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Doncaster students plan to break Mallard 126mph speed record on 80th anniversary

Students will attempt to smash the scale model record for Mallard.
Students will attempt to smash the scale model record for Mallard.
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Students in Doncaster are hoping to break the 126mph speed record of the town-built loco on the 80th annivesary of its record run next month.

It was on July 3, 1938 that the famed locomotive, built at Doncaster's Plant Works, earned its place in the record books by smashing the steam speed record.

And now eighty years on, students from Doncaster's schools and colleges will attempt to break the scale speed record with live steam scale models of Mallard.

The Model Mallard Speed Challenge speed attempt will take place in the Frenchgate Centre - immediately opposite the appropriately named Mallard pub and is an initiative by the OO Live Steam Club to bring long dormant Hornby live steam models back into use.

"Hornby discontinued its live steam range 10 years ago," said club chairman Adrian Campbell.

"They got a bad reputation for shooting off the track and crashing after owners jumped in at the deep end not fully understanding the instructions and gave up in frustration. Most lie unused today.

The real loco reached a speed of 126mph in 1938.

The real loco reached a speed of 126mph in 1938.

"Sales and usage fell as owners found them tricky to run. They can be mastered with patience but youngsters having-a-go at our exhibitions always want to go faster. It gave us the idea to see just how fast they can go and try and break the record."

"This speed challenge is a superb project for students," said Andrew Frieson, Doncaster College's Head of Education, Training and Performance. "Applying theory and practice to make these technical marvels go even faster will be educational as well as great fun."

The event will take place between 10 am and 6.30 pm on July 3 at the Frenchgate Centre.