75 Years a Record Breaker

Published 30th July 2012

Author: Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust

Publisher: Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust

Pages and dimensions: Softback. 32 pages. 21mm X 29mm approx

Cover price: £7.50. P&P: £1.50 in the UK. £3.50 within Europe and £5 worldwide.

Available from: Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust. 75th Anniversary Booklet, Hollins Farmhouse, Eskdaleside, Grosmont, Whitby YO22 5PS

Review by Phil Marsh

This book does what it says on the cover: It celebrates the 75th anniversary of possibly Britain’s favourite steam locomotive, Number 4498/60007 Sir Nigel Gresley.

It is a record breaking member of the LNER ‘A4’ class Pacific built in Doncaster Works in November 1937. The engine broke and still holds, the post-war speed record for steam traction achieved on 23 May 1959 reaching 112mph.

It has been entirely written and produced by volunteer members to celebrate a milestone in the engine’s history. The foreword has been written by the former Kings Cross Shedmaster, Peter Townend one of the last ‘A4’ managers still alive today.

The 32 page booklet contains a comprehensive history of the engine in words and pictures, colour where possible and some very historic black and white reproductions.

The engine was the 100th Gresley designed Pacific to be built and was duly named after Gresley and the opening full page picture is of the locomotive and the man posing together.

The booklet covers the genesis of the A4s from 1922, over a decade before the streamlined A4s came into existence. The construction of 4498 is chronicled as is its, and the history of the rest of the class up to 1939. Wartime service and alterations are also covered.

The history from nationalisation in 1948 to 1963 is documented in some detail along with photographs of No. 7 on a test plant at Rugby. There are comprehensive records of mileage and overhauls given here leading up to transfer to Scotland at the end of 1963.

The engine was stored for eight months out of use from November 1963 to July 1964 and then went back to express passenger work between Glasgow and Aberdeen in what is known as the swansong of steam. The engine’s last British Railways run in January 1964 is described as is one a few months earlier when a startling discovery was made by the footplate crew on a fund raising charter train promoted by the A4 Preservation Society.

The preservation era is well covered with rare photographs taken behind the scenes including BR management’s decision to ban steam on the main line which forced No. 7 to find a new home. This was after the engine managed 96mph on a charter train from Crewe!

The record breaker was back at work based at Carnforth and Marylebone between 1977 and 1994 with moments of more fame at a stamp launch with Terence Cuneo in 1985. In fact, it was the steam services from Marylebone that helped the station from being closed in the late 1980s!

The move north to Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is looked at in the 1995 to 2012 section with the attendant overhauls and new era of privatised main line railway running.

The last overhaul cost in the region of £800,000 and was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The next one is looming and will probably cost over £500,000 in three years’ time. All proceeds from this booklet will go towards the overhaul so there is no better cause to support.

The record breaking run of 1959 has its own chapter as does the Tender Corridor arrangement and is worth buying the book for in itself. This is a fabulous book and is very strongly recommended, well designed, well printed and the origination is also a very high standard.

 
 

Have your say...

Please note: you have to be logged into the site before you can leave a comment

 
 
Liverpool street station in the UK at rush hour

Help and advice with train travel in the UK

Train travel in the UK should be a pleasure, not a headache. So if you’re taking a train on the UK railway, start your journey here. We’ve lots of hints, tips and advice to help you find your way around, travel smoothly and arrive in style by train.

Read more

eurostars passing at 375mph from the drivers seat in france

#railchat

Welcome to our #railchat page. Our #railchat discussions take place over on Twitter, with our resident expert Phil Marsh. If you would like to get involved, please do join us, and use the dedicated hashtag #railchat. See our previous discussions below:

Read more

Old steam train in Shanty Town Museum

Locomotives & Engines

Our rail network would be nothing without them. From Stephenson's Rocket to British Rail Class 92 and beyond, explore the facts, information and anecdotes behind the steam, diesel and electric locomotives that built the age of the train.

Read more

 

Latest Tweets

Facebook

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 85% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with redspottedhanky.com and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...

 
Twitter

@railcouk

Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community!

 
redspottedhanky.com

redspottedhanky.com

redspottedhanky.com is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.

 
fuelGenie

fuelGenie

Control your business fuel costs with a supermarket fuel card – free to apply, no ongoing account charges and no monthly minimum spend.