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NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:39 pm
by D1001

I have to admit to having a bit of an obsession with the defunct NBL Class 21/29 locos that worked out of Kings Cross and the GER system and, more aptly, in Scotland. I am particularly fascinated in the fates of the various locos, as many of them had severe collision damage (e.g. D6136) or fire damage (D6127). If you have any personal recollections of the class, unpublished photos, spotting notes, memories - scrapyard sightings, anything, then please get in touch with me, either at or on this forum.

I have been toying with the idea of a book published through RCTS (they are interested in the idea) and I need to gather as much information as I can on this elusive and fascinating class.



Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:20 am
by Peter Hall
Presume you have seen ... sels/D6146 and ... sels/D6121 on the website and can add no more to the D6121/D6122 possible identity swap.

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:31 pm
by Peter Hall
Earlier today I updated the 'Diesel Dilemma' on the Society website concerning the mystery surrounding D6121 and D6122 ... sels/D6121 Thanks to Gerard Fletcher we now have a copy if the record card for D6122. Also recently added is an amazing picture taken by Peter Martin of D6122 at Crewe South on its way from Scotland to the Southern Region in 1967. My thanks to both Gerard and Peter for their recent contributions which are very much appreciated.

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 2:58 pm
by Peter Hall
Earlier today I updated the 'Diesel Dilemma' on the Society website concerning the mystery surrounding D6121 and D6122 ... sels/D6121 This follows the unearthing by Mr Colour Rail and RO editorial rep Paul Chancellor of a picture of D6122 at Perth with apparent collision damage taken on 11th April 1964. The picture is now available on the website and when taken with other information increasingly supports the possibility of D6121 and D6122 swapping identities in May 1964. Not yet conclusive though but getting closer.

I would also like the express my appreciation to Paul for allowing the Colour Rail images of D6121 and D6122 to be included.

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:15 pm
by MisterC
I also have a bit of an obsession with the NBL Type 2s, later becoming classes 21 and 29, and I'm intrigued to hear about how that research project is going.

This comment concerns the 30 locomotives which were withdrawn "en masse" on 30 December 1967, the first withdrawals although many had been out of traffic for months if not years. The most extreme example is D6127 which never worked again after catching fire on 29 March 1962.

Of the 30 locos withdrawn on 30 December 1967, only D6135 and D6140 were still in traffic by mid September 1967. A list in the December 1967 RO gives the remainder stored at the following locations:

Eastfield: D6136/42;
Kipps: D6118/20/25/27;
Perth: D6141/45/47/48/57;
Elgin: D6134/43/44/51/54;
Keith: D6128/38/39/49/53/56;
Inverurie: D6104/22/31/46/50/55.

Of the 6 locos at Inverurie, D6122 was moved to Hither Green, whilst D6104/31/50/55 all had moved to Thornton Junction by November 1967, along with D6126, which was not withdrawn until April 1968. So although D6146 was the only class 21 loco at Inverurie on the withdrawal date, the fact that it was not moved to Thornton Junction suggests to me that D6146 was unfit to be moved at all.

After withdrawal D6122 was sold to Woodhams and the remaining 29 locos were all part of the same tender process. Barnes and Bell got D6104/25/27/34/36/43 while McWilliam got the remainder, which is why some sources say that D6146 was broken up at the McWilliam yard in Shettleston. But given that D6146 appears to have been unfit to move to Thornton Junction, that would explain it being broken up at Inverurie. It seems unlikely that McWilliam employees would have gone all the way to Inverurie so I suspect that D6146 was broken up by Works staff, maybe with a McWilliam employee present, then the bits then moved to Shettleston. Another possibility is that McWilliam were given another loco from the later withdrawals, in lieu of D6146.

For me the more interesting question is trying to document when the locomotives were taken out of traffic, which I suspect will be a list mainly of fires and collisions. The RO December 1967 report says that all 4 of the Kipps locos, plus D6134/36/43/51, were "seriously damaged".

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:50 pm
by MisterC
With thanks to the Hitchin branch I have expanded my RO library to assist with this and other research.

One aspect that particularly interests me is the build up and dispersal of the stored locos at St Rollox Works starting in 1962. SLS 07/62 p200 records 7 locos D6101/04/06/12/23/27/33 "stored out of use in the Carriage Shops at St Rollox Works". The same list is also in RO 09/62 p298 which describes the location as the "Carriage Paint Shop". Over the next 12 months there are various lists in RO/SLS plus the Shedbash blog, though Shedbash does not distinguish stored locos: ... -1963.html

By 11/07/63 the stored list is D6100/01/02/04/06/07/14/18/20/25/27/30 (SLS 08/63 p255) this not including D6123 already re-engined and D6112 still at Paxman. But then the lists dry up apart from the Shedbash list of 29/10/63, which includes D6121 in a list of 17 locos, not all of which were stored.

RO 11/64 p364 explains why the lists dry up and why the stored locos are dispersed to other locations: there was rebuilding at St Rollox Works. Some locos went to Parkhead, D6100/07/12/13/25/27/30/33 which are "due to be re-engined, it is believed" (RO 01/65 p26). But that does not account for all of the stored locos, including D6101 which is noted with D6121 "at carriage shed between works & shed" on 04/10/64 (Diesel Dilemmas list).

My hypothesis is that D6121 joined the stored locos bot long after 11/07/63. Location with D6101 on 04/10/64 supports this, as does D6121 being re-engined, as nearly all the re-engined locos came from store. But further evidence would be good. In particular I'd like to know more about the report of D6121 at St Rollox Works on 15/08/63, listed in Diesel Dilemmas source British Locomotive Society magazine 09/63 p143. Does anyone have this and does it say whether D6121 is with the stored locos?

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:01 pm
by MisterC
I was recently prompted to revisit the NBL Type 2 saga and noticed a reference to a report of the Society Whitsun 1964 Scottish Tour reported in Railway Observer August 1964 page 236.

Does anyone still have records of the NBL Type 2s seen that weekend? In particular can they identify the "twelve cripples of the class which appear to be more or less permanent residents of St Rollox Works"?

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:43 pm
by Peter Hall
Around about a year ago I had a discussion with another gent who has been researching this Class extensively and has unearthed some fascinating information that will first appear in a book he is compiling.

Like Mister C he is fascinated about the precise movements and locations of the locomotives, particularly after they last saw active service. What has appeared in the RO and other magazines is only a small part of the full picture and clearly contains the odd numeric typo as well as imprecise location details.

In order to have the most mutual benefit could I appeal to anyone who has observations of the locomotives after they ceased to be active to post them on this Topic with as much detail as possible with regard to the date and location. This applies just as much to the Class 29's that lasted longer but also have queries surrounding their final months and disposal.

Re: NBL D61xx Class 21/29

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:49 pm
I had a few color slides I took of these locos at Glasgow QS - August 1970 I think. I sent them to Brush Lewis and never got them back. Silly me I should have had colour prints made and sent those instead.