The Vulcan Foundry 1832 - 2002

Newton-le-Willows, St Helens, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom

The Vulcan Foundry was originally opened in 1832, as Charles Tayleur and Company. It initially produced girders for bridges, switches and crossings, and other ironwork following the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Because of the distance from the locomotive works in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it seemed preferable to build and support them locally. In 1832, Robert Stephenson became a partner for a few years. The company had become The Vulcan Foundry Company in 1847 and acquired limited liability in 1864. From the beginning of 1898, the name changed again to the The Vulcan Foundry Limited, dropping the word 'company.'

In 1944 the Vulcan Foundry acquired Robert Stephenson and Hawthornes Limited and in 1945 received a large order for 2-8-0 locomotives for UNRRA in Europe. The factory gradually changed over to diesel and electric production and in 1955 became part of the English Electric group. Under the new ownership, the works has produced many locomotives for both domestic and foreign railways, notably the Deltic.

The factory passed through various hands firstly as GEC Alsthom then Alstom, and finally as part of MAN B&W Diesel in 2000. At the end of 2002 the works closed. It was then an industrial estate (appropriately called "Vulcan Industrial Estate"). The site was just North of Winwick Junction where the line to Newton Le Willows branches off to the west from the West Coast Main Line. All buildings on the site were demolished in October 2007.