60022 Mallard (LNER 4468, LNER 607, LNER 22, BR E22 & BR 60022)

60022 Mallard at Malton - April 1987.jpg

4468 Mallard was built for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster, in March 1938 at a cost of £8,500. It is historically significant as the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives.

It was fitted with a corridor tender in March 1948.

Mallard is the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives at 125.88 mph. The record was achieved on 3 July 1938 on the slight downward grade of Stoke Bank south of Grantham on the East Coast Main Line, and the highest speed was recorded at milepost 90¼, between Little Bytham and Essendine. It broke the German (DRG Class 05) 002’s 1936 record of 124.5 mph. The record attempt was carried out during the trials of a new quick acting brake (the Westinghouse “QSA” brake).

The A4 class was designed for sustained 100+ mph running and Mallard was one of a few of the class that were built with a double chimney and double Kylchap blastpipe, which made for improved draughting and better exhaust flow at speed. The A4’s three-cylinder design made for stability at speed, and the large 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) driving wheels meant that the maximum revolutions per minute was within the capabilities of the technology of the day. Mallard was four months old, meaning that it was sufficiently broken-in to run freely, but not overly worn. Selected to crew the locomotive on its record attempt were driver Joseph Duddington (a man renowned within the LNER for taking calculated risks) and fireman Thomas Bray.

The locomotive had previously had problems with the big end bearing for the middle cylinder and shortly after attaining the record speed, the middle big end did overheat and Mallard had to limp onwards to Peterborough. It then travelled to Doncaster for repair. This had been foreseen by the publicity department, who had many pictures taken for the press, in case Mallard did not make it back to Kings Cross.

Stoke Bank has a gradient of between 1:178 and 1:200. Mallard, pulling a dynamometer car and six coaches, topped Stoke Summit at 75 mph and accelerated downhill. The speeds at the end of each mile from the summit were recorded as: 87½, 96½, 104, 107, 111½, 116 and 119 mph; half-mile readings after that gave 120¾, 122½, 123, 124¼ and finally 125 mph. The speed recorded by instruments in the dynamometer car reached a momentary maximum of 126 mph.

On arrival at King’s Cross (just after the run) driver Joe Duddington and Inspector Sid Jenkins were quoted as saying that they thought a speed of 130 mph would have been possible if the train had not had to slow for the junctions at Essendine. In addition at the time of the run there was a permanent way restriction to 15 mph just north of Grantham which slowed the train as they sought to build up maximum speed before reaching the high speed downhill section just beyond Stoke tunnel.

The streamline valances were removed in the spring of 1942 in order to ease the maintenance of the locomotive. This was reapplied when Mallard was preserved. Also in that year the distinctive chime whistle was removed and destroyed, along with those from the rest of the class. The reason for this was that the Government thought that the whistles could be confused with air-raid sirens.

In June 1948 Mallard ran on the Waterloo-Exeter route as part of the locomotive exchange trials.

Motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
March 1938Doncaster
October 1943Grantham
April 1948Kings Cross

When the locomotive was allocated to Kings Cross it was fitted with a corridor tender for working non-stop express trains to Scotland.

In September 1961 Mallard headed the final non-stop run of The Elizabethan from Kings Cross to Edinburgh. It completed the 393¾ miles running almost three minutes early. A few days after completing this run Mallard achieved its finest post war moment when it produced one of the highest power outputs reached by an A4 locomotive when it hauled the eleven coach 2pm Kings Cross to Newcastle train. Climbing Stoke Bank it reached the summit whilst running at 78mph. The estimated drawbar horse power would have been around 2150 which is very high for an A4 locomotive.

Mallard covered 1,426,261 miles before it was withdrawn from service in April 1963.

It was then restored at Doncaster to virtually its original condition which included the fitting of side skirts which had been removed during the Second World War. It was then hauled to Nine Elms yard in London and transported by road to the Museum of British Transport at Clapham where it was on static display until 1975 when it was towed to the National Railway Museum at York.

It was restored to working order at York in the 1980s after which it made a limited number (25 steamings) of runs on the main line including some specials between York and Scarborough in July 1986 and a couple of runs between York and Harrogate/Leeds around Easter 1987. It was necessary to restrict the number of operating days in order to gain an unconditional boiler certificate as many firebox stays would otherwise have needed to be replaced. It steamed for the last time in August 1988 and has been a static exhibit ever since.

In 1990 it was moved to Swindon where it remained until 1992 when it returned to the National Railway Museum at York where it is now on static display.

On 3 July 2013, Mallard celebrated 75 years since achieving the world speed record, and to help commemorate this date all six surviving Class A4 locomotives were brought together around the turntable in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum at York. The visitors include three UK based, privately owned engines in 4464 Bittern, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and 60009 Union of South Africa. Mallard’s two internationally based sisters, 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower and 60010 Dominion of Canada, were present after completing extensive transatlantic journeys, and undergoing cosmetic restoration at the NRM’s workshops. Over thirteen thousand people attended the Great Gathering on the first Saturday of the event and by the end 138,141 people had attended.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
National Railway Museum – YorkOn static displayNational Railway Mueum

NRM Object Number{1975-7007}

60022 Mallard on what is thought to pre a running in turn – date unknown
60022 Mallard hauling The Yorkshire Pulman at New Southgate
60022 Mallard at Doncaster – Circa 1938
60022 Mallard at Doncaster - June 1961.jpg
60022 Mallard at Doncaster – June 1961
60022 Mallard at Kings Cross – 1961
60022 Mallard at Kings Cross - June 1961.jpg
60022 Mallard at Kings Cross – June 1961
60022 Mallard at Kings Cross - March 1962.jpg
60022 Mallard at Kings Cross – March 1962
60022 at Grantham or Doncaster – Thought to be 1960s
60022 Mallard on Haymarket shed – May 1962
60022 Mallard passing through Hadley Wood with a kings Cross to Leeds train – March 1963
60022 Mallard on Gateshead shed – April 1963
60022 Mallard at Doncaster works shortly after being withdrawn awaiting work before being prepared for preservation – May 1963
60022 Mallard at Doncaster Works – 1964
60022 Mallard in Clapham Museum - November 1968.jpg
60022 Mallard in the British Transport Museum at Clapham – 1968
60022 Mallard in the British Transport Museum at Clapham -1972.jpg
60022 Mallard in the British Transport Museum at Clapham -1972
60022 Mallard at York – September 1985
60022 Mallard at Seamer - July 1986.jpg
60022 Mallard at Seamer – July 1986
60022 Mallard at Banbury whilst working a railtour from York to Marylebone – October 1986
60022 Mallard at Clifton on its way out of York – April 1987
60022 Mallard at Malton - April 1987.jpg
60022 Mallard at Malton – April 1987
60022 Mallard attacks Giggleswick Bank at the head of a train from York to Carnforth – May 1987
60022 Mallard at Malton – July 1988
60022 Mallard in the National Railway Museum at York – 2009
60022 Mallard at Locomotion at Shildon – October 2010
The contrasting streamlining of a Duchess Coronation and an Gresley A4. 46229 Duchess of Hamilton stands next to 60022 Mallard at the National Railway Museum at York – January 2016. In the background is Souther n Railway Q1 class 33001.

60022 Mallard at Grantham – September 2013

60022 Mallard in the National Railway Museum at York – January 2016. Getting my two year old grandson interested.

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