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====Model range====
====Model range====
; Steam shovels
; Steam shovels
* [[Ruston Steam Navvy]] - an example survives in Australia. Seen working at the [[Lake Goldsmith Steam Preservation Society]] show [[Video:1924 Ruston Hornsby SCC.AVI|thumb|300px|right|Ruston Steam Shovel working at Lake Goldsmith event]]
* [[Ruston Steam Navvy]] - an example survives in Australia. Seen working at the [[Lake Goldsmith Steam Preservation Society]] show [[File:1924 Ruston Hornsby SCC.AVI|thumb|300px|right|Ruston Steam Shovel working at Lake Goldsmith event]]

Latest revision as of 01:51, December 11, 2014

Ruston and Hornsby 115100

Ruston & Hornsby no. 115100 Hildary a 1922 built tractor - reg no. DO2953

Ruston & Hornsby was an industrial equipment manufacturer in Lincoln, England. They were most well known as a manufacturer of narrow and standard gauge diesel locomotives and steam shovels. They also built cars, steam locomotives and a range of internal combustion engines.

Ruston & Hornsby was a major producer of small and medium diesel engines for land and marine applications. It began to build diesel locomotives in 1931 (and continued up until 1967). It was a pioneer and major developer in the industrial application of small (up to 10000kW) heavy duty gas turbines from the 1950s onwards. Ruston still build gas turbines today, in Lincoln.


On September 11, 1918, the company of Ruston, Proctor and Company amalgamated with Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham to become Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. Hornsbys were world leaders in vaporizing oil engines, building them since 1891, a full eight years before Rudoph Diesel's engine was commercially produced.

The company were involved in production of a diverse range of products and by the 1930 following the depressed years of the 1920s after WW One they were involved in major restructuring of several companies.

Ransomes, Sims & JefferiesEdit

Main article: Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies

A controlling share was purchased in the Ipswich firm of Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies, agricultural engineers. Rustons then transferred to them the manufacture of steam engines, threshers, and the other of smaller agricultural implement lines they produced. This move helped to revitalise Ransomes company and freed up production space for Rustons growing diesel engine business in the Lincoln factory.

Aveling BarfordEdit

Main article: Aveling Barford

Ruston and Hornsby were involved in the deal to rescue Aveling & Porter and Barford & Perkins when the AGE colapse occured during the 1920s depression. Rustons refinanced the firms of Barford & Perkins of Peterborough, and Aveling & Porter of Rochester to create Aveling Barford Ltd. The deal moved the new firm to Grantham commencing production in part of the old Hornsby factory. To help them, Rustons transferred their road roller manufacture to the new company, with the new firm using Ruston engines in their Oil engined rollers. A-B subsequently became world leaders in their field for a period. A-B was later taken over by Leyland and merged with the Marshall Fowler operation to form Aveling Marshall.

Aveling Barford still survives after several restructuring's and take overs building Dumper Trucks as part of Wordsworth Holdings in the old factory.

Rail locomotivesEdit

Ruston Hornsby loco at Shildon NRM - IMG 1047

A Ruston and Hornsby locomotive in the collection at the NRM at Shildon

The range of diesel rail locomotives was developed further during the war with special flame proof versions for use in ammunition depots and mines.

Military productionEdit

During WW II the companies heavy engineering capacity was in demand for both engine production from small low horsepower units for pumps and generators etc through to industrial power units for standby generators for factories and for navel craft. with the heavey excavator factories turning out Tanks and heavy machinery parts.

Ruston Gas turbinesEdit

Part of the original Ruston company went on to manufacture gas turbines and became as subsidiary of several firms over the years. The business was still based in Lincoln for many years. The Company entered the gas Turbine marked after the war when they gambled on the new technology developed for fighter jets. They recruited some of the development team and created units for use in package generating sets for the Oil & Gas industry.

English ElectricEdit

The English Electric Co. in November 1966 took over Ruston & Hornsby Ltd. Then two years later, English Electric were taken over by the GEC Group (UK not GE of the USA). This resulted in the break-up of the Lincoln company, with sections merged ith oter GEC subsidaries. The large diesels joined up with the English Electric Vulcan Works at Newton-le-Willows, to become Ruston Diesels Ltd. The Newton-le-Willows "Vulcan Works" had a history that went back to 1830, as the factory where Robert Stephenson produced large numbers of steam locomotives.

The small diesels moved to Stafford to become part of Dorman Diesels Ltd. The Paxman engines subsidiary continued to build engines and boilers in Colchester, as Paxman Diesels Ltd. At Lincoln, excavator building continued at the Ruston Bucyrus factory with Bucyrus-Erie subsequently taking control.

The former Ruston turbine division expanded under the name Ruston Gas Turbines Ltd., and they were strengthened by the move of the Napier Turboblower subsidary of GEC which was moved from Liverpool to Lincoln.

Models ProducedEdit

(details of other products required)

Agricultural machineryEdit

  • baling presses,
  • binders,
  • drills,
  • grinding mills
  • mowers,
  • ploughs,
  • pumps,
  • threshing machines,
  • wagons,
  • Tractors - Rustons had before the first world war designed a tractor that began to sell well in the South American market. But when exports stoppped during WWI years, the USA captured these markets. In 1920 Rustons designed a British version of the American Wallace tractor. But they could not compete with the established tractor builders mass production lines low cost imports. Approximately 300 Ruston tractors were sold.

The Agricultural lines were Merged with Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies product lines during the 1930 reorganisation of the company.


In 1920 Ruston-Hornsby introduced the 16hp A-1 Tourer. with about 1300 Ruston-Hornsby cars produced between 1920 to 1925, when the cheaper Fords & other proved too much competition and production stopped (like lots of other firms who tried car production after WW I and were then hit by the depression)


Main article: Ruston & Hornsby Engines
Ruston 8HR 46 hp engine of 1927 demonstrated at Lister Tyndale 09 - IMG 4609

A Ruston 8HR single cylinder 46 hp Horizontal engine being demonstrated at the Lister Tyndale Steam Rally 2009

Ruston VC4 engine - ex Honister slate mine -shown at Llandudno 08 - P5050119 edited

A 120 hp 4 cylinder Ruston VC4 engine built in 1926

Ruston and Horsby built both Oil engines (from Hornsby-Ackroyd designs) and gas engines (from Rustons product line)

  • Single cylinder engines
    • Horizontal engines from 1 hp - 50 hp +
    • Vertical engines from 1 hp - ? hp
  • Multi-cylinder engines
  • Vertical from 8 hp - 500 hp +
See also: List of Ruston and Hornsby engine models


Main article: Ruston Bucyrus

A Range of excavator models from 16 to 120 tons were produced. The early machines were steam operated but latter models used diesel engines and were sold under the Ruston Brand. Later to become Ruston-Bucyrus following agreements to build Bucyrus-Erie designed machines under licence, and the subsequent merger with Bucyrus of the division to form Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd, with the Agreement that RB would use Ruston Engines.

Model rangeEdit

Steam shovels


  • Model : Ruston Hornsby Class N0 20 Steam Navvy Crane – No.4
    • Construction No. : 923
    • Original Owner : Australian Portland Cement Co. Fryansford Vic. Aus.
    • Weight : 90 Tons
    • This machine was in regular work until 1980.
    • It eventually ended up 200ft underwater in the Moorambool River. The Quarry was pumped out and the crane was recovered. Following a total restoration the machine is regularly displayed as a working display, operated by a 3 man crew.

Industrial machineryEdit

  • Rustons designed a gas producer that would burn any combustible material.
  • Early Caterpillar machines (built by Hornsby)
  • Ruston-Holt tracked tractor built under licence from Holt with a Ruston-Hornsby Engine for the Government ( a lot sold to Russia)
  • Road rollers - Production transfered to Aveling-Barford when the firm was created and moved into Hornsbys old works in Grantham, after Ruston Hornsby bailed Aveling & Porter out after the AGE collapse.

Steam machineryEdit

  • Steam boilers were available for a variety of purposes
  • Portable steam engines
  • Steam Tractors and Rollers

The Steam machinery production transfered to Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies during the 1930 restructuring.

Preserved MachinesEdit

Steam enginesEdit

Preserved machines built by Ruston & Hornsby Ltd (TER lists 42 in UK)
view  talk  edit

Engine No. Name Build Date Type Weight Power nhp Reg No. Owner Image Other info
Ruston & Hornsby no. 52453 - 1918 ST 5 ton 5 nhp OR 8501 Owner ?, Andover Image needed LHB

May have Ruston, Proctor and Company plate
Ruston & Hornsby no. 52552 - 1919 Portable 7 ton 10 nhp - Owner ?, Market Drayton Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 52573 Lucifer 1919 ST 5 ton 4 nhp TF 8240 Owner ?, Salisbury Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 52591 - 1919 Portable 3 ton 3 1/2 nhp - Owner ?, Wadebridge Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 52607 - 1918 ST 5 ton 4 nhp HP 2201 Owner ?, Church Stretton Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 52656 Rosetta 1919 Showman's tractor 5 ton 5 nhp YI 2853 Owner ?, Co. Louth ROI Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 52694 Nuffrush 1919 RR 5 ton Nuffield Diesel Engine NR 5056 Alan Eaton collection, Northamptonshire Ruston Hornsby no 52694 - RR - Nuffrush - NR 5056 at Earls Barton 09 - IMG 6066 At Rushden 2008 & Earls Barton 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 52721 1919 PE 6 ton 8 nhp - Owner ?, Whitchurch Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 52766 Princess Anne 1919 Tractor 5 ton 4 nhp AW 4996 R Griffith, Kidderminster Ruston & Hornsby no. 52766 Tractor Princess Anne reg AW 4996 at Stourport 09 - IMG 8761 At Stourport Steam Rally 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 52785 - 1920 RR 10 ton  ? nhp WR 6808 owner ?, Nantwich  ? Seen at Essex Country Show ?
Ruston & Hornsby no. 52865 - 1919 RR 10 ton  ? nhp EP 1620 Owner ? to add Essex Country Show
Ruston & Hornsby no. 55499 - - PE  ? ton  ? nhp - Ex-Preston Services, Kent Image needed LHB

Mis-recorded is Ruston-Proctor no. 33499 (T45)
Ruston & Hornsby no. 113043 Oliver 1920 TE 9 ton 6 nhp CE 7977 Bressingham Steam Museum Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 113143 - 1920 TE 11 ton 7 nhp [[AO 6340] Owner ?, Carlise Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 113812 Pride of Endrick 1920 TE  ? ton 6 nhp MS 3273 Glasgow Transport Museum Image needed LHB

On loan to Alford Transport Museum - In the Collection of Glasgow Transport Museum
Ruston & Hornsby no. 114059 ex ? The Brasford Belle 1921 RR 12 ton 7 nhp CJ 4853 S & S Vickery, of St. Albans Ruston & Hornsby no 114059 Roller reg CJ 4853 at Bloxham 09 - IMG 5943 At Bloxham & Woodcote Rally 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 115023 - 1922 RR 11 ton  ? nhp XM 6373 Bill Best, Kent (Kept at Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway) Ruston & Hornsby no. 115023 - RR - XM 6373 at barleylands 2009 - IMG 9334 Essex Country Show
Ruston & Hornsby no. 115100 Hildary 1922 TE type SH 9 ton 7 hp DO 2953 D. Brothwell, Notts Ruston and Hornsby 115100 At Cromford Steam Rally
& Holcot Steam Rally
(featured on Fred Dibnah's
made in Britain)
Ruston & Hornsby no. 115123 Veronica 1921 RR type SR 10 ton 6 hp XM 6374 J. E. Brice, Norfolk Ruston and Hornsby no. 115123 roller Veronica reg XM 6374 at Woolpit 09 - IMG 1483 At Woolpit Steam rally 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 122160 - 1923 TE 9.5 ton 7 nhp EB 5670 Owner ?, Lincoln Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 122282 Natalie I 1924 RR 10 ton 5 nhp BJ 9644 owner ?, Lincoln to add seen at Essex Country Show
Ruston & Hornsby no. 122300 Sadie 1924 Traction Engine 14 ton 7 nhp CJ 7207 G. Beck & P. Dook of ? Ruston & Hornsby no. 122300 TE Sadie reg CJ 7207 at Sheffield 09 - IMG 5416 At Sheffield Steam and Vintage Rally 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 122338 Endeavour 1924 RR 11 ton  ? nhp XU 5721 owner ?, Diss to add Essex Country Show
Ruston & Hornsby no. 125663 The Leeside Rover 1925 SE / Direct Ploughing weight ? power ? IF 5409 Owner ?, ROI Image needed LHB

Originally a Stationary engine rebuilt as a direct ploughing engine. ( Boiler from Marshall no. 89017)
Ruston & Hornsby no. 128138 (T16) - 1926 Direct ploughing weight ? 12 nhp - Owner ?, Melksam Image needed LHB

(T16) repatriated from South America
Ruston & Hornsby no. 128183 - 1926 TE (Direct Plough)  ? ton 12 nhp - For sale at Preston Services to add Repatriated from South America
Ruston & Hornsby no. 145698 Lizzy 1927 Semi portable PDG  ? ton 6 nhp N/A The Sitwell Estate, Derbyshire Ruston & Hornsby no. 145698 semi portable at Renishaw hall 2011 - IMG 8361 Located in stable yard at Renishaw Hall. Operates by Hydraulic motor
Ruston & Hornsby no. 149813 Success 1928 Steam Roller 10 ton 6 nhp VF 3186 N & L LeCount, of Northamptonshire Ruston & Hornsby no. 149813 Roller Success reg VF 3186 at Kettering 08 - IMG 1845 At Rushden & Kettering 2008
Ruston & Hornsby no. 152000 - date ? PE weight ? power ? - Owner ?, St. Austell Cornwall Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 158623 Moonlight Magic 1929 RR type SR (1 of 8 survivors) 12 ton 5 nhp UR 5657 S & S Vickery of Dunstable, Beds Ruston & Hornsby no. 158623 RR Moonlight Magic reg UR 5657 at Woodcote 09 - IMG 8263 At Woodcote Rally 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 161250 - 1929 TE 9 ton 6 nhp FW 1509 B. Knight collection Ruston & Hornsby no. 161250 TE - FW 1509 at Little Casterton 09 - IMG 1666 at Little Casterton 2009
Ruston & Hornsby no. 163844 Little Imp 1932 Portable engine - 2 nhp NA Mrs. J. Ing, of Salisbury Image needed LHB

Listed at Old Warden 2009 (not seen) ?
Ruston & Hornsby no. 163853 1931 PE 4.5 ton power ? - Claude Jessett Collection, Hadlow Down Ruston+Hornsby no.163853 PE at Tinkers Park 2014 - IMG 1333 Recently rebuilt
Ruston & Hornsby no. 163854 Jack 1932 PE 4.5 ton power ? - Owner ?, Sedgefield, County Durham Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 163856 Name ? 1932 PE 4.5 ton power ? - Owner ?, Sedgefield, County Durham Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 163860 Name ? 1931 PE weight ? 8 nhp - Owner ?, Oxford Image needed LHB

No motion works, Boiler only/
Ruston & Hornsby no. 163864 - 1931 PE 7.5 ton 12 nhp - Owner ?, Co. Durham Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 169166 Queen Bess 1929 TE  ? ton 5 nhp TL 3433 Preston collection Ruston & Hornsby no. 169166 - TE - Queen Bess - TL 3433 at masham 2010 - IMG 7142 edited At Masham 2010
Ruston & Hornsby no. 169167 Trevithick 1933 TE weight ? 6 nhp TL 5452 Owner ?, Telford Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 173761 1935 PE 7.5 ton power ? - Owner ?, Swindon Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 173763 1934 (built 1926) PE weight ? power ? - Owner ?, Bedford Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. 175037 - 1935 Portable engine 3 ton 4 nhp - Owner ?, Stamford Image needed LHB

Youngest known original R&H in UK[1]
Ruston & Hornsby no. UI - 2016 Tractor (replica)  ? ton 3 nhp na Owner ?, Spalding Image needed LHB

Replica under construction no sn or reg no assigned yet (2016)
Image needed LHB

Ruston & Hornsby no. ? Name ? date built type weight power Reg no. ? Owner ? Image needed LHB

Machine types: References
SW = Steam Wagon, PE = Portable Engine, Plg = Ploughing Engine, RR = Road Roller,
SM = Showman's engine, SRL = Showman's road locomotive,
ST= Steam Tractor, TE = Traction Engine (R) = Reconstructed.
  1. TER 2008 page 70

Stationary enginesEdit

This section needs developing, as a large number of Ruston and Hornsby engines exist and appear a various Steam fairs and Vintage rallies around the UK and are also in several Museums featuring industrial machinery in the UK and around the world.

There are magazines devoted to the field of Stationary engines and to Industrial machinery in general which often feature Ruston and Hornsby products.

Museums featuring R&H engines include;
Preserved RH engines

Please list examples with model / type, sn details, size owner and a photo with details of were seen (if possible).

Stationary Engines in Preservation
v  d  e

RH sn no. Model Size hp Year Owner Photo Notes (were seen or special features)
Ruston Hornsby sn 145591 ZPR  ? hp year ? owner ? Ruston Hornsby type ZPR engine sn 145591 - IMG 3752 were seen / misc info
Ruston Hornsby s/n 227850 PB9 4 1/2 hp 1944 N. Brinkhurst Ruston Hornsby PB9 sn 227850 4.5 hp at Lister Tyndale 09 - IMG 4634 at Lister Tyndale Steam Rally
Ruston Hornsby Oil Engine no. 390130 Oil Engine  ? hp year ? owner ? Ruston Hornsby 3HRO no. 390130IMG 2220 were seen / misc info
Ruston Hornsby sn ? AP 10 1/2 hp 1928 K. Andrews Ruston Hornsby AP engine 1928 - K. Andrews - Kettering 08 - IMG 2011 Exhibited at Royal Highland show
Ruston Hornsby sn ? type ?  ? hp year ? owner ? Image needed LHB
set to 150px]]
were seen / misc info

See alsoEdit

general website links list

References / sourcesEdit

External LinksEdit

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