About Sentinel Waggon Works

When the history of mass transportation and hauling in Europe is written, Sentinel Waggon will definitely have a particular page. The company was for a long time involved in the manufacture of heavy-haul locomotives, among them lorries, railway locomotives and buses. It consistently evolved from the age of steam-powered engines until the era of petroleum use, until they went out of business circa 1965.


The company was established in Shrewsbury, England, in 1915. It was part of the Alley & MacLellan group, but it was a new establishment on the site. It came into being when the production of steam wagons was transferred to Shrewsbury.

Sentinel Waggon Works continued producing the same wagons that Alley had earlier produced owing to their tremendous success. However, in 1923, the company made a name for itself by creating the Sentinel Super. It is during this period that it also diversified to the production of railcars.

The production of the Super revived a seemingly ailing Sentinel. The model was aligned to Henry Ford’s style and helped the company remain relevant throughout the remaining part of that decade. However, early in the 1930s, there occurred laws that demanded that lorries be much lighter, handing another blow to Sentinel Waggon and a similar company, Foden.

Latter Years

The company went on producing in turbulent times, making attempts to comply with the new laws. They switched to the S-Type Sentinel, a production line that saw them produce lighter lorries with between four and eight wheels. The S-type became the biggest steam lorries in the market.

As the world switched to the use of diesel, Sentinel began by repairing Thomas Hill’s diesel vehicles. In 1947, it began producing diesel lorries, but they never quite caught on in the competitive market. A dalliance with various companies over the next decade saw them switch between production and repair, before finally closing shop in 1965.