Mem­o­ries of Mal­lards and Mer­lins

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FEATURES -

SIR, – It brought a wry smile to read the re­port and ed­i­to­rial re the in­tro­duc­tion of old, al­beit re­fur­bished trains in the north-east. This is far from be­ing new; 55 years ago the fa­mous but then circa 30-year-old A4 Pacifics of which “Mal­lard” is one of the class were trans­ferred from Kings X to Aberdeen at the re­quest of James Ness, the Scot­tish Re­gion Gen­eral Man­ager, to speed up the Glas­gow ser­vice from the then 3.5 to 4hrs run to 3hrs between the two cities. They were not re­fur­bished but were mag­nif­i­cent en­gines which car­ried out the task well un­til ser­vices were dieselised in 1966. Hun­dreds of rail en­thu­si­asts vis­ited the area to record their ac­tions in pho­to­graph and film dur­ing these years. Per­haps the 125 in­ter­city newly re­fur­bished trains should be given a fair chance!!

I ap­pend a pho­to­graph I took of A4 “Mer­lin” in Fe­bru­ary 1962; storm­ing into Aberdeen five min­utes early on the very first test train run to es­tab­lish if the new 3hr ser­vice was fea­si­ble.

Alan Sang­ster, Main Street, Cru­den Bay

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