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Metro cammel 1973 2013-09-20 14-10

A footplate from a unit of 1973 stock, built by Metro-Cammell.

The Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon Company (MCCW) was an English manufacturer of railway carriages and wagons, based in Saltley and subsequently Washwood Heath in Birmingham. Bought by GEC Alstom in May 1989, the company closed by them in 2005.

The company has made trains for railways in the UK and overseas, including the Mass Transit Railway of Hong Kong, Kowloon-Canton Railway] (now East Rail Line), the Channel Tunnel 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; Diesel Multiple Unit (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

Metropolitan Railway Carriage & Wagon Co.

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 meadow-land 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.

Water carrier for Mesopotamia

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.


  1. Pullen 2007, p. 136


  • Pullen, Richard (2007). The Landships of Lincoln, 2nd, Tucann. ISBN 978-1-873257-79-1. 
  • (2009) British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2009. Sheffield: Platform 5 Publishing. ISBN 1-902336-70-4. 
  • Hardy, Brian [1976] (2002). London Underground Rolling Stock, 15th, 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. 
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