Ruston (engine builder)

Ruston (engine builder)

Infobox Defunct company
company_name = Ruston, Proctor and Company
slogan =
company_type = private
fate = Merger
Predecessor = Proctor and Burton
successor = Ruston & Hornsby
foundation = 1857 (1840)
defunct = 1918
location = Lincoln, England
industry = Engineering
products = Engines, Locomotives, Steam Engines, Turbines
key_people =
num_employees =
parent =
subsid = Ruston-Bucyrus

Ruston was an industrial equipment manufacturer in Lincoln, England, the company's history going back to 1840. The company is best known as a manufacturer of narrow and standard gauge diesel locomotives and also of steam shovels. Other products included cars, steam locomotives and a range of internal combustion engines, and later gas turbines. The company is now part of the Siemens group of Germany.

Early history

The original company was Proctor and Burton established in 1840, operating as millwrights and engineers. They became Ruston, Proctor and Company in 1857 when Joseph Ruston joined them, acquiring limited liability status in 1899. From 1866 they built a number of four and six-coupled tank locomotives, one of which was sent to the Paris Exhibition in 1867. In 1868 they built five 0-6-0 tank engines for the Great Eastern Railway to the design of Samuel W. Johnson. Three of these were converted to crane tanks, two of which lasted until 1952, aged eighty-four. Among the company's output were sixteen for Argentina and some for T. A. Walker, the contractor building the Manchester Ship Canal.

During World War I, Ruston switched to assist the war effort, producing tanks (such as the Matilda tank) and also aircraft, notably a large number of Sopwith Camels.

Ruston & Hornsby

On 11 September 1918, the company amalgamated with Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham to become Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. Hornsby was the world leader in vaporizing oil engines, building them since 1891, a full eight years before Rudolph Diesel's engine was produced commercially.

team machinery

The firm were builders of steam engines and portable steam engines for many years, mainly for the agricultural market.

The Ruston-Hornsby car

After World War I the company attempted to diversify and one outcome was the Ruston-Hornsby car. Two versions were made, a 15.9 hp with a Dorman 2614 cc engine and a larger 20hp model with 3308 cc engine of their own manufacture. The cars were however very heavy, being built on a 9-inch chassisClarifyme|date=September 2008 , and extremely expensive - the cheapest was around £440 and the most expensive nearly £1000, and within a few years other makers were selling similar vehicles that weighed only 3/4 ton and cost around £120 - £200, and never reached the hoped for production volumes. About 1500 were made between 1919 and 1924.

Diesels and gas turbines

Ruston & Hornsby was a major producer of small and medium diesel engines for land and marine applications. They began to build diesel locomotives in 1931 (and continued up until 1967). It was a pioneer and major developer in the industrial application of small (up to 10000kW) heavy duty gas turbines from the 1950s onwards.

The company closed its Grantham factory in 1963. The company progressively became part of the General Electric Company of UK ('GEC', not to be confused with the US firm General Electric (GE)) in 1967, of GEC-Alsthom in 1989, of Alstom in 1998 and latterly of Siemens in 2003. Its gas turbines are still manufactured in the Ruston Works in Lincoln and widely used around the world.

Technically, Ruston & Hornsby Ltd existed at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside until 2002, which was known as Ruston Diesels. It was taken over by MAN B&W Diesel AG on June 12th 2000.

Rustons in its various incarnations was always an engine producer, rather than a machine producer, and it is a true observation that they simply produced machines in order to sell engines.Fact|date=September 2008

Preserved locomotives

Heritage railways with Ruston locomotives include :
*Blenheim Riverside Railway
*Corris Railway
*Helston Railway Diesel Group
*Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway
*Mid-Suffolk Light Railway
*Moseley Railway Trust
*Pleasant Point Museum and Railway
*Talyllyn Railway
*Welsh Highland Railway

ee also

*Richard Hornsby & Sons
*Vaporizing oil engine



External links

* [ Ruston & Hornsby steam engines]
* [ History of the diesel engines and locomotives]
* [ Ray Hooley's history of Ruston & Hornsby]
* [ Vulcan Works at Newton-le-Willows]
* [ Http:// : Timeline of diesel engine manufacture]
* [ Restoration of a 48DL at the Purbeck Mineral & Mining Museum]

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