For many people in the UK there’s no better way of letting off steam than to be in the company of a historic train.
And there’s no train more evocative of the class and excitement of that age than Mallard, still the fastest steam locomotive ever built, now in its home underneath the huge canopy of the National Railway Museum’s engine shed.
For two weeks in July, however, a historic ‘Great Gathering’ will see all five of Mallard’s sisters in the A4 class together under one roof for the first time.
These enigmatic feats of engineering are unmistakably related with their classic art deco styling and distinctive sleek lines.
Truly they are a wonder to behold.
It’s also a great excuse to head over to the museum if you’ve never been, and it’s a treat for kids thanks to its massive open plan design.
You can spend hours wandering amongst the enormous engines and there are miles of shining chrome and brass to admire.
Aside from the technically impressive, it’s also a history of design and fashions spanning 300 years.
The earliest examples in their collection are as crude as you’d expect: all bolts, chimneys and wrought iron.
Fast forward to the golden age in the early 19th Century collection and they’re more like rocket ships on rails, or speeding palaces in the case of the opulent royal carriages.
Aside from the trains themselves there’s still plenty to do once you’re there.
The warehouse is stuffed with objects and artefacts from the history of rail, there’s a miniature railway for kids to enjoy outside as well as an adventure play area too.
Opening Times: 10am – 6pm
Address: Leeman Road, York
Car Parking: Leeman Road paid-for
Attraction Website: www.nrm.org.uk
Telephone: 08448 153139
Sat Nav: YO26 4XJ
For more days out see www.yorkshire.com