Engineers honour Mallard designer

ALREADY well established in the history books, the steam locomotive renowned for being the world’s fastest has received a major new accolade for engineering excellence.

Sir Nigel Gresley's grandson Tim Godfrey with the award.

Doncaster-built Mallard received a Engineering Heritage Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on the anniversary of the death of its designer and past president of the Institution Sir Nigel Gresley at York’s National Railway Museum (NRM).

John Wood, chairman of the Institution’s engineering heritage committee, said: “The A4 Pacific class locomotive Mallard is one of the most iconic engineering artefacts of the 20th Century, and an example of British ingenuity at its very best.

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“Sir Nigel Gresley showed extraordinary ambition and vision in designing this locomotive and it is testament to the work of the National Railway Museum that this awe-inspiring locomotive remains in such excellent condition.”

Past winners of the award include the E-Type Jaguar, Tower Bridge and the Vulcan Bomber.

Helen Ashby, head of knowledge and collections at the NRM, said: “We’re so proud that Mallard has been recognised by the Institution as an icon of British engineering design in this 75th anniversary year of its still unbroken speed record.”

Mallard attained the world record speed of 126mph descending Stoke Bank in July 1938 and covered almost 1.5 million miles before it was retired in April 1963.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of its speed record and the NRM is staging an event in July which will reunite the garter blue icon with its five surviving sister A4 locomotives.

Sir Nigel designed the Flying Scotsman and Mallard for the London and North Eastern Railway.