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Ask Your Questions about Anniversary Great Gathering

As the countdown to the 3 July celebrations of Mallard breaking the world steam speed record reaches just 7 days, the public will be given the chance to ask their questions about the National Railway Museum’s Great Gathering, a spectacular international family reunion marking 75 years since Mallard became the world’s fastest steam locomotive.

Social media followers have been kept up to date with a countdown to the flagship event of Mallard 75, the museum’s series of events and activities to mark the anniversary of the unsurpassed British steam speed record of 126mph being set.

Now the public should be all of a twitter about #mallard75 as those who have a burning question about the Gathering can register their interest and put a question to a panel of curators who have been involved with the project using the hashtag.

Details will be given via Facebook and Twitter and the Museum’s e-newsletter about the question and answer session which will be open from 12 noon-3pm on Wednesday 26th June, one week before the landmark event.

Anthony Coulls Senior Curator of Railway Vehicles at the National Railway Museum, who is one of the panel members said: “Bringing the collection to the widest possible audience is what it’s all about, and using twitter is another way that we can engage the public with this Great Gathering, a fortnight-long exhibition celebrating British engineering genius showcasing all six survivors of the A4 class is the stuff that dreams are made of.”

The Great Gathering is a sight never-seen-before which will fulfil the dreams of rail fans everywhere. Pilgrims from all over the world including Canada, the US and Australia are making the journey to see this once in a lifetime event. With a week to go Mallard mayhem is beginning to strike, with floral displays in Knaresborough and Doncaster paying tribute to the locomotives achievement in clinching the world speed crown.

Yorkshire, the county where Mallard was built, is especially counting down the days until the nation marks the milestone moment in global history when Mallard became the world’s fastest steam locomotive for all time.

Gary Verity, chief executive of the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency, said: "It's a proud achievement to have Yorkshire at the very heart of this British engineering milestone and of course the long-standing world record. The fact it was both built and resides in the county is fantastic and Yorkshire will be the focus of national and global attention in this anniversary year

On that day, the mighty blue Mallard was recorded as reaching the awe-inspiring speed of 126mph on the East Coast Main Line, breaking the existing German record of 124 mph set in 1936. No 4468 Mallard built at LNER’s Doncaster Works was chosen as the perfect vehicle for the latest attempt on the world steam speed crown because it was the first of the class to be fitted with a double chimney. Due to the subsequent evolution of diesel traction and the outbreak of the Second World War, Mallard’s record still stands and to this day inspires a sense of National pride that a British locomotive is still recognised across the globe as the fastest steam locomotive in the world.

The ‘Great Gathering’ of Mallard and its sisters takes place 3 July - 17 July at the National Railway Museum in York. There are plans to reunite the six streamlined steam giants for two follow-up events, an Autumn Gathering in York and a ‘Great Goodbye event in Shildon, Co. Durham from 15 - 23 February 2014. Hornby are the headline sponsors of the Mallard 75 series.

For more information on the National Railway Museum’s 75th anniversary plans for 2013/2014 including photography evenings at Shildon visit For regular updates follow the museum on or join us on


Contact: Catherine Farrell, 01904 686281

Kate Maughan-Brown, 01904 686271

• Thanks go to Hornby for their generous sponsorship of Mallard 75

• Thanks go to Moveright International, Ceres, Peel Ports, ACL, Life Environmental and CNR for their generous support in the repatriation of Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower.

• Dominion of Canada was cosmetically restored at Locomotion; the National Railway Museum at Shildon from British Railways Green livery into its 1937 as-new form – Garter Blue, with a valanced single chimney, complete with Canadian bell and chime whistle, and replica cabside crests featuring the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada from January - May 2013. The workshop team were assisted by Darlington-based firm M-Machine who also painted Tornado. The cosmetic restoration was a condition of the two year loan agreement.

• Dwight D Eisenhower was cosmetically restored in the National Railway Museum’s workshop during November and December 2012 by Lancashire-based firm Heritage Painting, who also repainted Mallard in August 2012. The cosmetic restoration was a condition of the two year loan agreement.

• The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and attracts over 700,000 visitors per year.

• Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon is a joint partnership between the Science Museum Group and Durham County Council. Locomotion is home to over 60 vehicles from the national collection and attracts over 200,000 visitors per year.

• Admission to the National Railway Museum is free.

• For more information visit

• Follow us at #mallard75

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