Dundee locomotive manufacturers

Carmichael, J. & C., Ward Foundry, Sessions Street, Dundee

James and Charles Carmichael founded the firm in 1810 and were active on marine work, weighbridges and turbines. They produced the first locomotives in Scotland in 1833 for the Dundee and Newtyle Railway. The first, No.1 named Earl of Airlie was delivered on 20 September. and No. 2 .Lord Wharncliffe on 25 September. They cost £700 each and £30 for each water-butt tender. They were both 0-2-4s and dimensionally the same, except that No.1 had 11in x 18in vertical cylinders whereas the diameter was increaased to 11¼in for No. 2. The cylinders were placed on each side of the boiler, the crossheads above the cylinders were connected to large bell ranks, the longer arms of which were coupled to the connecting rods fastened to outside cranks on the leading 5ft 4in diameter wheels. All wheels had laminated springs above the frames. The steam admission was by means of a valve on the boiler barrel operated from the footplate by a handle and shaft. The feed check valve was on the side of the raised firebox.

The photograph (Lowe Fig. 78) was taken after they had both been withdrawn in 1854 and this one; said to be No.1, was specially prepared for the occasion.

The boiler was apparently unlagged and worked at a pressure of 50 lb/sq. in. The locomotive's weight in working order was 9½ tons. Carmichael's own design of valve gear was used with one fixed eccentric for each cylinder.

Early in 1834 a third was built by Stirling of Dundee to the same general design and named Trotter.

The gauge of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway was 4ft 6in, subsequently converted to standard gauge in 1849.

James Carmichael died in 1853 and Charles 1843. The firm was carried on by their sons and became James Carmichael & Co. in 1853 and a limited liability company about 1894, closing down in 1929.

It appears that after their initial efforts in 1833 no further locomotives were built and marine engineering remained the principal activity.

Kinmond Hutton & Steel, Wallace Foundry,  Dundee

Commenced locomotive building in 1838. 2-2-2 Wallace supplied to 5ft 6in Dundee & Arbroath Railway. According to Steel this had a 5ft diameter driving wheel and 13in x 18in cylinders. Steel appears to indicate that Rapid, the Dart (of 1840) and Queen (of 1841) were also supplied by the firm to the Dundee & Arbroath Railway. The Griffen and the Fury of the Dundee and Arbroath may also have been supplied by Kinmond. .

Lowe stated that six 2-2-2 were supplied to Glasgow, Paisley, Kilmarnock & Ayr Railway. These were sent dismanted by sea to Ayr and re-erected there. Three 2-2-2s were sent to Canada (two to Montreal & Lachine Railroad and one to Champlain & St Lawrence Railroad. Nine 2-2-2 s supplied to Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway. There is gap in list between 1848 and 1855. In 1853 a branch works was established in Montreal where eleven locomotives were constructed for the Grand Trunk Railway, but this closed in 1857. Total output was about fifty according to Lowe. A 2-2-2 Queen of the Glasgow Dumfries and Carlisle Railway was subject to tests in boiler efficiency by D.K. Clark in February 1850. James Steel was a partner in the firm.

Stirling, James & Co., East Foundry/Victoria Foundry, Dundee
The Dundee Foundry began with the manufacture of iron castings and developed interests in steam engines and ships' machinery. In 1834 Trotter was constructed for the Dundee & Newtyle Railway and may have been similar to the two constructed by J. & C. Carmichael for the same railway at about this time. Three locomotives were supplied to the Arbroath & Forfar Railway in 1838/9: these were 2-2-2s named Princess, Victoria (Lowe Fig. 531) and Britannia and were followed by two further locomotives. The gauge of the railway at that time was 5ft 6in. In about 1843 the company was taken over by Gourlay Mudie & Co. Steel stated that Gourlay, Mudie & Co. built two 0-4-0 locomotives for the Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen Railway in 1847/8: these were Caledonia and Gowrie according to McEwan (via Steel), A further two Craigie and Carlogie followed for the Dundee & Arbroath Railway according to Steel.

Steel, George MacLennan
Dundee's iron horses: the story of a lost industry. Edinburgh: Lindsay & Co. 1974. xvi, 128pp. folding map.
This book is not contained in Ottley or its supplements. It was found via Lowe and the Dundee OPAC, and reached North Norfolk via the Inter-library loan system from Wiltshire County Library. The "publisher" on the title-page is the printer and a copyright address is given on the verso title-page: the author at 479, Unthank Road, Norwich, NOR 27/E. A different Norwich address is listed at the end of the preface: 4 Grove Avenue, Norwich, NOR 77D. There are acknowledgements to many libraries, including that in Dundee, but no mention is made of Norwich to which the author presumably retired (he had worked in the City of London).

The book was badly structured, but had been deeply researched. It contains much of interest on the odd railway gauges which manifested themselves on the banks of the Tay, the somewhat odd railways notably the Dundee & Newtyle, and early steam ships. There is little on locomotives manufactured in Dundee additional to that to be found in Lowe, although there is greater detail on those people involved in locomotive manufacture and information on locotives supplied to railways serving Dundee from other manufacturers, many of which were located in England.

Part of the Author's output is considered with the three Dundee locomotive builders considered above, but these accounts suffer from mixed objectives: it is often difficult to disentangle the company histories from those of the railway/s on which the locomotives ran. His final chapter (18) covers the Steel-McInnes continuous air brake which was actually used by the Caledonian Railway before being usurped by the Westinghouse system. The system was also evaluated at the Newark brake trials. The author was related to John Steel and presumably James Steel, inventors/developers of the brake, although the Author states that the patents (389 and 1671) were taken out by Peter George Harris in 1854.