Steam fans from around the world have been arriving in York to see the world’s fastest steam locomotive, Mallard, be reunited with its five surviving sister engines at the National Railway Museum.
The ‘Great Gathering‘ has seen the historic blue loco surrounded by Sir Nigel Gresley, Dwight D Eisenhower, Union of South Africa, Bittern and Dominion of Canada for the very first time.
Mallard’s speed of 126mph, clocked on the East Coast Main Line in 1938, has retained the record for 75 years.
The rise of the diesel traction engine and World War II has meant that Mallard’s speed of 126mph, clocked on the East Coast Main Line in 1938, has remained the benchmark for steam locomotives for the past 75 years.
Having travelled thousands of miles from North America for the reunion, two of the locomotives have also had to undergo a major refurbishment before going on display.
Anthony Coulls, senior curator of railway vehicles at the National Railway Museum, said: “Bringing the collection to the widest possible audience is what it’s all about, and this Great Gathering, a fortnight-long exhibition celebrating British engineering genius showcasing all six survivors of the A4 class is the stuff that dreams are made of.”
The Great Gathering will only remain at the NRM until July 17, but there are plans for additional events, an Autumn Gathering in York and a Great Goodbye in Shildon early next year.
Other special attractions include a new simulator, which gives visitors a chance to experience Mallard’s record-breaking run.