Mallard and the A4-Pacifics

Tom Farris

PRINT VERSION ISBN 978-1-84285-560-7 40pp A5 landscapePrice £6.99 €7.99 Click here to buy

‘Mallard’ and its fellow A4-Pacifics is a story of Britain learning from the USA, Germany, Finland, France and other countries, then building on what had been done for more speed – and winning. By the mid 1930s, speed and ‘streamlining’ gripped people’s minds. Railways found themselves caught up in this too. Trying to do something about it, Nigel Gresley, who was the man in charge of designing the A4-Pacifics, sought ideas in Germany and France. He came back to Britain with the answer – to streamline these locomotives like a racing car. It was a great success. Then people wanted to know how fast Mallard could go. To find out, the railway used a downhill run called ‘Stoke Bank’ north of Peterborough. In 1938, with a train full of passengers, the driver and fireman working together squeezed a record-breaking speed out of the locomotive – then something in it broke. It then had to be driven slowly to Peterborough station where it was towed away. The locomotive that was designed like a racing car raced no more.

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About Tom Farris

TOM FARRIS is a master story teller. He has a long history of bringing technical matters to life. He lives with his wife in mid Wales where they enjoy life in the community.

Tom Farris

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