On 3 July 1938, A4 class locomotive Mallard raced down Stoke Bank at 126mph to set a new steam locomotive world speed record. That record still stands.
In 2013, we're marking the 75th anniversary of Mallard's achievement with a series of commemorative events, including three spectacular opportunities to see the record breaker united with its five surviving sister locomotives: a family reunion on an international scale. We’re now counting down the days until our first ‘Great Gathering, which is a free, non-ticketed event.
Only six of the 35 A4 locomotives built survive. We've temporarily repatriated two of them from their home museums in Canada and the US: right now you can come and see the cosmetically restored Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada alongside Mallard in the Great Hall at York.
For those wanting to celebrate Mallard’s achievement in this anniversary year, we have a full range of Mallard products available via our online shop.
The staff of our archive and library centre have created additional material for your research on popular locomotives. Download the latest Mallard 75 resource pack here.
HRH The Prince of Wales is Patron of the Mallard 75 series of events and activities.
See all six A4s together
The Great Gathering (York)
3-17 July 2013. FREE
Mallard and its five surviving sister A4 locomotives will mark the calendar anniversary of Mallard's record-breaking run by gathering together around the Great Hall turntable at York. That's the three operational A4s - Sir Nigel Gresley, Union of South Africa and Bittern - plus Dwight D Eisenhower, Dominion of Canada and Mallard.
Autumn Great Gathering (York)
26 October–8 November 2013. 10am-6pm. FREE
A second chance to see Mallard and its sisters around the turntable at York. Selected evenings are part of the annual Illuminating York festival (see below).
Locos in a Different Light
30 October-2 November 2013. Times TBC. FREE
As part of our annual competition, students will illuminate the six A4s in spectacular lighting.
The Great Goodbye (Shildon)
15-23 February 2014, Shildon. 10am-6pm. FREE
The last chance to see all six A4 locomotives together before the repatriated locomotives return to their home museums in late spring/early summer 2014.
The Great Gathering Gala Dinner (York)
3 July 2013, 7pm-10pm. SOLD OUT
Enjoy a formal dress drinks reception in Station Hall, with an exclusive preview of our new art exhibition (see below). The evening will then move into the Great Hall for a unique chance to dine surrounded by the six surviving A4 locomotives. Hear the story of the Great Gathering from those who made it happen, and enjoy a sumptuous three course meal and coffee. Tickets have now sold out but we are hoping to stage further dinners so please call 01904 621261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
Please note: All the above events involve operational locomotives and therefore are subject to change at short notice.
Special photography events
Want to avoid the crowds? Sign up for one of our exclusive events, where numbers are limited to just 50 people. Please note all events involving operational locomotives are subject to change at short notice.
The Great Gathering exclusive access mornings (York)
4-17 July 2013, 8am-10am. (SOLD OUT)
See the six A4s around the turntable without the crowds. Our cafe and shop will be open. Tickets are now sold out for this event.
Autumn Great Gathering exclusive access mornings (York)
4-7 November 2013, 8am-10am. (SOLD OUT)
See the six A4s around the turntable without the crowds. Our cafe and shop will be open. This event is now sold out but tickets are still available for our Great Goodbye photography events (see below).
The Great Goodbye photography evenings (Shildon)
17-19 February 2014. 6pm-9pm. £90
Photograph a classic line-up of the six surviving A4s, in light steam where possible, outside the Collections Building at the National Railway Museum at Shildon. Book tickets
NEW Mallard simulator
From 3 July. 10am-6pm. Price TBC
Ride the Mallard experience! New this summer: a 12-seater simulator experience based on Mallard’s record breaking run. A breathtaking, bird's-eye view as the loco speeds its way to history.
It's Quicker by Rail: speed and railway advertising
4 July-10 November. 10am-6pm. FREE
This exhibition of posters and photographs from the 1930s to today explores how railway companies have presented train travel as time-saving, simple and easy.
Mallard model record reenactment
27-28 July 2013. 10am-6pm. FREE
Live steam scale model demonstrations by The Gauge One Model Railway Association of Mallard's world-record-breaking run.
Summer holiday activities
24 July-1 September 2013. 10am-6pm. FREE
Speed Challenge: We’re also celebrating the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s achievement with some speedy activities for the holidays. You can build a miniature vehicle, enter it into a race and take part in a family fun trail based on the theme of speed.
There are plans for more Mallard 75 events around the UK which are yet to be confirmed, please keep checking here for details.
Festival of Speed (Grantham)
7 – 8 September 2013. FREE
Mallard returns to Grantham after a 50 year absence. The famous locomotive will be joined by other historic exhibits as part of a free east coast ‘Festival of Speed’. Also on display will be streamlined racing cars of the 1930s inspired by the Mallard design and examples of Grantham’s engineering heritage.
See Mallard’s sister A4s in action on the mainline in a variety of rail tours. Please contact the rail tour promoter for more information.
|Date||Tour Name||Route||Loco||Book with...|
|Sat 29 June||The Ebor Streak||London to York||Bittern||Pathfinder Tours|
|Fri 19 July||The Tyne-Tees Streak||Bristol - Newcastle||Bittern||Pathfinder Tours|
|Sat 27 July||The Capital Streak||London to York||Bittern||Pathfinder Tours|