Herbert Nigel Gresley was unique in his unparalleled 36 years of continuous service, culminating in his appointment at the age of 47 as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER from 1923 until his untimely death in service in 1941. This detailed book reflects on the totality of Sir Nigel Gresley's many achievements, with particular reference to the many items of Gresley rolling stock that have survived into the 21st century.
There were few more distinctive locomotives ever built in Britain than the A4 Pacifics and interest in the class is seemingly inexhaustible. Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the 35 members of the A4 class of Pacific locomotive built for the London & North Eastern Railway are amongst the most iconic locomotives ever constructed in Britain. With their streamlined lines, the new locomotives epitomised the styling of the 1930s when they were introduced to the East Coast main line and brought a revolution in speed to services between London and the West Riding, the North-East and Scotland. One of the class No 4468 Mallard has an additional claim to fame: in July 1938, Mallard broke the speed record for a steam locomotive, held by a German design set two years earlier, achieving 126mph on Stoker Bank and is a record that still stands today.
The smooth outline of streamlined A4 Pacific locomotive Mallard is instantly recognisable, an icon of railway history resplendent in blue. Famously reaching a top speed of 126mph on 3 July 1938 on the East Coast main line, this world record for steam locomotives still stands today. Don Hale tells the full story of how the record was broken, from the rivalry of the nineteenth-century London–Scotland speed race, to similarities in Mallard’s futuristic design to the Bugatti car, and the influence of Germany’s nascent Third Reich in propelling the train into an instrument of national prestige. Mallard’s designer, Sir Nigel Gresley, is celebrated as one of Britain’s most gifted engineers. Updated with new appendices and extra photographs, this classic book remains the perfect tribute to one of British technology’s finest hours.