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The North British Type 2 Bo-Bo Diesel-Electric Classes 21 & 29 (Hardback)

Design, Development and Demise

British History Transport Photographic Books Colour Books 20th Century Trains and Railways

By Anthony Sayer
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Locomotive Portfolios
Pages: 291
Illustrations: 170
ISBN: 9781526742773
Published: 9th September 2019


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This book provides an in-depth history of the North British diesel-electric Type 2 locomotives which were constructed by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow during the late-1950s / early-1960s for use on the Eastern and Scottish Regions of British Railways.

"Despite efforts to improve their poor performance in traffic, by both engine refurbishment or complete replacement, these locomotives were all withdrawn from service by the end of 1971.

"Using significant quantities of previously unpublished material, dramatic new insights are revealed about both the original Class 21s and the rebuilt Class 29s, including detailed research into the whole rebuilding decision-making process, as well as providing fully dated information about works visits, periods in storage, detail difference modifications and livery changes.

Essential reading and study material for students of BR's early diesel locomotives.

Railway Correspondence and Travel Society

The rather sorry story is well-told throughout, though, at times, it makes somewhat depressing reading. That said, it will be of great use to modellers and historians alike. Recommended.

BRM, January 2020 – reviewed by Tony Wright

A very interesting book about these short-lived locomotives. It has 170 photographs and a wealth of information about them, both class 21 and class 29 (which is a reconstruction of Class 21). All this gives it great value as an encyclopedia of these passenger locomotives and goods from which unfortunately none has survived.

Read the full Spanish review here

Unes Cuantos Trenes Blog, Jorge del Valle

Ordered by the British Transport Commission as part of the 1955 B.R. ‘Modernisation Plan’ from N.B.L in Glasgow, these diesel-electric, MAN engined, Type 2 locomotives proved far from successful. However, with twenty of the class being re-engined with Paxman units theirs is an interesting story and told eloquently in this excellent book. Photos of each of the fifty eight members of the class are coupled with detailed descriptions and, where applicable, additional photos showing their change of appearance as a class 29. This book comprehensively covers all aspects of this short lived class, including livery details, re-build information and detail differences, making this book a must for the railway modeller, or those, like me, interested in the early ‘pre-tops’ B.R. diesel era and, because of the class 29 association with the area, anyone interested in the West Highland Line.

5 Stars.

Amazon Customer Review

About Anthony Sayer

Anthony Sayer is a life-long railway enthusiast with an interest in the history of the early diesel and electric locomotive classes. This is the first of several books taking an in-depth look at this subject. Anthony lives in the north-east of England and has now retired from the steel industry after a career of over 35 years.

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