The North British

Class 21 & 29

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This is Glasgow Buchanan Street Station and we were expecting to see an A4 on the service from Aberdeen. This time though, an NB2 was on the service. In a twist of irony, it is still possible to view an A4 running on the main line. That is more than can be said about the diesel. August 1965.

On the approaches to Aberdeen this train is passing Ferryhill engine shed that was the home to the A4 locomotives until the 3rd of September 1966 (see A4 page) that were brought in to help out the ailing diesels. July 1967.

We are still opposite Ferryhill engine shed as the train approaches journeys end at Aberdeen. July 1967.

We are on the 06:00 Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William service approaching Monassie Gorge. This view, taken from the second last carriage illustrates the formation of the Fort William sleeper train in April 1968. Train formation is ex SR PMV, Mk.1 BCK, SLSTP, SLF, RB, BSK, CK and BSK.

The locomotive is now working hard ascending through Monassie Gorge. Included in the consist is a Restaurant Buffet car and two sleeping cars that left London the previous evening. April 1968.

The furthest extremity of the West Highland Line is Mallaig and another example is ready for the 13:00 return journey to Fort William, arriving at 14:37. Note that in this era the passengers were adequately catered for with the provision of a Restaurant Buffet car. April 1968.

A break at Fort William between 14:37 and 16:15 allowed time for a visit to the locomotive depot. As can be seen, the locomotive facilities were not maintained in pristine condition. The two locomotives are not really being well cared for which no doubt contributed to their less than reliable availability. April 1968.

Also in April 1968, this view shows Fort William station when it was conveniently located in the town centre. The station was subsequently relocated further out of town to make way for a new road. Retrograde progress indeed. The four coach train consisting of the BSK, CK, BSK & RB, having arrived from Mallaig, is awaiting attachment to the London bound SLF & SLSTP sleeping cars and will depart at 16:15.

Looking rearward from the first carriage, this view shows the 16:15 southbound train en route between Fort William and Glasgow Queen Street. The ex SR PMV appears to have been left at Fort William. Arrival at Glasgow Queen Street is at 20:28 where the sleepers will continue on to London. April 1968.

We are on the 12:25 departure from Oban to Glasgow. Consist is BG, RMB, BSK, SK, CK. At this time Oban boasted quite a substantial station with all the usual facilities. Today there is a small ticket office and as an added inconvenience for passengers, there are no public conveniences. 

Some Class 21's and 29's were retired after a very short career. This scene is at McWilliam Metals in Garrowhill in June 1968. This disposal site existed on the southern side of the Glasgow Queen Street to Airdrie line, about half way between Shettleston and Garrowhill Stations.

Alone amongst the NB2's is a Class 11 shunter 12107. Behind are five Class 21's and 29's whilst there are more on the adjacent track, see above, awaiting their fate. Numbers include D6120, D6138, D6142, D6144, D6150, D6151, D6154 and D6155. This is also at McWilliam Metals, Garrowhill in June 1968.

Some locomotives lived a little longer on West Highland Line services. This is Craigendoran Junction where the West Highland Line joins the line from Helensburgh Central. This train, hauled by D6130 is heading towards Glasgow Queen Street. August 1968.

This train is probably an Oban to Glasgow service and has just left the West Highland Line at Craigendoran. Consist is BCK, RMB, BSK, CK, SK, BG. The service today is usually just a single Class 156 diesel multiple unit. August 1968.

Later the same day D6133 heads north with a load of oil tanks, tackling the steep climb through Craigendoran Upper at the start of the West Highland Line. At this time there were two tracks through the Upper Station. August 1968.

This view was taken in April 1969 and shows a side on view at Eastfield Depot in Glasgow. The blue NB2 is D6137, the green Class 27 is D5412, the green NB2 is D6116 and the Class 47 is D1738.

At the eastern approach to Cadder Yard on the Edinburgh to Glasgow main line, D6137 has propelled its train out of the northern yard and is now continuing its journey westward. This is possibly one of the last views of an NB2 in revenue service. August 1971.

One last NB2 remained for many years amongst some older compatriots in the scrap line at Woodham's in Barry, South Wales. Although many of the steam engines were later restored, D6122 was not so fortunate. This scene is in October 1978.

This Class 41, D601 is a product of the same manufacturer. Not diesel electric this time but diesel hydraulic and of similar styling. It is a pity that neither of these two final examples of North British diesel locomotives were saved, even for static display. October 1978.

For more later West Highland Lines scenes see the West Highland Lines page.