This article examines the decline of the North British Locomotive Company from 1940 to 1962, When it collapsed. It reveals that major market factors over which it had little control had much to do with its failure, and that, viewed in context, its strategic decisions were not so flawed as were thought at the time of the collapse. The firm was hindered by institutional constraints on bank lending, as well as unfortunate technological partnerships. The implications of the study for the major schools of thought surrounding British economic decline are brought out. In general, none of the positions examined fully explain the firm's collapse.