04 July 2013

Mallard broke the world speed record when, driven by Joe Duddington, with fireman Thomas Bray, it reached 126mph at Stoke Bank, south of Grantham, in Lincolnshire, on the East Coast Main Line on 3 July 1938.

Mallard and her five surviving sister locomotives – Bittern, Dominion of Canada, Union of South Africa, Dwight D Eisenhower, and Sir Nigel Gresley – on display in the Great Hall at York are six of the 35 A4 class locomotives built in Doncaster.

Mick Whelan said: ‘While we welcome this tribute to our history it’s a shame that we won’t, in fifty years’ time, be getting together to celebrate another great achievement of British engineering as this government is destroying the manufacturing base for trains in this country.’

Earlier this week Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, sealed a £1.4 billion deal to design, build, finance and maintain a fleet of 1,140 carriages for the cross-capital Thameslink route with Siemens of Germany and Cross London Trains, a consortium comprising Siemens Project Ventures, the financial services unit of Siemens, Innisfree, an investment group specialising in public-private partnerships, and 3i Infrastructure, registered in Jersey.

Mick said: ‘Confirmation of the decision, which was not unexpected, is a further damaging blow to the Bombardier factory in Derby, Britain’s last remaining train manufacturing facility. We like to celebrate the past; but we would love to be able to celebrate the future, too.’

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