuilder, Sir John Isaac Thornycroft (1843-1928) began building road vehicles at Cheswick, England. The first Thornycroft vehicle, a steam driven van, appeared in 1895. This proved so successful that many more followed. The first Thornycroft petrol engined vehicle appeared in 1902. In 1912, the J type 4½ ton lorry appeared, powered by a 30 h.p. side valve engine. Over 5,000 units were supplied to the British Government during World War I. Thornycroft changed it name in 1948 to Transport Equipment (Thornycroft) Ltd. to prevent confusion with the Thornycroft shipbuilding company. The company was taken over in 1961 by AEC (q.v.) parent Associated Commercial Vehicles Ltd (ACV). ACV was acquired by Leyland in 1962 and Thornycroft's Basingstoke works were closed in 1969 with future models marketed under the Scammell brand name.
Thornycroft at Wikipedia

Tulloch Phoenix

Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) - Founded in 1913 by Robert Tulloch as Tulloch Phoenix Iron Works, located at Rhodes. The company's original works were the Phoenix Iron Works at Pyrmont from where Tulloch adopted the name Tulloch Phoenix. Tulloch supplied a number of rolling stock classes for NSWGR over the years but suffered from financial problems and closed down in 1974.
Tulloch Phoenix at Wikipedia

Twin Disc


Transmission manufacturer (USA) – The Twin Disc Clutch Company was incorporated in Racine, Wisconsin in 1918 to manufacture tractor clutches designed by Thomas Fawick. Twin Disc further developed the basic Lysholm Smith type transmissions that were generically know as "twin disc" types. Twin Disc continues to design and build a family of drivelines and power trains of off-highway equipment. Twin Disc designs have been built under licence by Rolls-Royce and in Japan by the Niigata Converter Company.

United Group Rail


Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) – United Group Rail (UGR) is an amalgamation of United Goninan (formerly A. Goninan and Co.) and Alstom Transportation. UGR is part of the United Group Limited, a broad based infrastructure services company engaged in industrial maintenance, manufacturing, engineering and business process outsourcing services company. UGR is the licensee of the GE Transportation division of General Electric Company in Australia.



Transmission manufacturer (Germany) - an engineering company formed by Johan Voith in 1865. The company has continued in Voith family ownership and following World War II, they began production of hydraulic transmissions in 1952. Voith Turbo GmBh continues to be a worldwide leader in rail technology. Voith transmissions became standard fittings in NSW rail cars from 1972 onwards.


Rolling stock manufacturer (Australia) - Smith and Waddington began building bus bodies at Camperdown in 1921. As Waddingtons Body Works, the company moved to Granville in the 1930's and commenced rolling stock construction. The company came under government control during World War II and acquired a controlling interest in 1946. It was renamed Commonwealth Engineering Pty. Ltd. (q.v.).



Engine manufacturer (USA) - In 1906, the Waukesha Motor Company, was started by three men in a small garage in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. The company’s durable designs found their ideal applications in the oil fields of Texas. By operating on natural gas from well heads, Waukesha engines revolutionized the oil industry. The company quickly became the leading supplier of engine power for oil fields. Waukesha continues today producing world class gaseous fuelled engine technology. Waukesha was acquired by Dresser Inc. and subsequently by the General Electric Company.



Engine manufacturer (USA) – The Winton Gas Engine and Manufacturing Corporation was founded by Scottish engineer Alexander Winton (1860-1932) in 1912. Winton was an early automobile maker in the USA but turned his attention to engine development. He held over 100 patents, many of which led to the development of the modern diesel engine. Renamed Winton Engine Works in 1916 and the Winton Engine Corporation in 1930, he produced diesel engines for rail builder Electro-Motive Corporation. General Motors acquired both the Winton Engine and the Electro-Motive corporations in 1930. Winton became Cleveland Diesel Engine Division in 1938 and Electro-Motive became the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) in 1941. EMD was purchased from GM by Greenbriar Equity Group and others in April 2005 trading as Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. The company was subsequently acquired by Caterpillar Inc. through its wholly owned subsidiary, Progress Rail Services Corporation.