Two A4 class steam locomotives are returning to Britain to take part in celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s world record breaking 126mph run down Stoke Bank on 3 July 1938.
The National Railway Museum has reached a formal agreement to temporarily repatriate A4s, 60008 Dwight D Eisenhower, from Wisconsin, and 60010 Dominion of Canada, from Montreal, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of sister locomotive Mallard’s 1938 record breaking speed run.
The survival of 60008 owes much to the tenacity of the then chairman of the National Railroad Museum’s board, Harold Fuller.
Learning that there was a steam loco named after President Eisenhower, Fuller decided to add it to the museum’s collection.
When the A4 was withdrawn in 1963 British Rail agreed to donate it to the museum along with two LNER carriages.
Fellow A4 60010 was also donated by British Rail and resides in the Canadian Railway Museum. Mallard, with driver Joseph Duddington at the regulator and Thomas Bray on the shovel, reached 126 mph near Little Bytham on 3 July 1938.
Such was the high esteem that driver Duddington was held, that when he retired in 1944 not only was it covered by a Pathe film team, but the LNER ensured that his last turn was on Mallard.
Both 60008 and 60010 are expected to arrive this autumn. Says Steve Davies, Director of the National Railway Museum, ‘I am delighted that the two museums involved have shared in the National Railway Museum’s vision to make this happen and I have no doubt that what is being planned will be beneficial to all parties.’