Mallard

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Mallard is the name of an LNER streamlined A4 engine. It’s famous for having set the world speed record for a steam engine at 126mph in 1938. They are celebrating the 70th anniversary of this amazing achievement at the NRM, York, by gathering together all the surviving streamliners…

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This is actually a recreation and elaboration of a famous poster by Tom Purvis, which shows the four streamliners getting ready…

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Mallard was painted a distinctive blue. This, combined with its striking design and technical sophistication, almost made it a rival of the famous Flying Scotsman.

You can see the streamlined engine, pulling the Coronation and crossing the Border Bridge at Berwick, in another poster by Tom Purvis

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Purvis gives the engine drama and speed. In another poster, by Doris Zinkeisen, the speed of the engine is rendered as a kind of delirium.

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Here is a picture of Mallard displayed at York, so as to show off its smooth-skin styling.

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One day, I’ll post a note about the lettering on these engines…

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