Vulcan Foundry Interior

 This is a new page detailing the various parts of the foundry as they were pre-1960's they are in no particular order at the moment and each image comes with a simplified text until I get time to sort the page out properly. As you have probably guessed I like my site to grow gradually online as material  becomes available and don't wait until I am 100% happy or have finished a page.
Latest photographs at bottom of page


forging red hot metal with a 10 ton steam hammer 50 ton (100000lb) steam hammer

The Forge

Forging gives steel great strength, in this photograph taken in 1954 we see
 our Vulcanists using a 10 ton (20000lb) steam hammer to work the red hot metal that will become a locomotive connecting rod one of the most stressed parts of a locomotive. 

The Forge

If you thought that the hammer to the left was big then have a look at this one which was the largest in the foundry at 50 ton (100000lb). This one is again at work forging a connecting rod, the larger hammer was required to work the side faces of the rod which had a larger surface area requiring more greater force to work.

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non-ferrous foundry 1952 (600).jpg (154952 bytes)

Locomotive Axle Turning Lathe

 Non Ferrous Foundry

A lot of the smaller bits and pieces required to build the Vulcans finished products were made in-house from Non-Ferrous metals (copper alloys) such as Brass, Bronze & Gun Metal. Such items would include steam fittings, nameplates, makers plates, whistles, bearings, handles and other bright work. Amazingly we have dated this image to 1953 by reading the headline of the newspaper in the wooden bench seen at the bottom right of the photo!

The Wheel Shop

Here we can see axles being turned on a Craven centre lathe ready for  assembly. Cast wheels and their steel tyres lying stacked all around the man working the lathe.


erecting shop in 1950 with IGR HPS loco's.jpg (107910 bytes)

horizontal borer

The Erecting Shop

This is the part of the foundry where all the ingredients that made up each locomotive were assembled or erected. Boilers mounted in frames would be dropped onto their axles and wheels and all the other parts attached. In the photo you can see many such parts  strewn over the floor in the foreground.

Machining Axle Assemblies

This photograph shows an axle assembly undergoing a final machining operation on a Richards No. 5 horizontal borer.  The machine is obscuring the tooling but the chap seems to be aligning it on the centre of the axle, any ideas?


Sheet Metal Work on a Locomotive Dome

boiler making construction

Sheet Metal Work

Ever wondered how the curvy bits were made like the dome on top of the boiler that covered all the insulation and the boiler itself. Well here we see two artisans working sheet metal by hand with the aid of heat and a few hand tools. Even when most of the locomotive was made with the aid of machinery some bits were still more cost effectively made by hand.

Boiler Shop

This photograph is a good view of the boiler shop a distinct change from the more organised machine shops. Boilers being the largest and most awkward locomotive components would be constructed in a large open area with a high capacity overhead crane available. As the boilers were constructed they would be rolled from one side to the other or upended to enable all the hot rivetting to be completed.

Holroyd three headed slotter slotting machine Kearns Horizontal Borer
Holroyd Three Headed Slotting Machine

Built by the foundry in 1912, rough flame cut frames would be finish machined in one go to eliminate the risk of stress cracking from the flame cutting. The machine was completely rebuilt in 1946 and had a bed length of 90' (over 27m). This photo shows it in its rebuilt state machining a stack of 16 frames with the other heads hidden behind the first.

   KEARNS Horizontal Borer

Ken Johnson using a Kearns No. 5 Borer to bore out steam cylinders in the late 1940's or early 1950's.

Noble Lund Plano miller waldrich siegen plano miller
Noble & Lund Plano-Miller

Les Jarrett machining a crankcase for a A.T 12 cylinder 'V' form Diesel in Bay 3 or 4?.


Waldrich Siegen Plano-Miller

Les Jarrett again with the Waldrich Siegen installed in Bay 4 (approx 1980) it replaced the old Noble & Lund Plano-miller


Diesel Engine English Electric 8SRK Camshaft Timing jackman turnover machine

Camshaft Timing

Roy Whittaker has sent in this photo taken in 1958 that shows Roy with a student from Jordan.  Roy is assembling an English Electric 8SRK camshaft for Argentina Railways. At this time in 1958 only the 4, 6, 8 cyl engines were assembled at Vulcan (you can see examples in the photo) the 8, 12, 16 V engines were still being made and tested at English Electric Preston works and delivered to Vulcan Works for fitting into the locomotives.


Jackman Turnover Machine in the Iron Foundry

Jackman Turnover Machine installed in the iron foundry in the early 1950's.


conomatic 6-spindle automatic lathe vulcan foundry pattern shop 1902
Conomatic 6-Spindle Automatic Lathe

6-Spindle Conomatic Lathe for the continuous production of flexible firebox stays, one of 2 machines specifically dedicated to their production after WW2.

Pattern Shop 1902

Patterns (made of wood) were used in the production of castings in the ferrous and non-ferrous shops and were used to produce imprints of the required items in the two halves of the sand filled casting boxes.
(If you can describe this better in one sentence then let me know)