Seventy years ago, on 3 July 1938, on the East Coast main line, the streamlined A4 Pacific locomotive Mallard reached a top speed of 126mph - a world record for steam locomotives which still stands. Since then, millions have seen this famous locomotive, resplendent in her blue livery, on display at the National Railway Museum in York.
Don Hale tells the full story of how the record was broken, from the nineteenth century rivalry to be fastest between London and Scotland, and, surprisingly, traces Mallard's futuristic design to the Bugatti car and Germany's nascent Third Reich, which elevated the train into an instrument of national prestige.
* 'A fascinating and worthwhile reminder of those glorious days when Britain ruled the rails' Chris Donald, Oldie
'It ought to be a film, of course, pitched somewhere between The Right Stuff and Chariots of Fire. Meanwhile, Don Hale's well-ordered, compelling book will do nicely' Andrew Martin, Daily Express"