8 November 1986
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From David Birt's book Steaming Through the 1980s; Steam Resurrected in and around Derby: Preserved Class A4 4-6-2 steam locomotive 4468 Mallard is seen heading 'The Peter Allen Pullman' steam special from London Marylebone at speed through Bromford Bridge, having not long left Birmingham New Street for Derby and the north. The viaduct on the right is part of the M6 motorway. This viewpoint would not be possible today as a new flyover has since been constructed here, carrying Heartlands Parkway. Mallard steamed to fame in 1938, hitting a 126mph peak between Grantham and Peterborough - the fastest speed ever achieved by a steam locomotive in the world. Picture the Past website user Jim Smith-Wright comments: 'Steam was completely banned at Birmingham New Street in the 1980s so the train itself may have gone through the station but there's absolutely no way the loco did.' Picture the Past comments: The answer may be that this train, which was run in honour of Sir Peter Allen (1905-93), the then President of the Transport Trust (and onetime Chairman of ICI), passed through the built up area of Birmingham but having been routed from London Marylebone via Leamington Spa and Dorridge, avoided New Street by taking the line from Small Heath to Landor Street Junction. It continued via Derby and Chesterfield to York. Can anyone confirm or disprove this theory?