Final farewell of last six A4 class locomotives to be at Shildon next month

The Northern Echo: The Union of South Africa which is one of six A4 class locomotives heading to Shildon The Union of South Africa which is one of six A4 class locomotives heading to Shildon

A RAILWAY museum is expecting to attract 72,000 visitors to view six historic locomotives which are to line up together for potentially the last time ever.

Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon is to host The Great Goodbye featuring the last six remaining A4 locomotives.

The engines have been drawn from across the world to appear in the UK to mark the 75th anniversary of the A4 class Mallard becoming the world’s fastest steam locomotive.

They are all currently on display at the National Railway Museum, in York, but the engines will appear at Locomotion between Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 23.

George Muirhead, museum manager at Shildon, said: “This is the biggest event in Shildon since the 1975 cavalcade to mark the 150th anniversary of the Darlington and Stockton Railway.

“It will be the last time that all six of the A4 locomotives will be together in our lifetime. It’s an amazing event for the museum.

“We’re planning for 8,000 visitors a day and as it gets closer and closer to the event it will become even more exciting.”

Visitors will be able to view the Mallard, Bittern, Union of South Africa, Dominion of Canada, Dwight D Eisenhower and Sir Nigel Gresley engines.

The Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower were shipped to the UK from Canada and America respectively where they have being for the last 50-years.

A series of free talks will take place during The Great Goodbye. Booking is needed on 01904-621261 or nrm.org.uk/mallard75 A Great Goodbye Gala Dinner is on Friday, February 21 between 7pm and 11pm at Locomotion with tickets, which must be booked in advance, £70.

For details and tickets contact 01904-621261 or via www.nrm.org.uk/mallard75 Details on the celebrations can be obtained from the museum on 01388-777999 or online at nrm.org.uk/PlanaVisit/VisitShildon

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