NBR C Class

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NBR C Class
LNER Class J36 & J32
Airdrie Kipps Locomotive Depot geograph-2356724-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
65260 at Kipps Locomotive Depot
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerMatthew Holmes
BuilderNBR Cowlairs Works (138),
Neilson & Co. (15),
Sharp, Stewart & Co. (15)
Build date1888-1901
Total produced200
168 (J36) + 32 (J32)
 • Whyte0-6-0
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver dia.5 ft 0 in (1.524 m)
  • Unrebuilt: 49 ft 0 12 in (14.948 m)
  • Rebuilt: 49 ft 2 in (14.99 m)
Axle load15 long tons 15 cwt (35,300 lb or 16 t)
Loco weight41 long tons 19 cwt (94,000 lb or 42.6 t)
Tender weight33 long tons 9 cwt (74,900 lb or 34 t)
Fuel typeCoal
Boiler pressure165 lbf/in2 (1.14 MPa)
CylindersTwo, inside
Cylinder size18 in × 26 in (457 mm × 660 mm)
Valve gearStephenson
Performance figures
Tractive effort19,690 lbf (87.59 kN)
Power classBR: 2F
NicknamesEighteen inchers
DispositionOne J36 preserved, remainder scrapped. All J32 locomotives scrapped.

The NBR C Class (LNER Class J36) is a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotive designed by Matthew Holmes for freight work on the North British Railway. They were introduced in 1888 and had inside cylinders and Stephenson valve gear. A total of 168 locomotives was built, of which 123 came into British Railways ownership at nationalisation in 1948; this was the last class of steam engine in service in Scotland.

The NBR C Class (LNER Class J32) is a class of 0-6-0 steam locomotive designed by Dugald Drummond for freight work on the North British Railway. They were built in 1876 and 1877 and had large 18" cylinders. A total of 32 locomotives was built; the NBR gave these engines the same designation (C class) as the Matthew Holmes engines above. The two types were very similar, and shared the same (then unusual) 18" cylinder size. Between 1898 and 1903 Matthew Holmes had all 32 of the Drummond locomotives rebuilt to match his own C class design, thus the locomotives were considered a single class by the NBR, although on passing to LNER ownership they received the separate designations of J36 and J32 respectively.

Technical information[edit]

As built they had a saturated (non-superheated) boiler at 140 lbf/in2 or 0.97 MPa (150 lbf/in2 or 1.03 MPa for the last 24)[2] and Stephenson valve gear with slide valves. Between 1913 and 1923 the class was rebuilt with bigger boilers set at 165 psi and the Reid side-window cab.




After the introduction of the Drummond Class C (LNER Class J32) 18-inch (cylinder diameter) 0-6-0s, essentially for the Waverley Route in 1876, the NBR reverted to the 17-inch design with the Drummond Class D (J34) in 1879 and the Holmes Class D (J33) in 1883.

The Holmes Class C

With the opening of the second Tay Bridge in July 1887 and the upcoming opening of the Forth Bridge in March 1890 the NBR needed more powerful goods locos; the result was the Holmes Class C (J36). Introduced in 1888 it was built in regular batches until 1900, eventually totalling 168 locos. 138 were built at the NBR's Cowlairs Works while the other 30 were split equally between Neilson and Company and Sharp, Stewart and Company.

World War I

During the First World War 25 of the class were sent to France for service with the Railway Operating Division. On return to Scotland they were given names of battles, generals and a cartoon soldier in recognition of their service; the names were hand-painted on the splasher above the middle driving wheel so often disappeared during repaints.


On 1 January 1923 all 168 locos passed into the hands of the LNER and became Class J36; as with all ex-NBR locos they had 9000 added to their number. The final 8 unrebuilt locos were rebuilt in 1923. In 1937 locomotives 9714 and 9716 (later 5285 and 5287)[3] were rebuilt with cutdown chimney and dome for use on the Gartverrie Branch. In 1946 the remaining locos were renumbered from 5210 to 5346. A number of locos had tender cabs fitted for use with snow ploughs.


A sister locomotive to Maude connected as a stationary boiler, St Margaret's shed, Edinburgh, April 1967

On 1 January 1948 at nationalisation, 123 locos passed into the hands of British Railways and had 60000 added to their number. On 5 June 1967 65288 of Dunfermline (62C) and 65345 of Thornton (62A) were withdrawn. They were the last steam locomotives in service in Scotland.

Locomotive names[edit]

LNER 1946 Number BR Number Name
176 5217 65217 French
605 St Quentin
608 Foch
611 5268 65268 Allenby
612 5269 Ypres
615 Verdun
620 Rawlinson
621 Monro
627 Petain
628 5216 65216 Byng
631 Aisne
643 Arras
646 5222 65222 Somme
647 5223 Albert
648 5224 65224 Mons
650 5226 65226 Haig
657 5233 65233 Plumer
659 5235 65235 Gough
660 5236 65236 Horne
661 Ole Bill
662 Birdwood
666 Marne
673 5243 65243 Maude
676 Reims
682 5253 65253 Joffre


65243 on the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway

One, 673 Maude (LNER number 9673; LNER 1946 number 5243; BR number 65243) has been preserved by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society at the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway, it starred in the 2000 remake of The Railway Children on the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex.


65288 was adopted by Dunfermline High School Railway Society and was repainted by society members while still in BR service [1]. It was fitted with one small and one normal sized buffer at the front end.


  1. ^ Fry 1966, p. 215.
  2. ^ Marsden, Richard. "The Holmes J36 (NBR Class C) 0-6-0 Locomotives". LNER encyclopedia.
  3. ^ http://www.nbrstudygroup.co.uk/nbr/locomotives_list.htm
  • Ian Allan ABC of British Railways Locomotives, 1962 edition
  • Aves, William A. T. (2009). The Railway Operating Division on the Western Front. Donnington: Shaun Tyas. pp. 147, 159. ISBN 978-1-900289-99-3.
  • Casserley, H.C. & Johnston, Stuart W. (1974) [1966]. Locomotives at the Grouping 2: London & North Eastern Railway. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Limited. p. 56. ISBN 0-7110-0553-2.
  • Fry, E.V., ed. (September 1966). Locomotives of the L.N.E.R., part 5: Tender Engines - Classes J1 to J37. Kenilworth: RCTS. ISBN 0-901115-12-6.

External links[edit]