British Rail Class 29

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British Railways Class 29
Class 29 D6121 (8392450774).jpg
D6321 in BR green livery with white stripe and large yellow warning panel and headcode at Inverness MPD, August 1968
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder North British Locomotive Co.
Build date 1958–1960 (original class 21)
Rebuilder Paxman
Rebuild date Rebuilt: 1963, 1965–1967
Number rebuilt 20
Configuration Bo-Bo
UIC classification Bo'Bo'
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter 3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Minimum curve 3.5 chains (70 m)
Wheelbase 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
Length 51 ft 6 in (15.70 m)
Width 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
Height 12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
Locomotive weight 73 long tons (74.2 t; 81.8 short tons)
Fuel capacity 460 imp gal (2,100 l; 550 US gal)
Prime mover Paxman Ventura
Generator DC generator
Traction motors 4 GEC DC motors
Transmission Diesel electric
Multiple working Red Circle
Maximum speed 80 mph (130 km/h)
Power output Engine: 1,350 hp (1,010 kW)
Tractive effort Maximum: 45,000 lbf (200 kN)
Train heating Steam
50 long tons-force (498 kN)
Train brakes Vacuum
Operator(s) British Railways
Number(s) D6100–03/06–08/12–14/16/19, D6121/23/24/29/30/33/34/37
Axle load class Route availability 6 (RA 5 from 1969)
Retired 1969–1971

The British Rail Class 29 were a class of 20 diesel-electric Bo-Bo locomotives produced by the re-engining of the British Rail Class 21 units. The units were designed for both passenger and freight trains. The outwardly similar Class 22 shared no mechanical parts with the 29s.[citation needed]


The machines were produced from 1963 onwards from the North British Class 21 by replacing the original unreliable licence-built MAN of the Class 21s with Paxman Ventura V12 engine at Paxman's Colchester works.

The first unit to be re-engined was D6123, a further 19 machines were re-engined in 1964-1965 at Polmadie, along with other modifications including the fitting of four-character headcode displays in the nose ends. After rebuilding, they returned to service from Eastfield depot in Glasgow.


Although these offered more power and much improved reliability over the original Class 21s, they did not survive much longer, due to their small class size and the use of a non-standard high-speed diesel engine. D6108 was withdrawn in May 1969 and scrapped by McWilliams of Shettleston in 1971, while the other 19 were withdrawn between April and December 1971 and scrapped at BR's Glasgow Works in 1971-72. No Class 21, 22 or Class 29 locomotives survive today.


The rebuilt locomotives were numbered:

  • D6100–03
  • D6106–08
  • D6112–14
  • D6116
  • D6119
  • D6121
  • D6123
  • D6124
  • D6129
  • D6130
  • D6133
  • D6134
  • D6137


Hornby produced a OO gauge ready-to-run Class 29 in the late 1970s in BR green and blue liveries.


  • Stevens-Stratten, S.W.; Carter, R.S. (1978). British Rail Main-Line Diesels. Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN 0-7110-0617-2. 
  • Sugden, S.A. Diesel & Electric Loco Register (3rd edn). Sheffield: Platform 5. ISBN 1-872524-55-9. 
  • Grindlay, Jim. British Railways Locomotive Allocations 1948-1968 (Part 6 - Diesel & Electric Locomotives). Troon: Modelmaster Publications. ISBN 978-0-9544264-6-0. 
  • Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, summer 1966 edition

Further reading[edit]

  • McManus, Michael. Ultimate Allocations, British Railways Locomotives 1948 - 1968. Wirral. Michael McManus. 

External links[edit]