The story of Metro-Cammell begins in 1845, when Joseph Wright a London coach builder, leased land in Saltley, Birmingham with the intention of building a factory for the production of railway rolling stock. Joseph Wright, realising that the future lay in the development of the railways devoted his energies, together with those of his sons to building rolling stock and by the 1850s his Saltley site had massively expanded and he was employing a work force of about 800 people. In addition to building stock for practically all the home railways, the firm completed contracts for many countries world-wide.
In 1902 rationalisation of the rolling stock industry began when the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd. was formed, incorporating Joseph Wright's old firm with other well known companies such as Ashbury, Brown and Marshalls, Oldbury and Lancaster railway carriage companies. In 1929 Vickers Ltd., after acquiring the shares of the Metropolitan Company, came together with Cammell Laird and Co. and each merged their rolling stock interests to form the great undertaking of Metropolitan-Cammell Ltd.
The Metro-Cammell collection [MS 99], as held by the Library of Birmingham, comprises of over 100,000 railway rolling stock drawings in the form of microfilm aperture cards together with over 100 photographic albums, rolling stock specifications, catalogues and pamphlets. The records date from c1850 to c1950.
Enquires to view the material this collection should be made through our archives team.