Mallard’s mini-me recreates record-breaking steam run

Big Mallard protectively guards the model which will be recreating the record. Photograph: NRM
25 Jul 2013 @ 11.28 am
| News
Big Mallard protectively guards the model which will be recreating the record. Photograph: NRM
Big Mallard protectively guards the model which will be recreating the record. Photograph: NRM

The Mallard gets back on track this weekend – or at least the mini-me version.

A miniature version of the loco legend will recreate July 3 1938’s world record-breaking run on a gigantic model railway layout in the museum’s Great Hall.

The Yorkshire Group of the Gauge One Model Railway Association will be running free live steam scale model speed record attempts with locomotives, carriages and track specially built for the occasion. The steam-powered models will try to hit the magic 126mph every half an hour from 10am till 4.30pm.

Train enthusiasts from around the world have headed to the NRM to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mallard hitting 126mph down Stoke Bank near Grantham. The Doncaster-built Mallard clearly still has a taste for breaking records, 75 years on, with the museum enjoying its busiest day since records began on Saturday 6 July.

Earlier this week, as the National Railway Museum celebrated record figures for its Great Gathering event, the Patron of Mallard 75 HRH, The Prince of Wales steamed in to make his own special trip to see Mallard in its anniversary year as he eagerly awaited the arrival of his grandson.

Anthony Coulls, senior curator of railway vehicles, said: “Bringing the collection to the widest possible audience is what it’s all about, and even though our anniversary Great Gathering exhibition is over until the autumn, Mallard is still on display with its transatlantic travelling sisters Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower.

“This weekend visitors can see how Mallard and sisters look when in steam, cheer on the record-breaking run in miniature, and then get up close to the real thing.”

In the summer holidays families can join the Mallard 75 celebrations by building their own speed machine and racing it down a custom built track as well as marvelling at Mallard and the other magnificent streamlined giants in the Great Hall.

An art gallery exhibition on the theme of speed It’s Quicker by Rail runs until October and there is also a family fun trail based on the theme of speed.

It is also hoped that fellow Great Gathering star Bittern will be on display in the Great Hall until late August.

The July Great Gathering was the first headline event in the Mallard 75 season of events and activities. There are also plans to reunite the six streamlined steam giants for two follow-up events, an autumn Great Gathering in York from October 26 to November 8 and a Great Goodbye event in Shildon, Co. Durham next February 2014. There are also external events in Grantham and Derbyshire. Hornby are the headline sponsors of the Mallard 75 series.