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Metro-Cammell, fully the Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company (MCCW) was an English manufacturer of railway carriages, locomotives and railway wagons, based in Saltley and subsequently Washwood Heath in Birmingham. Purchased by GEC-Alstom in May 1989, the company went out of business in 2005.

IndustryRailway engineering
FateAcquired by Alstom
HeadquartersSheffield, England, UK
ProductsRailway carriages, locomotives, diesel multiple units and electric multiple units
ParentIndependent (1863–1989)
Alstom (1989–2005)
A door step plate from a unit of London Underground 1973 Stock, built by Metro-Cammell.

The company has designed and built trains for the railways in the United Kingdom and overseas, including the Mass Transit Railway of Hong Kong, Kowloon-Canton Railway (now East Rail Line), the Channel Tunnel, the Tyne and Wear Metro and locomotives for Malaysia's Keretapi Tanah Melayu. Diesel and electric locomotives were manufactured for South African Railways, Nyasaland Railways, Malawi, Nigeria, Trans-Zambezi Railway and Pakistan; DMUs for Jamaica Railway Corporation; and DMUs for National Railways of Mexico. The vast majority of London Underground rolling stock manufactured in mid 20th century was produced by the company. It also designed and built the Blue Pullman for British Railways.


Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Company LtdEdit

The company was formed in 1863 as the Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd (successors to Messrs. Joseph Wright and Sons) of London. Joseph Wright built coaches for the London and Southampton Railway in 1837 and the London and Birmingham Railway in 1838. In 1845 he moved the carriage works from London to Birmingham, where he purchased 6 acres (2.4 ha) of meadowland in Saltley, adjacent to the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway line.

Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage and Wagon Company LtdEdit

In 1902, it merged with four other carriage and wagon builders i.e. Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Co Ltd v Riche, Brown, Marshalls and Co. Ltd., Lancaster Railway Carriage and Wagon Co Ltd and Oldbury Railway Carriage and Wagon Co Ltd become Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd.

Flirt II, a WWI Mark IV "Female" tank, built by Metropolitan[1]

Metropolitan were contracted as a builder of the new tanks for the British Army during the First World War. They built all 400 of the Mark V tank and 700 improved Mark V* tanks. These were the most developed heavy tank designs to see service in the war.

In 1917, Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Company and Vickers Limited took joint control of British Westinghouse. In 1919 Vickers bought out the Metropolitan shares and renamed the company Metropolitan-Vickers.

By 1926, they had changed their name again to Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company Ltd.

In 1929, the railway rolling stock business of Cammell Laird and Company was merged as Metropolitan-Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd, the resulting company being part owned by Vickers and the Cammell Laird group.

MCCW also built bus bodies. In 1932, Metro Cammell Weymann was formed by the MCCW's bus bodybuilding business and Weymann Motor Bodies.

In the Second World War, Metro built tanks again, including the Valentine tank and Light Tank Mk VIII.

Saltley works was closed in 1962 and group administration concentrated at Washwood Heath in 1967.

Closure by AlstomEdit

In May 1989 the railway business was sold to GEC Alsthom (now Alstom) Group. The last trains to be built at the Washwood Heath plant before its closure in 2005 were the Class 390 "Pendolino" tilting trains for the West Coast Main Line modernisation.


British Rail Class 156 "Super Sprinter" diesel multiple unit
Glasgow Subway metro train
MTR East Rail Metro Cammell EMU (as refurbished 1996–1999)
The Birmingham International maglev shuttle 1984–1995

Heavy railEdit

Rapid transitEdit

London UndergroundEdit

Other systemsEdit

Bid for (but lost the contract to another company)Edit


  1. ^ Pullen 2007, p. 136
  2. ^ Pritchard, Fox & Hall 2009, p. 340
  3. ^ Pritchard, Fox & Hall 2009, p. 341
  4. ^ Connor 1983, p. [page needed]
  5. ^ a b Hardy 2002, p. 29
  6. ^ David Millin. "A Brief History of the Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Ltd 1845–1945". Retrieved 19 July 2014.


  • Pullen, Richard (2007). The Landships of Lincoln (2nd ed.). Tucann. ISBN 978-1-873257-79-1.
  • Pritchard, Robert; Fox, Peter; Hall, Peter (2009). British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2009. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. ISBN 1-902336-70-4.
  • Hardy, Brian (2002) [1976]. London Underground Rolling Stock (15th ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-263-1.
  • Connor, Piers (1983). The 'R' Stock Story. Hemel Hempstead: London Underground Railway Society. ISBN 0-9508793-0-4.

External linksEdit