Yes I am a grown man, no I’m not old enough to remember when steam trains were the norm on the UK’s railways but yes I have a love for them nonetheless. I’m putting this partly down to my dad but mainly down to growing up opposite a shed housing a preserved steam loco – the Union of South Africa (see previous blog for more on that).
Anyone not wanting to read much and just wanting to see what photos I’ve taken – here’s a link for background information or you can just skip to the photos.
For those wanting a bit more context, please keep reading.
The streamlined A4 Pacific class locos designed and built by LNER were the pinnacle of express steam locomotives, built for high speed travel and also for heavy pulling. Only 35 were built and only 6 now survive, 3 of which are still used on mainline excursions and the other 3 are display pieces at different museums.
What’s so interesting about that you may well be thinking? Well 2 of the remaining 6 engines were shipped over to North America many years ago (1 to the USA and the other to Canada) so they have never been together, until now. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Mallard breaking the speed record for a steam loco they decided to get all 6 remaining A4’s together. This involved shipping back the 2 from North America along with getting the other 3 working engines in the UK to York. An event that will never be repeated (the North America engines will be shipped back next year) so I needed to make it along to see them all together.
Here’s some images I got during my visit: