Brown, Marshalls and Co. Ltd.

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Brown, Marshalls and Co. Ltd. was a company that built railway carriages, based in Saltley, Birmingham, in the UK. They were formed in 1840.[1] In 1864 they supplied the FR with its first carriages, and also 100 iron slate wagons, 21 disc signals, 7 semaphore signals and the posts, lamps wires and chains to operate them.[2] In 1866 they built the original carriages for the Talyllyn Railway, which are still in use, and in 1873 built two bogie carriages for the Ffestiniog Railway - Carriages 15 and 16. These were the first iron-framed bogie carriages in Great Britain.[3] These are also still in regular use.

The early records show that the company's predecessors, Messrs Brown and Marshalls were well-known manufacturers of stagecoaches in small premises in New Canal Street, Birmingham, and afterwards of railway carriages and wagons. In 1853 the firm moved to Adderley Park, Birmingham, where they built the Britannia Works for rolling stock manufacture. In 1869 the business was converted into a limited liability company and continued to produce rolling stock of every description for home and foreign railways, specialising in work of a particularly luxurious character. Special mention may perhaps be made of the Peninsular and Oriental Express dining cars completed in 1892 for the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-lits et des Grands Express Europeans of Paris which ran between Calais and Brindisi connecting with the Peninsular and Oriental Steamers.

In 1902[4] they became part of the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, a merger which included several other firms including Ashbury. The business was transferred to Saltley in 1908 and the works were sold to the Wolseley Tool and Motor-car company Ltd in 1911: the site was eventually occupied by Messrs Morris Commercial Cars Ltd. [5]

Metropolitan Amalgamated eventually formed part of Metro-Cammell, later GEC-Alsthom then Alstom Transport Ltd, a company that continued to build rolling stock in Birmingham until 2005.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Irish Narrow Gauge - Carriage and Wagon Builders
  2. ^ Receipts in FR Co. archives
  3. ^ Vintage Carriage Trust data-base - FR coach 15
  4. ^ Beddoes, Wheeler & Wheeler: Metro-Cammell - 150 Years of Craftsmanship, Runpast Publishing 1999
  5. ^ C G Wallace, Metro Cammell Company History June 1945