This is the story of the world’s finest collection of steam railway locomotives – legends such as Flying Scotsman, Mallard, Stephenson’s Rocket and City of Truro, which became household names for many generations, and are now owned by the public.
These are the locomotives that not only shaped global transport history but steered the evolution of the modern world, shrinking continents and making rapid transit between one-time faraway places an everyday occurrence affordable to all.
The National Collection was amassed largely in the face of modernisation of the British railway network, when the introduction of diesel and electric locomotives in the Fifties led to the mass withdrawal and scrapping of many classic steam locomotive types. Officialdom decreed that examples should be preserved for posterity thus creating a fantastic legacy of locomotives big and small for future generations to relish.
This bookazine looks at both the big named engines and the lesser-known workhorses, which richly deserve their place alongside them, all with their own stories to tell.
*Duchess of Hamilton. Stranded in the USA during the Second World War, it was saved from the scrapman by becoming a Butlin’s holiday camp exhibit.
*Flying Scotsman, the world’s most famous locomotive, was turned down for the National Collection only to be bought by a private enthusiast.
*Secrecy surrounded City of Truro’s alleged world-beating 100mph run in 1904 for many years because the public mood of the day was against speeding trains.
*Rocket set the blueprint for all steam locomotive types that came after it – and is so famous that many copies of it have been built over the past 187 years.
These stories and many, many more unfold throughout the 132 pages of this bookazine.