Shildon welcomes transatlantic sisters of Mallard

Saturday, 13th October, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Terry Ferdinand

The transatlantic sisters of the world’s fastest steam locomotive Mallard are on display to the British public for the first time at Locomotion in Shildon.

Dwight D Eisenhower Locomotive on display in Shildon

Dwight D Eisenhower Locomotive on display in Shildon

The pair were built in Doncaster and have made their return to the UK over 50 years since being exported in the sixties, arriving at the Port of Liverpool last week. The trains, Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower, have made a 2,527 mile journey to Shildon following a trek by rail across North America.

Listen: David Court – Fireman and Driver

[audio:http://www.bishopfm.com/wp-content/uploads/Shildon-David-Court-Fireman-Driver-Shildon-Railway-Museum-Dominion-Of-Canada.mp3|titles=Shildon – David Court – Fireman – Driver – Shildon Railway Museum – Dominion Of Canada]

Next year the museum will mark the 75th anniversary of Mallard breaking the world speed record. All six survivors of this class of locomotive are now present in the UK, ready for a family reunion in 2013. The duo are on loan to the National Railway Museum for two years, from the National Railroad Museum in Wisconsin, USA and Exporail, the Canadian National Railway Museum in Montreal.

British Railways visible on side of Dominion of Canada locomotive

'British Railways' visible on side of Dominion of Canada locomotive

“What could be more spectacular than an international family reunion to mark the 75th anniversary of Mallard breaking the world speed record in 2013? The sheer scale of this transcontinental project to move these locomotives back to home soil was immense and it is testament to the vision and expertise of all those involved,” said The Director of the National Railway Museum.

“When these mighty machines were exported across the Atlantic in the Sixties, no one thought they would ever come back, now they are finally here at the spiritual home of the railways and on display to their adoring public.”

Listen: Richard Pearson, Shildon Railway Museum

[audio:http://www.bishopfm.com/wp-content/uploads/Shildon-Richard-Pearson-Shilon-Railway-Museum-Dominion-Of-Canada.mp3|titles=Shildon – Richard Pearson – Shilon Railway Museum – Dominion Of Canada]

The Dwight D Eisenhower will move to York by the end of October, whilst Dominion of Canada will remain in Shildon and be painted at Shildon by Darlington-based M-Machine in the same shade of blue as Mallard.

“We are delighted to see both of these locomotives on display in Shildon. This is a truly historic international event, which we may not see again in our lifetime,” explained Dr George Muirhead, Museum Manager at Locomotion.

Both locomotives on display at Locomotion, Shildon

Both locomotives on display at Locomotion, Shildon

Listen: Ian Mathews, Metalworker and Painter

[audio:http://www.bishopfm.com/wp-content/uploads/Shildon-Ian-Mathews-Metalworker-and-Painter-Dominion-Of-Canada.mp3|titles=Shildon – Ian Mathews – Metalworker and Painter – Dominion Of Canada]

“At Locomotion we are very excited about the Dominion of Canada restoration project. It is very fitting that this will take place in Shildon, a true railway town, using the skills of North East engineers and painters who will help transform this wonderful object back to London North Eastern Railway livery.”

In July 1938 the Mallard was recorded reaching 126mph on the East Coast Main Line, beating a record set in Germany.

Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower are on display by the Collections Building at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon.