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Brecknell Willis

About Us

Brecknell Willis have specialised in the field of electrification/traction for all types of transportation systems including tramways, metros and railways. The company's capability covers the design, manufacture, supply, testing, installation and maintenance of the following products:


Pantographs and Third Rail Current Collectors for all types of applications


Conductor Rail Systems and ancillary products


Light Rail Overhead Systems


Automatic Gas Tensioning Equipment for Overhead Systems


Industrial current collection and cabling handling systems


The company has been operating from Chard, Somerset, since 1938 which has been developed over the decades to incorporate the most advanced manufacturing facilities required for this specialist industry.


Henry Brecknell and Sons began trading in 1854. In 1894 the company moved into the electrification business and in 1895 gained the first major contract for the initial stage of the Bristol Tramway. This was the first contract to include every aspect of providing electric 'power on the move'.


Within the 220-strong workforce Brecknell Willis has a strong engineering team to support its world-wide innovation activities in Railway Electrification. The team is able to take projects from the initial outline design stage through prototyping, testing and trials on the client's railway. In addition, a proportion of the activities are long term research and development projects.


Brecknell Willis is part of the Fandstan Electric Group, a privately-owned operation including German, Australian and American sister companies. Brecknell Willis have offices in Taiwan and a subsidiary manufacturing company in China. The company is a member of the British Standards Institute and certified to ISO 9000-2008, IRIS and ISO 14001-2004.