William Cook Rail acquires CWE to strengthen UK rail supply chain

Posted: 29 April 2024 | | No comments yet

William Cook Rail have acquired Crowle Wharf Engineers Ltd (CWE), assisted by BTG Advisory, in a UK supply chain development.

william cook rail supply chain uk

Over 2,550 UK-based companies are engaged in HS2's supply chain. Credit: HS2 Ltd

William Cook Rail Ltd (“William Cook Rail”, or the “Company”), the UK based market leader in the design, manufacture and overhaul of safety critical components and systems for the global rail industry, announces the acquisition of Crowle Wharf Engineers Ltd (trading as CWE) in a major development for the UK rail supply chain.

William Cook Rail ( based in Leeds, is an international market leader in the design, manufacture and overhaul of railway couplers, bogies and associated components. The Company is part of the William Cook group which has annual sales of £90m, and 560 employees across five UK sites.

CWE, (, based in Lincolnshire, is a UK market leader in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of railway couplers, bogies, buffers and freight wagons. CWE has annual sales of £5m, and 50 employees across three UK sites.

The combined business will underpin critical skills, capabilities and capacity at an uncertain time for the UK rail supply chain. Rolling stock builders and operators will benefit from an enhanced end-to-end design, manufacture, maintenance, repair and overhaul service.

Between them, William Cook Rail and CWE already serve almost all major European rolling stock builders and operators. Both companies hold comprehensive rail industry accreditations including RISAS, RISQS and EN15085. William Cook Rail is also certified to the world-leading International Rail Industry Standard (IRIS).

BTG Advisory assisted former owners Foresight Group in the successful sale of CWE.

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