Engineering Alumnus Powering an Electric Future

Leighton Vaughan delivering a lecture to current engineering students

Alumnus and entrepreneur Leighton Vaughan returned to Neath College to give an inspiring lecture to our Engineering students. Leighton works at Large Scale Locomotives Limited and attended Neath College in 2004 where he studied on the BTEC Extended National Diploma in Engineering.

Large Scale Locomotives Limited are a company that build and develop locomotives and carriages of different sizes for a number of different uses. Leighton studied the BTEC Extended National Diploma in Engineering with the college and then progressed onto a bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. From there, he went to work in Halfords and while working part time he bought a few basic tools. With his new tools and his love and passion for engineering, Leighton developed his first product which was a small-scale locomotive and carriages.

Leighton was able to sell his product which allowed him to purchase more of the necessary equipment to develop more machinery. This process continued, allowing Leighton to develop and try new ideas and products. When Leighton began, he was manufacturing in his house, however interest in his products was so great he decided to move to a 1500sq.ft workshop. Leighton has now had to move to an even bigger site, 5 times larger than the previous one. Leighton is currently working on a project which hopes to build a new miniature railway system at Margam Country Park for next summer.

Leighton specialises in converting old diesel-powered locomotives to environmentally friendly, totally electric locomotives. He has worked with many companies across the UK including, Newby Hall, Pembrey Country Park and Clevedon Railways.

Leighton returned to the college last month to deliver a lecture to some of our engineering students about his journey to where his is today and what his work involves. The students were given the opportunity to see some of Leighton’s locomotives and the different aspects of what makes a locomotive.

Rhys Thomas, Deputy Head of Engineering had this to say about Leighton’s lecture:

“It was an absolute pleasure to have Leighton return and share his inspiring journey as an innovative business owner since undertaking the BTEC course with us. He has taken the knowledge and skills he gained here and turned it into a thriving business venture. We are incredibly proud of all of our students, and it is moments like these that reinforce the importance of what we do here at the college.”

If you would like to follow in Leighton’s footsteps and study engineering at NPTC Group of Colleges, follow the link below to see the different courses we have on offer.