A momentous year for the world’s fastest locomotive, Mallard, has tended to focus on its symbolic reunification with its sister engines at the National Railway Museum in York. Now the vehicle is about to make a further triumphant journey.
This week has seen Mallard begin a tour down the East Coast Mainline. It will be a star of this weekend’s Festival of Speed at Grantham, where the world speed record was set on a gradient of Stoke Bank in 1938, before heading to its birthplace of Doncaster as part of the annual St Leger Festival.
© National Railway Museum
One of the men who hit the 126mph record 75 years ago, fireman Thomas Bray, was from Doncaster, and the town’s Museum and Art Gallery is hosting a special exhibition, Mallard – A Doncaster Thoroughbred, showing off the letters, notebooks and drawings of designer Sir Nigel Gresley, with a further event a Freightliner Ltd’s Railport depot next weekend (September 14 and 15).
Barrow Hill Roundhouse, in Chesterfield, will then welcome Mallard and other Doncaster-built locomotives at the end of the month.
“Bringing the collection to the widest possible audience is what it’s all about,” says Anthony Coulls, the Senior Curator of Railway Vehicles in York.
“During Mallard’s big anniversary year we wanted to give people in neighbouring regions the chance to see the world’s fastest steam locomotive first hand.
“The steam legend is a bit of a celebrity this year, so it makes sense that it’s going on tour down the Mainline.
“We hope that people will enjoy the chance to see Mallard out and about before it returns to be united once more with its surviving sisters at York.”
The Mallard 75 season will culminate with the Autumn Great Gathering, a 13-day festival of special events in York.
- Visit nrm.org.uk/mallard75 for full details.
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