On July 3rd 1938, a streamlined locomotive of the London north Eastern Railway shot to everlasting fame by breaking the world speed record for steam. The speed achieved that day on Stoke Bank, 126 miles per hour, was never to be equalled by any other steam locomotive. The A4 Pacific No. 4468, named Mallard, was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for work on high speed passenger trains, a task which she performed admirably until she was withdrawn from service in 1963.
This program follows the fully restored Mallard in 1988, the 50th anniversary of her record-breaking run. It starts with the boiler test and a special run for filming in the York-Harrogate-Leeds-York circle during which driver Harry Wilson’s efforts in the cab were recorded on the very day he retired.
The cameras were in Banbury for the postal run in May but the real celebrations began exactly 50 years from the day of the record. We took a helicopter to record Mallard on the East Coast Main Line and later on the threatened Settle and Carlisle line. Mallard was also captured by the cameras in many other locations and the opening of the National Railway Museum’s Archives has allowed us to bring you the full story of this wonderful locomotive.