Railtec Engineering began back in 1898, when John Firth was the manager of a colliery in the Barnsley area. He found that the sourcing of equipment used in the mine was difficult so he decided to establish his own supply chain. Initially using a few skilled men in a shed he began manufacturing equipment for use in his own mine. Thus the company of Firth Bros was born, who, as time passed, began supplying not only his own pit, but many others in the area. As the company, and its reputation for quality, grew John decided to concentrate on his engineering business and left the colliery. The business continued expanding, supplying local quarries and woollen mills, eventually becoming Firth Engineering in the 1970s and finally Railtec Engineering Ltd in 1984.
With the demise of the mining industry in the area, new areas of business were developed, including architectural sculptures and steel work. Some examples of Railtec’s work are the Skyhook, a 20m high sculpture outside of the Trafford Centre, Manchester, the Spirit of Sport, the 30m high homage to over 600 local sports heroes at the Reebok Stadium, the home of Bolton Wanderers FC. This type of public work, coupled with the manufacture of railway equipment, construction site equipment ensured that the company thrived.
Railtec continued to maintain its high standards and reputation and one of their customers liked it so much that they bought the company. In April 2010, Railtec became part of the Marwood Group Ltd. This new venture should ensure that the quality and reputation of Railtec Engineering is now developed further to a much wider audience.