Revamp on track for big family reunion

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ONE of Doncaster’s finest is certain to look her best this summer for her big day.

The Hexthorpe-built Dominion of Canada steam locomotive has been hauled in for a full make-up job in what is her first visit to Britain in years.

She is getting a full repaint in blue at the National Railway Museum in Shildon, ahead of going on display with several other identical locos, all built at the Doncaster plantworks in the 1930s.

The engine has been shipped from Canada to be ready for the July celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the setting of a new world steam train speed record by the Dominion of Canada’s Doncaster-built sister loco - the Mallard.

Exactly 75 years later the Mallard, the Dominion of Canada and four other surviving A4-class locos will all be together at the National Railway Museum in York.

Dominion of Canada arrived in the UK in October with one of the other survivors - the Dwight D Eisenhower, which has already had a makeover.

As well as being painted in the same colours as the Mallard, the Dominion of Canada, loco number 60010, is getting a Canadian bell and chime whistle and a replica cabside crest featuring the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada.

Richard Pearson, workshop and rail operations manager, said: “Dominion of Canada is set to look like Mallard in valanced LNER garter blue, but the single chimney and Canadian bell will mean Number 60010 shouldn’t be confused with its famous sister.

“Work is progressing well, with the tender painted and the first coats of characteristic garter blue going on the bare metalwork of the cab.

“We have also created two replica cabside crests thanks to a loan from Doncaster Grammar School Railway Museum and we’ll be trying them out for size.”

The Mallard and its five surviving sister A4 locomotives will fulfil the dreams of rail fans across the globe, with a spectacular international family reunion on July 3, and will all be on display for the first time together for two weeks.

Marie-Claude Reid, executive director general of Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, which is lending the engine to Yorkshire, said: “Dominion of Canada has been an important part of our collection at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, since the late 1960s and we are thrilled to be loaning her to the National Railway Museum to help the British people mark 75 years since Mallard broke the world speed record in style.

“We will watch the makeover with interest.”