THE National Railway Museum has launched its 75-day countdown to the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Mallard breaking the world steam speed record.

Staff decked the locomotive with a specially-designed 75 headboard, nameplate and balloons, as part of the countdown to the anniversary.

Last month, Prince Charles was named as patron of the NRM’s season of activities to mark the anniversary of the locomotive reaching 126mph on July 3, 1938.

On July 3, Mallard and the five surviving A4 Pacific Class locomotives will be gathered together around the Great Hall turntable in the museum for the first time, and the Great Gathering will run until July 17.

The countdown starts today, at and