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Mallard Steam Locomotive

The record for the world’s fastest steam locomotive is held by the Mallard, which can been seen in the UK’s National Railway Museum in York.  Mallard was built to provide more reliable, high-speed passenger services to counter increased competition from road and air transport.

On 3 July 1938, Mallard achieved a record speed of 126 mph (203 kmph) for a steam locomotive.  While there is a general recognition that other steam locomotives achieved speeds at or in excess of 126 mph in the US and Germany, these events were unfortunately not authenticated.

Systems engineering and modular design skills can be used to create a simple design of this iconic and historic locomotive.  Try the following:

  • Chassis (structural system);
  • Boiler (propulsion);
  • Two identical steam pistons (propulsion);
  • Chimney (propulsion);
  • Wheels (propulsion);
  • Throttle valve (control) and;
  • Brake (control).

The A4 Pacifics were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and incorporated streamlined styling and increased boiler pressure to enable greater speed with reduced fuel consumption.

When these locomotives were retired in the 1960s, the Dwight D Eisenhower and the Dominion of Canada were exported respectively to museums in the US and Canada.  In 2013, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this unbroken record, all 6 surviving locomotives of this class were reunited briefly in the UK.

DID YOU KNOW?

The record for the world’s fastest steam locomotive was set in 1938 near the town f Grantham in the UK