You may not be a LNER enthusiast, but I think it would be hard not to at least recognise what A4 4468 ‘MALLARD’ did on that July day in 1938, when she achieved the speed of 126mph, the world record for rail steam traction.
It had been highly publicised this year that the National Railway Museum in York, would be bringing together all 6 preserved A4s, but I don’t think even the NRM ever conceived how popular the event would be. Long queues each day of the event, with the NRM having declaring a one in one out policy at peak times. It has to be said though that the NRM staff have coped with the situation very well indeed.
Today was my second visit to the ‘Great Gathering’ and I chose to go late afternoon when the crowds had died down. I had the chance meeting of Jonathan Wealleans in the Search Engine. After a good chat we shared a ride on the ‘Mallard Simulator’.
This was the first outing with my new camera bought from a friend. It’s a Canon 400D (about 6 years old) and I’m quite pleased with the results for a first attempt, although I think there is much room for improvement still.
The highlight for me has to be the three A4s in Garter Blue livery, 4464 ‘Bittern’, 4468 ‘Mallard’ and 4489 ‘Dominion of Canada’. Truly stunning and has even convinced me to do a pre war operating period for Leaman Road….but more on that another time!
A final special thanks has to go to former Director of the NRM, Steve Davies in his vision at getting all six A4s together (not an easy task when two of them are now based in North America!).
Thank you Steve for allowing us the opportunity to celebrate all 6 A4s together…a sight that after February 2014 will most likely not be seen again.