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Mallard Steam Train - The Story Behind the Print

Updated: Feb 21

I’ve always had soft spot for steam trains. I have many childhood memories of family days out to see them. The only time I’d been to York before moving here for a job was in face to go to the wonderful National Railway Museum.

Mallard steam train linocut

So in December I decided to create my first steam train linocut for my dad for Christmas. It had to be the Mallard. The elegant streamlined art deco styling is so iconic. In 1930s Britain speed was seen as the ultimate symbol of modernity.

The 4468 Mallard is a Class A4 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive. The A4 class was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster Works, England in 1938 for LNER (London and North Eastern Railway). The Mallard holds the steam locomotive world speed record at 126 mph.

It is now held as part of the national steam train collection at the National Railway Museum in York.

My dad was on the way to visit Goathland in the North York Moors a few summers ago.

LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard steam locomotive

My studio is only a mile away from the National Railway Museum in York, so I had a good excuse to pop in to take some photographs for research.

LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard steam train

National Railway Museum in York

LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard at the National Railway Museum in York.

Mallard steam train sketch.

Sketching the Mallard design.

Mallard steam train sketch.

Mallard steam train linocut.

Mallard steam train linocut.

Cutting teh steam train design

Cutting away the sections of the design that will be blue.

The two lino blocks used to cre​ate the three colour print.