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ACL delivers a piece of railway history to Liverpool

[ October 5, 2012   //   ]

Two historic British steam locomotives have been landed at the Port of Liverpool as part of a repatriation that will see them take part in celebrations of the world steam speed set by an identical locomotive, Mallard 75 years ago.

The two A4 Pacific locomotives, Dwight D Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada, were transported from Halifax, Canada by Atlantic Container Line (ACL) Atlantic Conveyor, a 51,648dwt ro-ro/container carrier. The landing of the two 94-tonne locomotives and their accompanying coal tenders took place during an 11-hour mooring of the ship, which later sailed for Antwerp as part of its scheduled service.

Stephen Carr, head of business development Mersey ports, joined Ian Higby, managing director of ACL, and Andrew Goodman, managing director of Sutton Coldfield-based Moveright International, the forwarder in overall charge of moving the locomotives from their previous display positions in the United States and Canada to oversee the landing of the railway engines.

Carr said: “We move considerable volumes of project cargo through Liverpool. It is very diverse, from finished automobiles to helicopters. There are very few items we cannot handle.”

He added that the port also handled the latest in locomotive technology, with the recently delivery of two state-of-the-art Class 70 diesels for Freightliner from Canada – though these operate at a rather more sedate 75mph compared with the 126mph that Mallard touched briefly back in 1938.

Back on British soil, the locomotives were moved on the 240 km journey across the Pennines to Shildon, County Durham by low-loader as they cannot be moved on Britain’s rail network. The first of the pair, Dwight D Eisenhower, was moved on the day of arrival while the second was scheduled to be moved three days later.

The locos are due to take part in celebrations involving all five of the A4s to celebrate Mallard’s record-breaking feat.

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