The Record Breaking Mallard Steam Train

July marks a special occasion for train lovers, the 3rd of July marked the 75th anniversary of the beloved LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard steam train. A truly outstanding Yorkshire classic, built in Doncaster back in 1938. The Mallard is historically significant because it is the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives at 125.88 mph, amazingly that record still stands today.

The record was achieved on July 3rd 1938 on the slight downward grade of Stoke Bank, south of Grantham on the East coast Main Line, and the highest speed was recorded at milepost 90¼ between Little Bytham and Essendine.

The iconic A4 class was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the train was wind-tunnel tested its aerodynamic body and high power, allowed the train to reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour. In its everyday service it was uncommon for any steam hauled service in the UK to reach over 90 mph.  The Mallard covered almost one and half million miles (2.4 million km) before it was retired in 1963.

The Mallard was restored to working order in the 1980’s, but has not operated since, apart from a few special journeys between York, Harrogate & Leeds.

To mark the anniversary of the Mallard’s record-breaking success, the LNER class 4 steam engine has been reunited with its five sister locomotives, including the Dominion of Canada and the Dwight D. Eisenhower, for a “great gathering”  at the National Railway Museum in York which took place on the 3rd to 17th July. There is a second chance to see the special gathering from the 26th October to the 8th November 2013.

To celebrate this historic world record, why not take one of our UK train journeys and recreate the glamour and excitement of this golden age of train travel. There are lots of different journeys and tours to choose from including the stunning British Pullman and Royal Scotsman.

One of our fantastic UK train journeys is the St Andrews weekend on the Northern Belle. Wine and dine in sumptuous surroundings aboard the Northern Belle on your way to St Andrews, Scotland’s beautiful costal town. Experience not only a fantastic destination, but the experience of travelling on a truly luxurious train.

Fancy going further afield? Why not take a look at our summer trips to Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland or Russia. We can offer tailor-made and flexible travel arrangements, for more information on any of our rail holidays please get in touch.