Commonwealth Marine Engine Works

Evans Deakin and Co/English Electric/Alstom Factory

Factory site/industry
Brisbane City

35 Evans Road, Rocklea 4106

The Australian Shipbuilding Board, responsible for the building and repair of merchant ships, as well as for the supply of engines, boilers and equipment, established the Commonwealth Marine Engine Works, to build two marine engine annexes - one in Brisbane, and the other in Melbourne.

In 1941, the Commonwealth Government resumed land on the corner of Compo Road (later changed to Evans Road) and Beaudesert Road in the Rocklea area of Brisbane from the Farm-Allen family, to construct the Commonwealth Marine Engine Works.


In 1940, Evans Deakin Industries, and the Royal Australian Navy, proposed the establishment of a program for the manufacture of steam engines and the building of ships in the Brisbane area. Evans Deakins Co. undertook to build parts for “River Class” cargo ships at Rocklea. The vessels were then assembled and launched at the Evans Deakins Shipyards at Kangaroo Point.

The wartime-built workshop was approximatley 5,600 square metres (60,000 sq. ft.) in size and fully enclosed by barbed wire. Today the location is occupied by Alstom Australia at 35 Evans Road, Rocklea. Alstom manufacture high voltage Transformers and Switchgear.

Bays 4, 5 and part of 6, which were part of the original buildings built during WW2, are utilised today. Bays 7 and 8 were built for the manufacture of larger transformers in 1957/58. Bays 1, 2 and 3 plus the main office building were built in 1967.

English Electric took over the building in 1948, only from the Commonwealth Marine Engine Works. The land was eventually transferred to English Electric in 1958. The name 'English Electric' can still be seen as painted on the roof of the remaining warehouses.


BCC Heritage Citation

National Archives of Australia - Series A3995

Australia @ War