Paxman (engines)
Paxman is a major British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 brand of diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

s. Ownership has changed on a number of occasions since the company's formation in 1865, and now the brand is owned by MAN SE, as part of MAN Diesel & Turbo
MAN Diesel & Turbo
MAN Diesel & Turbo SE is multinational company based in Germany that produces large-bore diesel engines for railway-locomotives, marine propulsion systems, power plant applications and turbochargers. The company was formed in 2010 from the merger of MAN Diesel and MAN Turbo...

. At its peak, the Paxman works covered 23 acres (93,000 m²) and employed over 2,000 people. Engine production is still primarily based at Paxman's Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 works. Early Paxman diesel engines (with "Comet" indirect injection cylinder heads, designed by Sir Harry Ricardo
Harry Ricardo
Sir Harry Ricardo was one of the foremost engine designers and researchers in the early years of the development of the internal combustion engine....

) carried the name Paxman Ricardo. .

Davey Paxman

Paxman was founded as Davey, Paxman & Davey, Engineers in 1865, later Davey, Paxman & Co. which became a limited company in 1898. In 1920 the company became a member of the Agricultural & General Engineers Ltd
Agricultural & General Engineers
Agricultural & General Engineers was a combine of British engineering companies formed in 1919. The constituent companies were assigned sectors of the market to reduce competition within the group. The group headquarters were located in Aldwych, London, but most of the member companies were in...

 (AGE) combine
A syndicate is a self-organizing group of individuals, companies or entities formed to transact some specific business, or to promote a common interest or in the case of criminals, to engage in organized crime...

. In 1932 AGE collapsed and Paxman emerged as Davey Paxman & Co (Colchester) Ltd.

Davey, Paxman and Davey conducted business as general engineers and ironworkers. The company manufactured steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

s, boilers, agricultural machinery, and mill gearing. By the early 1870s the company was supplying machinery to the Kimberley diamond mines in South Africa.


In 1940, Ruston & Hornsby Ltd purchased a controlling interest in the company; this co-operation led to the formation of Ruston-Paxman Group.

In 1954, the engine controls business of Paxman was reformed as a subsidiary, Ardleigh Engineering Ltd. In 1962, Paxman acquired the engine controls division of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation and merged the two businesses under the Regulateurs Europa name.

English Electric and GEC

In 1966, the Ruston-Paxman Group was acquired by English Electric
English Electric
English Electric was a British industrial manufacturer. Founded in 1918, it initially specialised in industrial electric motors and transformers...

. The diesel engine businesses were merged into English Electric Diesel Engines Ltd (later English Electric Diesels Ltd). Paxman became the "Paxman Engine Division" of English Electric. In 1968, English Electric was itself acquired by GEC. In 1972, GEC renamed the engines division GEC Diesels Limited. In 1975, a reorganisation saw the creation of Paxman Diesels Limited as a subsidiary.


In 1988, GEC merged its Paxman, Ruston
Ruston (engine builder)
Ruston & Hornsby, later known as Ruston, was an industrial equipment manufacturer in Lincoln, England, the company's history going back to 1840. The company is best known as a manufacturer of narrow and standard gauge diesel locomotives and also of steam shovels. Other products included cars, steam...

 and Mirrlees Blackstone diesels businesses with the Alsthom division of Compagnie Générale d'Electricité's (CGE) to form GEC-Alsthom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

. Paxman became GEC ALSTHOM Paxman Diesels Ltd. In December 1997, GEC Alsthom had its initial public offering as Alstom. The diesel engine businesses became Alstom Engines Ltd (AEL).

MAN B&W Diesel

In 2000, Alstom Engines Ltd. was acquired by MAN B&W Diesel (a subsidiary of MAN AG) to become MAN B&W Diesel Ltd. In 2005, MAN sold the Regulateurs Europa controls business to Heinzmann GmbH.


Pre-1934 designs :
  • VZ, used in LMS 7054

Post-1934 designs (indirect injection) :
  • RP, used in British Rail 10100
    British Rail 10100
    British Railways 10100 was an unusual experimental diesel locomotive known informally as The Fell Diesel Locomotive . It was the joint production of Davey Paxman & Co, Shell Refining & Marketing Co and Lt-Col L.F.R. Fell, built for them by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway at Derby. Sir...

    , British Rail 10800
    British Rail 10800
    British Railways 10800 was a diesel locomotive built by the North British Locomotive Company for British Railways in 1950. It had been ordered by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1946 but did not appear until after the 1948 nationalisation of the railways.Design was by George Ivatt and...

    , British Rail 11001
    British Rail 11001
    11001 was one of the first British Railways diesel locomotives, built in 1949 at British Railways' Ashford Works. It was designed by O. V. S. Bulleid when he was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway. It was powered by a Paxman RPH Series 1 engine, capable of delivering at 1,250 rpm...

    , British Rail Class D2/1
    British Rail Class D2/1
    British Rail Class D2/1 was a locomotive commissioned by British Rail in England. It was a diesel powered locomotive in the pre-TOPS period built by the North British Locomotive Company with a Paxman engine.-Sources:...

    , British Rail Class 07
    British Rail Class 07
    The British Rail Class 07 diesel locomotive is an off-centre cab dock shunter used in Southampton Docks, to replace SR USA Class steam locomotives. It is a 0-6-0 diesel-electric shunter built by Ruston & Hornsby in 1962...

    , WAGR Y class
    WAGR Y class
    The WAGR Y class diesel electric locomotive was introduced in 1953, and was operated by Western Australian Government Railways. Eighteen locomotives were built by the British Thomson-Houston company, with the Clayton Equipment Company acting as sub contractor, and diesel engines supplied by...

Post-1952 designs (direct injection)
  • YH, used in British Rail Class 15
    British Rail Class 15
    The British Rail Class 15 diesel locomotives, also known as the BTH Type 1, were designed by British Thomson-Houston, and built by the Yorkshire Engine Company and the Clayton Equipment Company, between 1957 and 1961.- Design history :...

     and British Rail Class 16
    British Rail Class 16
    The North British Type 1 was a type of diesel locomotive ordered under British Railways' 1955 Modernisation Plan. Like other Type 1 designs, they were relatively small locomotives intended primarily for local freight traffic....

  • ZH, used in British Rail Class 17
    British Rail Class 17
    The British Rail Class 17 was a class of 117 Bo-Bo diesel-electric locomotives built 1962–1965 by Clayton Equipment Company and their sub-contractor Beyer, Peacock & Co., for British Railways ....

  • YJ Ventura, used in Type 42 destroyer
    Type 42 destroyer
    The Type 42 or Sheffield class, are guided missile destroyers used by the British Royal Navy and the Argentine Navy. The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971, and today three ships remain active in the Royal Navy and one in the Argentinian Navy...

    , British Rail Class 14
    British Rail Class 14
    The British Rail Class 14 is a type of small diesel-hydraulic locomotive built in the mid-1960s. Twenty-six of these 0-6-0 locomotives were ordered in January 1963, to be built at British Railways Swindon Works. The anticipated work for this class was yard shunting, trip work and short distance...

    , British Rail Class 29
    British Rail Class 29
    The British Rail Class 29 were a class of 20 diesel-electric Bo'Bo' locomotives produced by the re-engining of the British Rail Class 21 units. The units were designed for both passenger and freight trains...

    , British Rail Class 74
    British Rail Class 74
    British Rail Class 74 was an electro-diesel locomotive that operated on the Southern Region of British Railways, rebuilt from redundant Class 71 locomotives in the late 1960s...

  • Y3J (later RP200) Valenta
    Paxman Valenta
    The Paxman Valenta was an engine that was made by Paxman diesels for the HST , and is still in use in various marine applications, such as the Upholder/Victoria class submarine....

    , used in Type 22 frigate
    Type 22 frigate
    The Type 22 Broadsword class is a class of frigate built for the British Royal Navy. Fourteen of the class were built in total, with production divided into three batches. With the decommissioning of HMS Cornwall on 30 June 2011, the final Type 22 of the Royal Navy was retired from service...

    , Type 23 frigate
    Type 23 frigate
    The Type 23 frigate is a class of frigate built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. All the ships were first named after British Dukes, thus the class is also known as the Duke class. The first Type 23 was commissioned in 1989, and the sixteenth, was launched in May 2000 and commissioned in...

    , Invincible class aircraft carrier
    Invincible class aircraft carrier
    The Invincible class is a class of light aircraft carrier operated by the British Royal Navy. Three ships were constructed, , and . The vessels were built as aviation-capable anti-submarine warfare platforms to counter the Cold War North Atlantic Soviet submarine threat, and initially embarked...

    , Upholder class Submarine, InterCity 125
    InterCity 125
    The InterCity 125 was the brand name of British Rail's High Speed Train fleet. The InterCity 125 train is made up of two power cars, one at each end of a fixed formation of Mark 3 carriages, and is capable of , making the train the fastest diesel-powered locomotive in regular service in the...

     High Speed Train
  • VP185, used in British Rail Class 43 (HST)
    British Rail Class 43 (HST)
    The British Rail Class 43 is the TOPS classification used for the InterCity 125 High Speed Train power cars, built by BREL from 1975 to 1982....

    , CountryLink XPT
    CountryLink XPT
    The XPT is the main long-distance passenger train used in regional New South Wales, Australia. It operates on key eastern seaboard routes including the Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane services...


Examples of Ruston-Paxman diesel engines:
  • RK3, used in British Rail Class 56
    British Rail Class 56
    The British Rail Class 56 is a type of diesel locomotive designed for heavy freight work. It is a Type 5 locomotive, with a Ruston-Paxman power unit developing 3,250 bhp , and has a Co-Co wheel arrangement...

    , British Rail Class 58
    British Rail Class 58
    The British Rail Class 58 is a class of Co-Co diesel locomotive designed for heavy freight. Introduced in 1983, they followed American practice of modularisation. From new they were painted in grey Railfreight Sector livery, instead of BR blue...

External links

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