Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Great Gathering

The six surviving LNER A4s in the Great Hall at the NRM.

After months (years?) of planning, the six surviving LNER class A4s came together at the National Railway Museum at the launch of the Mallard 75 celebrations. I think this is a sight which most enthusiasts would quite willingly have agreed would never happen, but somehow it has! A lot of work has gone into making the two exiles presentable and the result, combined with the three working example of the class is rather impressive.

4464 Bittern, fresh from its 90 mph exploits, completed the line up of three garter blue locos complete with their valances. I wonder when the last time three locos in this condition were seen together?

As well as all the goings on in The Great Hall, the Museum's Art Gallery features a new exhibition focusing on speed in railway advertisments; there also some appropriate models within including a very suitable one for Mallard 75.

The Great Gathering is well worth visiting; it's very busy and you won't get people-less photos (but plenty of those who pay extra for the closed photos sessions will no doubt share theirs on flickr! But this isn't the point really - once the two North American residents head back to their retirement homes, it's very, very unlikely you'll ever be able to see this line up again.

If you try hard you can just fit all six in a photo!

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