Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited 1855 - 1964

Nationality:
British
based:
Birmingham, Borough of Birmingham, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom

The Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company (BRC&W) was a railway locomotive and carriage builder, founded in Birmingham, England and, for most of its existence, located at nearby Smethwick.

BRC&W made not only carriages and wagons, but a range of vehicles, from aeroplanes and gliders to buses, trolleybuses and tanks. Nevertheless, it is as a builder of railway rolling stock that the company is best remembered, exporting to most parts of the new and old worlds. It supplied vehicles to all four of the pre-nationalisation "big four" railway companies (LMS, SR, LNER and GWR), British Rail, Pullman (some of which are still in use) and Wagons Lits, plus railways as diverse as those in Egypt, India, South Africa, Iraq, Malaya and Nigeria. In 1910 the company built, Argentina's presidential coach, which still survives, and which once carried Eva Perón.

The company built hospital trains during the Second Boer War, Handley Page bombers and de Havilland DH10s in 1914-1918, and tanks (including the A10 Cruiser, Churchill, Cromwell and Challenger), plus Hamilcar gliders to carry them, in 1939-1945.

Before World War II, the company had built steam-, petrol- and diesel-powered railcars for overseas customers, not to mention bus bodies for Midland Red, and afterwards developed more motive power products, including BR's Class 26, Class 33 (both diesel) and Class 81 (electric) locomotives.