Today is the 77th birthday of the fastest steam engine run in preservation, LNER A4 pacific 4464 Bittern. Last year, the birthday girl was given special dispensation to run 3 railtours at 90mph to celebrate the 75th anniversary of 4468 Mallard’s 126mph speed record, as captured by the UK Heritage Hub video below.
The locomotive, owned by Jeremy Hosking, is to be one of the stars of the Watercress Line’s Spring Steam Gala 2015. Bittern will be remaining on the Mid-Hants Railway for the remainder of the year, something I’m very excited about!
This will not be Bittern’s first stint in Hampshire, indeed it was last overhauled in Ropley works. Volunteers at the Watercress Line are quite rightly proud of the fact that they overhauled the locomotive that holds a record for steam traction in preservation.