British Rail Class 29

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British Railways Class 29
Class 29 D6121 (8392450774).jpg
D6121 in BR green livery with white stripe and large yellow warning panel and headcode at Inverness MPD, August 1968
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderNorth British Locomotive Co.
Build date1958–1960 (original class 21)
Rebuild dateRebuilt: 1963, 1965–1967
Number rebuilt20
 • UICBo'Bo'
 • CommonwealthBo-Bo
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Wheel diameter3 ft 7 in (1.092 m)
Minimum curve3.5 chains (231.00 ft; 70.41 m)
Wheelbase37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
Length51 ft 6 in (15.70 m)
Width8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
Height12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)
Loco weight73 long tons (74.2 t; 81.8 short tons)
Fuel capacity460 imp gal (2,100 l; 550 US gal)
Prime moverPaxman Ventura
Engine typeV12 diesel
GeneratorDC generator
Traction motors4 GEC DC motors
TransmissionDiesel electric
MU working Red Circle
Train heatingSteam
Train brakesVacuum
Performance figures
Maximum speed80 mph (130 km/h)
Power outputEngine: 1,350 hp (1,010 kW)
Tractive effortMaximum: 45,000 lbf (200 kN)
Brakeforce50 long tons-force (498 kN)
OperatorsBritish Railways
NumbersD6100–03/06–08/12–14/16/19, D6121/23/24/29/30/32/33/37
Axle load classRoute availability 6 (RA 5 from 1969)
DispositionAll scrapped

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 (NBL) units. The units were designed for both passenger and freight trains.


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 Glasgow Works and mostly Inverurie Works, along with other modifications including the fitting of four-character headcode displays in the nose ends (D6123 retained its original front ends and so did not receive a headcode panel).[1] 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 D6108 was withdrawn in May 1969 and scrapped by McWilliams of Shettleston in 1971, while the other 19 were withdrawn between April and December 1971 and scrapped at BR's Glasgow Works in 1971-72.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:[2]

  • D6100
  • D6101
  • D6102
  • D6103
  • D6106
  • D6107
  • D6108
  • D6112
  • D6113
  • D6114
  • D6116
  • D6119
  • D6121
  • D6123
  • D6124
  • D6129
  • D6130
  • D6132
  • D6133
  • 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]