Locomotives in Detail: 3 - Gresley 4-6-2 A4 Class
There can be few more iconic classes of express steam locomotive than the 'A4' class of Pacific designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for use on the LNER's East Coast Main Line. Inspired by a trip to France in 1933, where he had seen the results of streamlining on petrol-engined railcars designed by Ettore Bugatti with the aim of reducing wind resistance, Gresley obtained permission to construct these new locomotives as streamliners in early 1935. The first of the class was completed less than six months after Gresley was given approval for the project and, in all, 35 members of the class were constructed, of which one - No 4468 Mallard - will always have a place in history as the holder of the world speed record for a steam locomotive. Although, for ease of maintenance, the streamlining was modified during the war, these stylish locomotives dominated East Coast services for quarter of a century until replaced by another design that became a classic - the 'Deltic' class. After a swan-song for some of the class on Glasgow-Aberdeen expresses, the last of the class was withdrawn in 1966. Six of the class survive in preservation, with two of the examples being on display in North America.
In his second contribution to Ian Allan Publishing's new 'Locomotives in Detail' series, David Clarke provides a reference work for the modeller and historian to the class. As with the earlier volumes, the book includes highly detailed 4mm scale drawings along with a comprehensive selection of both colour and mono photographs that illustrate the considerable variety of livery carried by the locomotives during their careers and the detail differences that marked out each individual locomotive at particular dates. With the model railway market growing and with the proprietary manufacturers producing ever better and more finely-detailed models, the needs of the enthusiast and modeller for ever more detailed information grows in parallel. And this is what the new 'Locomotives in Detail' series provide - a comprehensive and detailed guide to the locomotive class featured for the modeller and historian.
Hardback, 96 pages, photos and drawings.
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Updated: 1 June 2020