Online Catalogue last updated 17th of September 2023
WG Bagnall Limited of the Castle Engine Works in the Staffordshire county town of Stafford has a history going back to 1875, with even earlier antecedents. Employing at its peak around 550 people it will largely be remembered as a designer and builder of steam locomotives, although its range of products, both railway related and otherwise, was far wider. All are described and illustrated in considerable detail in the pages of this book, as the authors take the reader through the development of the works from one producing small individually built narrow, gauge locomotives to what were in their day among the largest rigid-framed metre-gauge steam locomotives in the world. Locomotives built at Stafford have found their way to all the corners of the world such that the firm coined the phrase, Builders of Locomotives For The World's Railways, in its post-war literature. Locomotives of all shapes and sizes will be found in the pages of this book, and not only steam but petrol, diesel and electric, as well as articulated and fireless types. The numerous technical developments are expertly described including several patents ranging from steam locomotive valve gears and stationary boilers to diesel locomotive gearboxes, as both the authors are professional engineers.
But the book has a far wider appeal than locomotives, rolling stock and engineering, as the authors quite rightly place much emphasis on people. In particular the Bagnall family has wide coverage, and indeed one of their number has written the Foreword, putting in effect, the stamp of Bagnall family approval on the work. Likewise several other families entwined in the story over the years find extensive coverage, the authors having left no stone unturned in the almost 50 years they have been researching the company and its products. The book concludes with a comprehensive series of appendices listing all the locomotives built as well as those repaired, along with spare boilers and fireboxes supplied. There is sufficient dimensional information to satisfy the most fastidious enthusiast along with much other statistical information, as well as an extensive list of sources and a comprehensive index. This book is without doubt, as the authors claim they set out to achieve, the most comprehensive history yet published of a British private locomotive builder and railway engineer.
Code No. 013748, 686 pages, ISBN 9780954454623, $225.00