Ward Foundry

Location type


Name and dates

Ward Foundry (1810-1929)


This was the foundry of J & C Carmichael which made the first locomotives built in Scotland. James Carmichael [Senior] , whose statue can be found outside the McManus Gallery in Dundee, and Charles Carmichael opened the foundry in 1810.

It was located in Dundee a short distance west of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway's Dundee Ward Road terminus. The foundry was on the north side of Guthrie Street, the western extension of Ward Road, between Blinshall Street (west) and Brown Street (east).

The foundry had a broad mix of products including; boilers, forging equipment, locomotives, marine equipment, steam engines, turbines and even weighbridges.

During 1832-1833 the works built two 0-2-4 locomotives with vertical boilers for the Dundee and Newtyle Railway, built to the 4ft 6in gauge. These were 'Earl of Airlie' (locomotive no 1) and 'Lord Wharncliffe' (no 2). These locomotives were converted to standard gauge in 1849 and continued in service until 1854.

The works became owned by the limited company James Carmichael & Co Ltd (James Carmichael [Junior] was the son of Charles Carmichael) and continued to manufacture marine equipment.

Closure was in 1929. The Dundee Central Mosque is now located within the courtyard of the former works.



Nearby stations
Dundee Ward Road
Dundee West
Dundee Trades Lane
Dundee Esplanade
Dundee East
Magdalen Green
Offset at Back of Law
Ninewells Junction [Station]
Lochee West
Baldovan and Downfield
Newport-on-Tay East
Dundee Ward Road Shed
Blackness Foundry
Law Incline
Seabraes Engine Works
Dundee West Mineral Yard
Dundee Tay Bridge Shed
Dundee West Goods
Dock Street Tunnel
Dundee Signalling Centre
Tay Bridge Minerals
Dundee Central Junction
Tay Bridge Goods
Law Incline Engine
Dundee Earl Grey Dock
Discovery Point
Location names in dark blue are on the same original line.

First Locomotives built in Scotland?

This works is often described as making the first locomotives built in Scotland. There are earlier examples, including colliery locomotives and Timothy Birstall's 'Perseverance' which was taken to the Rainhill Trials in 1829.

Chronology Dates

16/12/1831Dundee and Newtyle Railway
Line partially opened from Law Engine House to Hatton Engine House with stations at Dundee Top of the Law, Baldovan, Baldragon, Balbeuchley Foot, Balbeuchley Top, Auchterhouse [1st] and Hatton Engine House. Stationary engines for inclines were provided by J&C Carmichael, Ward Foundry. At this time only the Balbeuchley Incline was in operation. Line horse operated.
  /  /1833Dundee and Newtyle Railway
Two locomotives for level sections provided by J&C Carmichael, Ward Foundry.