W G Bagnall & Company

Bagnall side 0-6-0STBagnal 0-4-0STBagnall.jpg

The Stafford locomotive construction company started in 1875 when William Gordon Bagnall took over the millwright business of Massey and Hill. 

The first railway locomotive was built the following year. The majority of their products were small four and six-coupled steam locomotives for industrial use, and many were narrow gauge. They were noted for building steam and diesel locomotives in standard and narrow gauges.

Bagnalls introduced several novel type of locomotive valve gear including the Bagnall-Price and the Baguley. They also used marine (circular) fireboxes on narrow gauge engines, a design that was cheap but needed a different firing technique.

Some of the designs of Kerr, Stuart and Co were brought to Bagnalls when they employed the chief Draughtsman of Kerr Stuart and Co.

The firm became W G Bagnall Ltd in 1887.

In 1948 Heenan and Froude acquired W. G. Bagnall Ltd.

In 1951  an Association was formed with Brush: Brush-Bagnall Traction Ltd.

In 1959 W. G. Bagnall was sold to W. H. Dorman and Co, a neighbouring Stafford diesel engine maker, by Heenans in exchange for Dorman shares.

In 1961 English Electric Co acquired W. H. Dorman and Co.

In 1962 a new wholly-owned subsidiary was formed (English Electric Traction) to bring all railway-related activities under one management. These included The Vulcan Foundry, Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns and W. G. Bagnall.

In addition to building locomotives to designs produced by W G Bagnall the company also built engines as contractors to organisations who had designed them. This included designs produced by the GWR and the LMS.


Supplied To Class Date Built Number Build Locomotives
GWR 5700 0-6-0PT 1930-31 25 8725-8749
GWR 6700 0-6-0PT 1930 25 6700-6724
GWR 9400 0-6-0PT 1949-1954 50 8400-8449
LMS 3F 0-6-0T 1926-1928 42 47310-6, 47452-66 & 47592-601
War Dept Austerity 0-6-0ST 1947 52  
  • The 6700 class were to the 5700 design but were not fitted with vacuum brakes and no Automatic Train Control fittings as they were designed for shunting duties only.
  • The locomotives supplied to the War Department were supplied as a subcontractor to Hunslet Engine Company. 16 of these 68018-20 and 68047-59 were subsequently bought by the LNER in 1944-45.

Preserved Locomotives

I have only included standard gauge locomotives which are preserved in Britain. 

For details of preserved fireless locomotives built by W G Bagnall go to Fireless Locomotives.

Preserved Austerity Locomotives built to the Hunslet Design

In addition to building locomotives to designs produced by W G Bagnall the company also built fifty two Austerity 0-6-0ST engines for the War Department during 1944-1946 as a sub contractor to the Hunslet Engine Company. Sixteen (68018-20 & 68047-59) of these were bought by the LNER in 1945-46. Of these none have been preserved.

Seven examples of the fifty two built by Andrew Barclay to the Hunslet Engine Company survives –

Works      No Built Name/Number Location
2746 1944 WD75158  68012 The Duke Ecclesbourne Valley Railway  
2749 1944  WD75161 Caledonian Railway  
2758 1944  WD75170 Cefn Coed Colliery Museum
2759 1944  WD75171 Caledonian Railway
2766 1944  WD75178 Bodmin & Wenford Railway
2777 1945 WD75254    No7 Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway
2779 1945 WD75256    Gamma Tanfield Railway

Other Preserved W G Bagnall Locomotives

Works No Built Name Type Location
2193 1922 Topham 0-6-0ST Spa Valley Railway
2221 1927 Lewisham 0-6-0ST Foxfield Steam Railway
2469 1932   0-4-0ST Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
2542 1936 Jubilee 0-4-0ST East Anglian Railway Museum
2565 1936   0-4-0ST Mid Suffolk Light Railway
2572 1937 Judy 0-4-0ST Bodmin & Wenford Railway
2613 1940 Brookfield 0-6-0PT Mangapps Farm Railway Museum
2623 1940 Hawarden 0-4-0ST Foxfield Steam Railway
2648 1941 Linda 0-4-0ST Chasewater Railway
2654 1942 001 Cherwell 0-6-0ST Rushden Historical Transport Society
2655 1942 Byfield 0-6-0ST Plym Valley Railway
2668 1942 No2 Cranford 0-6-0ST Rocks by Rail
2670 1942 Lamport No3 0-6-0ST East anglia Railway Museum
2680 1942 Courageous 0-6-0ST Ribble Steam Railway
2682 1942 Princess 0-6-0ST Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway
2702 1943   0-4-0ST Private site – North Yorkshire
2842 1946   0-4-0ST Chasewater Railway
2962 1950 19 0-4-0ST Bodmin & Wenford Railway
2994 1951 Vulcan  No 401 0-6-0ST North Tyneside Steam Railway/Stephenson Railway Museum
2996 1951 Victor  No 403 0-6-0ST Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway
3058 1953 Alfred 0-4-0ST Bodmin & Wenford Railway
3059 1953 Florence No2 0-6-0ST Foxfield Steam Railway
3061 1954 Empress 0-6-0ST Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway

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