Hunslet Engine Co Ltd

The Hunslet Engine Company was founded in 1864 at Jack Lane, Hunslet, Leeds by John Towlerton Leather. In 1871, James Campbell bought the company for £25,000. By 1902, Hunslet supplied engines to over thirty countries worldwide. During 1902, the company was reorganised as a private limited company with the name Hunslet Engine Company Ltd. During the First World War the company was engaged in the manufacture of munitions. Hunslet was one of the early pioneers in the 1930's that worked on the perfecting of the diesel locomotive and acquired the patterns, rights and designs of other builders including Kerr Stuart and the Avonside Engine Co.

During the Second World War the company’s best known contributions to the war effort was production of the famous 'Austerity' locomotives. Post-war locomotive production included many of the Hunslet flame-proof diesel engines for use in the coal mines. During the 1970s the company bought the Scottish firm Andrew Barclay and local firms Hudswell Clarke and Greenwood & Batley. In 1987 Hunslet was taken over by Telfos Holdings Ltd who in 1989 split the Group into two major components - Hunslet GMT (handling underground locomotives) based in Leeds, and Hunslet Barclay (covering surface locomotives and rolling stock) based in Kilmarnock. A new company, Hunslet Transportation Projects, was formed to build the British Rail class 323 electric trains, the last project to be executed at the Hunslet works in Leeds before it was closed and demolished. Kilmarnock continued, building a capability of refurbishing main line trains. The remaining Hunslet Barclay businesses have since been absorbed into Wabtec.