Mikado locomotive 141F-2101 from 1956, max. speed 115 km/h

RENFE “Mikado” 2-8-2 locomotive 141F-2101 was built by the North British Locomotive Company of Glasgow in 1952 as 26965 and shipped fully assembled from Scotland to Spain. The locomotive, first of 242 Series 141 Mikados ordered after World War II, is preserved at the Catalonia Railway Museum with the original works plate still displayed under the number plate on the tender.

At that time, Britain was still exporting locomotives and rolling stock around the world, NBLC basing the RENFE 141s on an earlier Mikado built for India, and Spain was still trying to rebuild its industries after the Civil War. Today, the situation is the inverse with companies such as CAF and Kawasaki building trains for the UK, where extremely few of the new trains (apart from what runs on steam heritage railways) are of British design even if they are built there as localized variants of a standard type.

The North British Locomotive Company (NBL, NB Loco or North British) was created in 1903 through the merger of three Glasgow locomotive manufacturing companies; Sharp, Stewart and Company (Atlas Works), Neilson, Reid and Company (Hyde Park Works) and Dübs and Company (Queens Park Works), creating the largest locomotive manufacturing company in Europe and the British Empire.

Its main factories were located at the neighbouring Atlas and Hyde Park Works in central Springburn, as well as the Queens Park Works in Polmadie. A new central Administration and Drawing Office for the combined company was completed across the road from the Hyde Park Works on Flemington Street by James Miller in 1909, later sold to Glasgow Corporation in 1961 to become the main campus of North Glasgow College (now Glasgow Kelvin College).

The two other Railway works in Springburn were St. Rollox railway works, owned by the Caledonian Railway and Cowlairs railway works, owned by the North British Railway. Latterly both works were operated by British Rail Engineering Limited after rail nationalisation in 1948.

In 1918, NBL produced the first prototype of the Anglo-American Mark VIII battlefield tank for the Allied armies, but with the Armistice it did not go into production.

Read more: History of railways with Alex Meltos ...