Scottish Railway Preservation Society Collections pages

0-4-0ST William Baird & Co.“Kelton Fell” (NCB No.13)

Kelton Fell locomotive pictures

SRPS Core Collection, acquired 1968, on display in Museum Hall 1. Light green livery.
Built 1876, Neilson & Co., Hyde Park Works, Springburn, Glasgow. Works No.2203.
Cost when new £1,263 10s 0d.
National Coal Board Area 3 (Central West) No.13.

This standard Neilson design was well suited for tightly curved track and the limited clearances which were a feature of Scottish industries and harbours. No.13 shows the original Neilson arrangement, with double slide bars and a distinctive (and inadequate) cab supported on four straight wrought iron pillars.

In the same year, 1876, Neilsons sold another four locomotives of this design to the Caledonian Railway, who found them so useful that between 1885 and 1908 they built 34 more, to an almost unchanged design. The North British Railway did the same - they bought two locomotives from Neilson in 1882, and by 1899 they had built 36 for themselves at Cowlairs Works.

This locomotive was delivered new to the Scottish iron masters William Baird & Co., of Gartsherrie Ironworks, as the working engine on the Rowrah & Kelton Fell Railway which connected Baird's hematite mines at Knockmurton and Kelton Fell in Cumberland with the main railway system. When the ore was worked out in 1914 Kelton Fell was transferred to Baird's Scottish coalmines, where it lost its name and was numbered 13. Working in the Twechar area, ownership passed to the National Coal Board in 1947, and the locomotive then worked at Auchengeich, Cardowan, Blantyre and Canderigg Collieries before finishing its working life at Gartshore 9/11 pits in March 1968.

No.13 was donated by the National Coal Board. The restoration undertaken by SRPS at Falkirk restored lining and details in accordance with the arrangement shown by the builder’s works photograph, but as this is a black and white negative, there is no knowledge of the original colour. A mechanical lubricator, vacuum brake and cab seats were fitted at that time, luxuries not required by Baird's or by the NCB. The dumb buffers fitted at some point by Bairds were replaced by NBR spring buffers (similar to the originals) recovered from J36 Class locomotives 65288 and 65345.

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