60008 Dwight D Eisenhower
On the 3rd of July 1938 LNER Steam Locomotive 4468 Mallard reached a 126MPH achieving the world speed record for steam traction, which it still holds today.
In 2014 the National Railway Museum in York who are the owners of the Mallard decided to have a series of events to celebrate the 75th anniversary where all 6 surviving locomotives were reunited.
You may say that brining 6 locos together is easy considering heritage lines are always moving locos around the country for galas and the such but with the A4's two were preserved by museums the other side of the Atlantic.
60010/4489 Dominion of Canada
The other A4 to come over was 60010/4489 Dominion of Canada.
This engine was restored into its original condition, modifications were made to give the original appearance.
When built the Canadian Rail Road presented it with a bell but this was later removed when it received a double chimney, also the original whistle was a multi chime version which was later replaced, these were both reinstated as part of the restoration
Over the year there was a number of lined ups of A4's, the first was one at York where all 6 were lined up around the turntable but knowing the amount of people who went I knew photography would be impossible so I waited until the line up happened at Shildon.
I visited on a grim day on the 2nd February 2014 where the weather was poor and I was getting pretty mediocre shots until about half hour before closing when the sun finally came out
The Shildon Line up
60007 Sir Nigel Gresley
The First time I saw 60008 was in December 2013 whilst it was being restored at the NRM in York
Once finished it was put on display in York where it was looking absolutely stunning
The 6 Line Up
L to R 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, 60009 Union of South Africa, 4489 Dominion of Canada, 4464 Bittern & 4468 Mallard.
It tool me a while to get this shot, even though its many shots merged into one I took a lot of waiting to get each shot clear of people
4489/60008 'Dwight D Eisenhower' was presented the The National Railroad Museum USA in Wisconsin upon withdrawal in 1963 and 4489/60010 'Dominion of Canada' presented to The Canadian Railroad Museum in Quebec.
Over the years the paint finish had degraded and both locomotives were looking pretty shabby. A deal struck by the NRM to both museums basically said if they would lend the locomotives they would be cosmetically restored
60009 Union of South Africa
The Great Gathering
Most of the day was pretty crowded and made photography very hard, it was only at the end of the day things were clear enough to get shots and fortunately the weather improved at that point too.
It was worth the wait to get the shots for an event which will never happen again.
I know the NRM has received a lot of criticism over the restoration of the other 4-6-2 in the collection but you got to give it to the marketing department they done a fantastic series of events for the 75th anniversary of mallards record and will take some beating
Images and words by Amy Adams