Horbury railway works

Horbury, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England was the site of two wagon works constructed during the Victorian period of industrialisation.[1]

Charles Roberts & Co. builders plate on preserved wagon

Charles Roberts & Company's wagon works was located at Horbury Junction southeast of Horbury, West Yorkshire, England. It became part of the Procor group in the 1970s as Procor Engineering Ltd. and, subsequently, part of Bombardier Inc.'s European railway businesses in 1990 as Bombardier Prorail (Horbury), closing in 2005.

The Yorkshire Railway Wagon Company was based near Horbury Bridge west of Horbury.

Yorkshire Railway Wagon Co.Edit

Yorkshire Railway Wagon Company
IndustryRolling stock manufacture
Horbury Bridge

53°39′37″N 1°34′12″W / 53.660188°N 1.570015°W / 53.660188; -1.570015

The Yorkshire Railway Wagon Company was incorporated in 1862,[2] by 1869 it had produced over 2000 wagons.[3] The factory was located to the west of Horbury railway station to the north of the Manchester and Leeds Railway line.

The factory closed in the second half of the twentieth century and the site is used as Quarry Hill Industrial Estate.

Charles Roberts & Co.Edit

Charles Roberts & Co.
after 1974
Procor Engineering Ltd.
IndustryRolling stock
Fateclosed 2005
SuccessorBombardier Prorail
ProductsWagons, rail vehicle bodyshells

53°39′12″N 1°32′24″W / 53.653258°N 1.539872°W / 53.653258; -1.539872

Charles Roberts & Co. Ltd. was established in 1856 in Wakefield and moved to Horbury Junction in 1873[4] and registered in 1899 as a wagon building business[5] located at the junction of routes of the Manchester and Leeds Railway (present Caldervale Line) and the Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Goole Railway Company (leased and later transferred to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway[6]) (present Hallam Line).

The company produced a variety of railway wagons, tank wagons and components.[7]

The plant was acquired by Procor of Canada in 1974,[8][9] becoming Procor Engineering Limited. Procor Engineering Ltd. was acquired by Bombardier Inc. in 1990,[10] after which it became part of Bombardier Prorail.[11] Bombardier closed the plant in 2005, as part of number of closures due to overcapacity throughout Europe and North America in its transportation division.[9][12]


A Charles Roberts & Co. wagon preserved at Swanwick Junction railway station

In addition to freight rolling stock, the plant produced bodyshells for the Class 60 during the Procor period,[13] and Class 92 during Bombardier's ownership.[14] During the Second World War the factory was involved in the production of the Churchill Tank.[15]

The plant was involved in the passenger vehicle construction and refurbishment. In the 1950s tram bodies were constructed for Blackpool Tramways 'Coronation Cars',[16] and Sheffield Tramways.[17] In the early 2000s Bombardier Voyager trains were built at Horbury and at Bombardier's BN plant in Bruges, Belgium.[18] Refurbishment of GNER's Mark 4 coach fleet took place at Horbury in the mid-2000s.[19]

After closureEdit

After closure part of the plant was taken over by the engineering company Eddison & Wanless,[20] and part of the site has been named the Charles Roberts Office Park.[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The commercial directory and shippers guide. 1875. p. 579.
  2. ^ Bradshaw's railway manual, shareholders' guide and official directory. W. J. Adams. 1894. p. 607.
  3. ^ "Yorkshire Railway Wagon Companies". The Railway News. Vol. 12. 14 August 1969. p. 152.
  4. ^ Woodall 1973, p. 97.
  5. ^ "Charles Roberts and Co". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  6. ^ Bradshaw's railway manual, shareholders' guide and official directory. 19. W. J. Adams (London) / Bradshaw & Blacklock (Manchester). 1867. p. 160.
  7. ^ Jane's world railways. Franklin Watts. 1977. p. 96.
  8. ^ ".. Procor Wagons ." International Railway Journal. Simmons-Boardman. 15: 558. 1975. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Grinding to a halt – 150 years of history is over". Wakefield Express. 27 October 2005. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  10. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Bombardier Plans Procor Purchase (REUTERS)". The New York Times. 24 October 1990. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Bombardier Prorail Limited". investing.businessweek.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  12. ^ David Briginshaw (June 2004). "Bombardier addresses overcapacity". findarticles.com. Railway Age.
  13. ^ "Class 60". www.semgonline.com. Southenn E-Group. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  14. ^ Colin J. Kirkland (1995). Engineering the Channel Tunnel. Taylor & Francis. p. 183.
  15. ^ "Machinery". Machinery. The Machinery Publishing Co. 67: 748. 1945. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Coronation Car 304". www.ltt.org.uk. Lancastrian Transport Trust. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Sheffield 513". blackpooltramway125.co.uk. British Trams Online / Tramways Monthly. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  18. ^ Sources:
    Dave Coxon. "Class 221 testing and operations". www.traintesting.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
    Dave Coxon. "Class 220 testing and operations". www.traintesting.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  19. ^ "Bombardier opens refurbishment centre at Derby" (PDF). The Railway Herald. Vol. 1 no. 13. 1 July 2005. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. Bombardier is also in the process of refurbishing GNER's Mark 4 fleet of coaches and DVTs, but this work which is now approaching completion will remain at the company's Horbury plant
  20. ^ "Growth promise at new premises". Yorkshire Evening Post. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  21. ^ "History". www.charlesrobertsofficepark.co.uk. Magna Holdings Ltd. Retrieved 30 June 2011.


  • Woodall, Richard (1973). Some Horbury Yesterdays. Horbury County secondary school. OCLC 23528724.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External linksEdit