Traction Engine Manufacturers

burrell traction engine

The traction engine lasted from around 1850 to 1950 in the UK, during this timeframe there were a number of traction engine manufacturers. Over the years a number of these have drawn the attention of model engineers. I felt I need to understand and research them.


William Allchin Ltd, Northampton

Castings, Drawings and Parts

  • AJ Reeves – plans and castings for 1.5″ Allchin traction engine.
  • Maxitrak – 3/4″ models

Aveling & Porter

Aveling & Porter, Rochester, Kent

Castings, Drawings and Parts

  • Maxitrak – 3″ machined kit for a road tractor


Charles Burrell & Sons, St Nicholas Foundry, Thetford, Norfolk. In 1846 Charles Burrell was one of the first firms to make portable steam engines.

Castings, Drawings and Parts

  • EKP Supplies – castings and plans for 4″, 6″ and 8″ traction engine
  • Maxitrak – 1″ machined kit for traction engine and showmans engine
  • MJ Engineering – plans for 2″ road TE, 2″ showmans engine and 2″ roller
  • Plastow – have drawings and castings for a 3″ and 4.5″ un-sprung early single cylinder engine.
  • Steam Traction World – produce kits for 2″, 4″ and 6″ single cylinder agricultural engine, double crank compound, a roller and a 4″ showmans engine.

Further Reading

Clayton & Shuttleworth

Lincoln. It was a Clayton and Shuttleworth portable engine that was modified by Thomas Aveling to create the very first self-propelled traction engine in 1859. Hence Thomas Aveling being known as the father of the traction engine.

Castings, Drawings and Parts

  • AJ Reeves – plans and castings for 2″ Clayton Undertype Steam wagon.


William Foster & Co Ltd, Lincoln


G J Fowell & Co, St Ives, Huntingdonshire, designed by the engineer who designed the Burrell’s.

Further Reading:


John Fowler & Co., Leeds, Yorkshire

Castings, Drawings and Parts

  • Maxitrak – 1″ machined kit for a ploughing engine
  • MJ Engineering – plans for 2″ and 3″ single cylinder A7 TE, 2″ compound A7 TE
  • Plastow – 2″, 3″ and 4″ showmans engine and road loco


Richard Garrett & Sons, Leiston, Suffolk

Further Reading:

  • Thomas Green & Son, Leeds, Yorkshire.
  • James & Frederick Howard, Bedford
  • Mann’s Patent Steam Cart and Wagon Company, Leeds, Yorkshire


Marshall, Sons & Co., Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

Castings, Drawings and Parts

  • AJ Reeves – plans and castings for 1.5″ portable engine.

  • J&H McLaren & Co., Leeds, Yorkshire
  • Paxman, Colchester, Suffolk
  • Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Ltd, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Robey & Co, Lincoln
  • Ruston & Hornsby Ltd, Lincoln
  • F Savage, King’s Lynn, Norfolk – Portable centre engines for amusement rides
  • Sentinel Waggon Works, Shrewsbury, Shropshire – Utilised vertical boilers
  • Tasker & Sons, Andover, Hampshire
  • William Tuxford & Sons, Boston, Lincolnshire.
  • Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co. Leeds, Yorkshire

Wallis & Steevens

Basingstoke, Hampshire

Castings, Drawings and Parts

Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co.

Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co. Leeds, Yorkshire

Further Reading:

  • Walters Vehicles – a brief history of the engines along with some great images
About Nigel 358 Articles
I've been making models since I was around 7 years old and using a lathe from the age of 11, a self taught engineer with a passion for making model engines.

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