THEY are some of the most iconic feats of engineering Doncaster has ever produced.
And six of them are to be brought together again for the first time in Yorkshire later this year.
The National Railway Museum has confirmed it is reuniting legendary locomotive number 4468 Mallard with the last remaining five of its Doncaster-built class A4 engine sisters to mark the 75th anniversary of the famous loco breaking the steam engine speed record in 1938.
The six streamlined steam giants will be gathered together around the Great Hall turntable in the National Railway Museum in York for two weeks, with two of them brought over to Yorkshire from across the Atlantic.
The event, which is from July 3, has brought two of Mallard’s identical sisters home for the first time in nearly half a century.
Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower have arrived on UK soil after being brought across from museums on the other side of the Atlantic, by rail flat car and then 2,527 miles across the ocean.
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: “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 renamed after one of our presidents.”
Marie-Claude Reid, executive director general of Exporail, said: “Dominion of Canada has been an important part of our collection at Exporail since the late 1960s and we are thrilled to be loaning her to the National Railway Museum to help mark 75 years since Mallard broke the world speed record. “
The three versions of the engine which still run, number 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, number 60009 Union of South Africa and number 4464 Bittern will be taking a two-week break from rail tours around the UK to help the museum celebrate the 75th anniversary in style.
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 makeover with blue paint at the National Railway Museum at Shildon.
Anthony Coulls, senior curator of railway vehicles at the National Railway Museum, said: “On July 3, 1938, Mallard became the world’s fastest steam locomotive and it marked a pinnacle in British engineering.
“For the 75th anniversary we’ve organised a historic homecoming to UK soil for the transatlantic travellers.’’
Visitors can see the locomotives from July 3 to 17. Museum entry is free.