Six surviving streaks reunited at York

The turntable

I'm an LMS man, born and bred, but couldn't resist the prospect of copping all six surviving A4s in one spot - the National Railway Museum in York. It was the Great Gathering, 3-17 July, commemorating Mallard's world speed record of 126mph on 3 July 1938. I arrived on the second day and expected it to be heaving, but there was no queue and a relatively sparse crowd, so I was able to get some reasonable snaps. They were arranged around the turntable as follows:
  • 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley* (4498) in BR Blue
  • 60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower (formerly 4496 Golden Shuttle) in BR Brunswick Green
  • 60009 Union of South Africa* (4488) in BR Brunswick Green
  • 4464 Bittern* (60019) in LNER Garter Blue
  • 4468 Mallard (60022) in LNER Garter Blue
  • 4489 Dominion of Canada (60010, formerly Woodcock) in LNER Garter Blue
* operational

Bittern, Mallard and Canada

60008 Dwight D. Eisenhower had been shipped over from the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin and 4489 Dominion of Canada was brought over from the Canadian Railway Museum, near Montreal. Both received cosmetic restoration at the NRM in Shilton. 4464 Bittern had arrived under its own steam, setting a new record for a British preserved steam locomotive on the main line, when it achieved a maximum speed of 92.5 mph.

4464 Bittern

I had the pleasure of riding behind Bittern on the Watercress Line, back in 2008 when it was in green BR livery. I'd only ever glimpsed Sir Nigel and Union of South Africa before (though I may have copped them back in the day, who knows, my Ian Allen combined volumes are long gone!).

Flying Scotsman in The Works

After a quick look at Flying Scotsman in the Works and a cappuccino in the Mallard Cafe, I repaired to my hotel, the swanky Hampton at the Hilton nearby, thence to meet Sam and his chums at the Maltings for a pint of Baron Saturday.

Friday morning, the NRM opened at 10am, and this time there was a queue! There were also more people getting in the way of photographs. It must have been really crowded at the weekend. It was getting scorchio in there so I relocated to the Container Cafe outside and met up with Sam et al for a coffee, a quick look round the Station Hall, with Queen Victoria's train and a splendid LMS crab No. 13000, then back to the station and home, via St Pancras. The damp men had finished in my kitchen and bathroom and everything seemed to be functioning!

LMS Crab 13000

 More photos on Flickr.