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Lady Matilda Maxwell
Lady Matilda Maxwell

NBL Locomotive, Ceylon

Mitchell Library, North British Locomotive Co Collection

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NBL Locomotive, Ceylon

A goods train in Ceylon, hauled by a diesel-electric locomotive built at Hyde Park Works by the North British Locomotive Co, c 1952. A single full-width cab is at one end, with a long bonnet covering the engine and generator compartments. Ceylon Government Railways ordered eight of these 625hp 0-8-0 engines in 1948, the first major order from overseas for more than one diesel locomotive.

The advance of diesel power at the expense of steam was bad news for NBL. The company was slow to adapt to the change and found that a growing number of competitors were setting the pace. Export orders tended to be of the type illustrated, small in number and mainly for shunting duties. Overseas countries soon began to build their own diesels.

Some main line diesel locomotives were supplied for British Railways, but they often performed poorly and failed to gain for the NBL the reputation for reliability it had earned for steam locomotives. The demise of steam was followed by the demise of NBL itself in 1962, resulting in economic hardship for the Springburn and Polmadie areas.

Reference: NBL 131

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

British Railways, Ceylon Government Railways, diesel-electric locomotives, engines, goods trains, Hyde Park Works, locomotive builders, NBL, North British Locomotive Co, shunting

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