Pictured: the amazing A4 locos steam in for last great gathering

Sir Nigel steams home… Photograph: NRM on Flickr
25 Oct 2013 @ 12.51 pm
| Entertainment
Sir Nigel steams home… Photograph: NRM on Flickr
Sir Nigel steams home… Photograph: NRM on Flickr

The family’s back together for one last time. Surviving sisters of the world’s fastest locomotive, Mallard, have steamed back to the National Railway Museum for the Autumn Great Gathering.

This is the last chance to see all six A4 locos together at the National Railway Museum before the visitors head away from the city for good. They can be seen from from Saturday, October 26 to Friday, November 11, the longest event in the Mallard 75 season celebrating the anniversary of her speed record set in 1938.

Union of South Africa and Sir Nigel Gresley steamed in bearing their specially-designed Great Gathering headboards showing they were en route to the reunion. These aluminium headboards will be offered up for a sealed bid auction beginning in the first week of the gathering.

They joined Dwight D Eisenhower, Bittern and Dominion of Canada already in situ around the turntable in the NRM’s Great Hall.

When they first got together for the original great gathering in July, more than 140,000 people from all over the world witnessed the reunion.

On Saturday, October 26, many of the retired railway crew who once ran these mighty machines will be at the NRM, reminiscing about those long gone days of steam. They are due to include George Purnell from North Leeds who worked as a fireman to Tommy Bray who fired Mallard on that historic day in 1938 when it set an unsurpassed world speed record.

Another shot of Sir Nige. Photograph: NRM on Flickr
Another shot of Sir Nige. Photograph: NRM on Flickr
Union of South Africa's back too. Photograph: NRM on Flickr
Union of South Africa’s back too. Photograph: NRM on Flickr
The original line-up of six A4 locos
The original line-up of six A4 locos

Locos lit up

As part of Illuminating York, Mallard and her sisters will be lit up at night in vibrant colours in the coming days.

Thanks to innovative work by lighting students, Locos In A Different Light will put the engines in the spotlight like never before, from 6.30pm till 10pm from Wednesday, October 30 to Saturday, November 2.

The Great Hall will close from 6pm to 6.30pm on these dates to allow the lighting rig to be set up.

Trains in a new light, as part of Illuminating York
Trains in a new light, as part of Illuminating York
Seeing is believing
Seeing is believing

  • Read all our Mallard stories here
  • The final opportunity to see Mallard and all five sisters is the Great Goodbye event in Shildon, Co Durham from 15-23 February 2014