This month’s model favourite is 4468 Mallard and has been chosen by MKMRS member John Forman. John joined MKMRS over ten years ago and produces the quarterly members’ news magazine. He is interested mainly in O gauge and has recently moved towards more finescale modelling. However, he is a member of the tinplate group at MKMRS and feels that tinplate modelling complements this interest well.
John has selected the Ace Trains (www.acetrainslondon.com) model of Mallard. The model is in O scale and can operate on 2 or 3 rail track. The coaches are manufactured by Darstead and represent the Yorkshire Pullman as it appeared in the period around the 1940s/1950s. John bought the Mallard model around 4 years ago, but the model has been produced by Ace Trains for around six years.
John has selected this model as his favourite as he likes the A4 design. Not many of the locos were constructed and Mallard in particular is, for many, the iconic representative of the class as it set the World Steam Record for speed on 3 July 1938 when it reached a speed of 126mph – a record which it still holds.
John will be operating locos at the 2014 MKMRS model railway exhibition on 15 February 2014. See www.mkmrs.org.uk/exhibitions for details.
The Mallard entry on Wikipedia states:
Number 4468 Mallard is a London and North Eastern Railway Class A4 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive built at Doncaster, England in 1938. It is historically significant because it is the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives.
The A4 class was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to power high-speed streamlined trains. The wind-tunnel-tested, aerodynamic body and high power allowed the class to reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), although in everyday service it was relatively uncommon for any steam hauled service in the UK to reach even 90 mph, much less 100. Mallard covered almost one and a half million miles (2.4 million km) before it was retired in 1963.
It was restored to working order in the 1980s, but has not operated since, apart from hauling some specials between York and Scarborough in July 1986 and a couple of runs between York and Harrogate/Leeds around Easter 1987. Mallard is now part of the National Collection at the United Kingdom’s National Railway Museum in York. On the weekend of 5 July 2008, Mallard was taken outside for the first time in years and displayed beside the three other A4s that are resident in the UK, thus reuniting them for the first time since preservation. It departed the museum for Locomotion, the NRM’s outbase at Shildon on the 23 June 2010, where it was a static exhibit, until it was hauled back to York on 19 July 2011 and put back on display in its original location in the Great Hall.
The locomotive is 70 ft (21 m) long and weighs 165 tons, including the tender. It is painted LNER garter blue with red wheels and steel rims.
Most recently (Autumn 2013) Mallard appeared alongside the five other surviving A4 locos at the York Great Gathering event: the other locos were Sir Nigel Gresley, Dwight D Eisenhower, Union of South Africa, Bittern and Dominion of Canada.