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In 1887, Matthew Holmes, Locomotive Superintendent of the North British Railway, decided to stop building goods locomotives with 17 cylinders and replace them with a larger class than the previous Drummonds. Utilising the same wheelbase and firebox as the Drummond 17 but with a new standard boiler, the first six NBR Class C locomotives were introduced in 1888 and such was their success that by 1900, 168 locomotives had been built.
Built at Cowlairs in June 1897, 722 was rebuilt with the NBR standard boiler by the LNER in May 1923, following Grouping. Renumbered shortly after, in March 1926, as 9722, by June 1926 the locomotive was allocated to St. Margarets Shed.By April 1930 the locomotive had moved south of the border, being allocated to Carlisle and whilst here received the 1946 LNER number 5293, changing to 65293 under BR in September 1948.
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