Mallard 75 is being published to coincide with one of the greatest occasions in the history of worldwide railway preservation.
On July 3 1938, London & north Eastern Railway A4 streamlined Pacific No. 4468 hit 126mph on Stoke Bank on the East Coast Main Line in Lincolnshire, snatching the world steam speed record from Nazi Germany. Mallard’s official record has never been beaten.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the record run, the National Railway Museum at York is bringing together all six surviving A4 streamliners for a series of unique line-ups. The first starts at York on the actual anniversary, July, and other events will be held at York in October and at the Locomotion museum at Shildon.
Among the six A4s are a pair, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada, which have been borrowed for two years from their North American museum owners and cosmetically restored after being temporarily repatriated.
Indications are that the Great Gathering, as the line-up is being branded, with Prince Charles as its patron, will be the biggest and most popular event ever held in the museum’s history.
Mallard 75 the bookazine looks at the story of LNER chief mechanical engineer Sir Nigel Gresley and the glamorous A4 locomotives that he built to pull fast luxury express trains between London and Edinburgh..
Lavishly illustrated with pictures both ancient and modern, it tells the history of the development of the A4s up to Mallard’s world speed run, what Mallard has done since 1938, and detailed biographies of each of the five other survivors at the Great Gathering.
The full story of how the North American pair were brought back home and painstakingly cosmetically restored to showpiece condition, the 90mph runs by sister A4 Bittern on the East Coast Main Line organised in connection with the event, and many pictures of the Great Gathering itself will be included.
The bookazine celebrates a true British first – one which helped lifted the moral of a country reeling from the Great Depression of the Thirties – and a speed record which has never been beaten.