Robert Hudson Limited


Collection Objects

Robert Hudson Ltd. was a builder and supplier of narrow gauge railway equipment, and indeed complete narrow gauge railway systems, based in Gildersome, near Leeds. The business was founded in 1865 by the Hudson family, who were also owners of the Victoria Colliery. The factory occupied some 38 acres, and had its own hand worked 2 ft gauge internal railway.

In 1875, Hudson patented the “triple centre” side tipping truck, with its distinctive steel body of triangular cross section, seen on many narrow gauge industrial lines in many parts of the world. Several of these can be seen in use on works trains on the Talyllyn Railway.

From 1911, Hudson supplied a range of 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 narrow gauge locomotives produced by Hudswell Clarke, to a number of standard designs denoted by the letters A to Q. A total of 188 such locomotives were supplied.

Hudson was early to exploit the internal combustion engine, and offered a range of five petrol locomotives produced by the Avonside Engine Company of Bristol. They also produced rail mounted versions of the Fordson tractor introduced in the 1920s. The Avonside company was subsequently taken over by Hunslet, and a range of locomotives were produced under the Hudson Hunslet banner.

The company eventually ceased trading in 1985.

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