Doncaster-made steam locomotive of speed is 80 years old this month
Legendary steam locomotive Mallard, built in Doncaster and famous for setting a world speed record of 126mph, is 80 years old on March 3.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the sleek A4 class express loco was among those to cut the journey time from London King’s Cross to Newcastle to four hours.
Mallard’s speed record was set on July 3, 1938, at four months old.
Joe Duddington, 61, of Doncaster, was the experienced driver chosen for the task of attempting the speed record, with fireman Thomas Bray,
It is said that the crockery in the dining area was smashed to fragments as the train gathered speed and hurtled along the track at ever increasing speed at Stoke Bank, near Grantham.
For the seventy-fifth anniversary of its speed record in 2013, A4 4468 Mallard starred in a series of events ,and was back in Doncaster on display at Freightliner Ltd’s Railport depot for people to visit, during the annual St Leger festival.
More than 100,000 visitors saw Mallard that year in the National Railway Museum’s Great Gathering in York.
It was after this that the locomotive effected its tour along the East Coast Mainline.
Six surviving engines, Mallard, Sir Nigel Gresley, Bittern, Union of South Africa, Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada had come together for the occasion.
The latter two were shipped across for the celebration specially from North America.
During its service, Mallard travelled almost one and a half million miles.
The 70 ft locomotive weighing 165 tons was retired in 1963, and remains part of the National Collection in York’s National Railway Museum.
Throughout its life, Mallard was based in three sheds; Doncaster, its first, Grantham in 1943 and Kings Cross Top Shed in 1948.