Memories of Mallards and Merlins
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