On July 3rd, 1938, in Great Britain, the A-4 class locomotive “Mallard” broke the world train speed record for steam, at 125mph. It was in the family of other elegant ‘streamlined’ locomotives that were popular for a short period around the world, then losing favor to the more ‘traditional’ design of the steam locomotive with boilers and other parts in plain view, giving them the grittier feel.
Before that record, the Empire State Express in New York, with the Locomotive #999, still proudly and beatufiully standing in the Museum in New York, was the first engine in the world to break the 100mph barrier, so it is said.
The Niagara locomotive, of the famous New York Central Railroad, was the most powerful, efficient, and fast locomotive in the late 1950s, before all were completely destroyed. In Time trials with the up-and-coming Diesel locomotives, the Niagara class locomotive was equal. It made the diesel engine promoters quite uncomfortable. But alas, they were working with the oil companies and the demise of steam was certain. Not one glorious ‘Niagara’ class locomotive is alive today. However, its earlier cousin, the ‘Mohawk’ locomotive, as of this day, is being talked about as being revived for later excursion trains.