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Thursday, July 25, 2024

World's fastest steam locomotive confirmed for record-breaking reunion

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Six historic Doncaster-built steam locomotives will be reunited later this year on the 75th anniversary of the Mallard passing 126 mph to set a new world speed record.

On July 3, 1938, the 4468 Mallard, the first of the class to be fitted with a double chimney, became the world’s fastest locomotive, stripping the German’s of the title by just 2 mph.

Now 75 years on, the six surviving A4 locomotives will be brought together at the National Railway Museum in York to mark the anniversary.

The ‘great gathering’ has brought two of Mallard’s sisters home for the first time in nearly half a century.

Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower arrived on UK soil last October after a challenging extraction from their home museums – an epic transcontinental trek by rail flat car across North America and a 2,527 mile journey across the Atlantic.

Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada are on loan to the National Railway Museum for two years from the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA and Exporail, the Canadian National Railway Museum in Montreal.

Jacqueline D Frank, executive director at the National Railroad Museum, speaking last year said about the loan:  “We hope the British public enjoy the chance to see Dwight D Eisenhower, which although built in Doncaster, now occupies a special place in the hearts of the American people due to it being re-named after one of our presidents.”

The three operational A4s, No. 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, No. 60009 Union of South Africa and No. 4464 Bittern will be taking a two-week break from rail tours around the UK to help the Museum celebrate the 75th anniversary.

Mallard and Dwight D Eisenhower have been cosmetically restored in the National Railway  Museum’s York workshop by experts from Lancashire-based Heritage Painting along with the Museum workshop team.

Dominion of Canada is currently getting a Mallard-style makeover into characteristic garter blue at the National Railway Museum at Shildon.

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