Doncaster Works Open Day, The Mallard being photographed by a visitor to the show in 2003
Doncaster Works Open Day, The Mallard being photographed by a visitor to the show in 2003

Retro pictures reveal Doncaster's record breaking Mallard steam locomotive in all it's glory

This month marks the 88th anniversary the world record holder Mallard engine rolled off Doncaster Railway Works in 1938.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 12:57 pm

Designed by Sir Nigel Grseley the Mallard rolled out from the Doncaster plant on March, 3, 1938 painted LNER garter blue with red wheels and steel rims.

Steam-hauled rail services in the UK were at the time limited to 90mph but as the A4s were so big – the locomotive is 70 ft (21 m) long and weighs 165 tons – it regularly had to run significantly above 90 mph just to keep to schedule.

Even to this day the LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard is still unbeaten and holds the title for the world speed record for steam locomotives at 126 mph, which it smashed on July 3, 1938 on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham and Peterborough.

The Mallard covered almost one and a half million miles (2.4 million km) before it was retired in 1963. It sat idle for more than two decades but then in in 1986 under went a two-year restoration project.

It has made a few journeys since then but is not regularly seen on the tracks, now it sits proudly at the National Railway Museum, York.

To honour Sir Nigel Gresley’s feat of engineering and to mark the anniversary of the roll out we have delved into our archives to bring a bumper gallery of the fastest steam loco in the world which was built by the people of Doncaster.

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