In a somewhat controversial move, the authorities of Darlington, in 1994, commissioned a sculpture of the town’s famous Mallard steam locomotive. Twenty years after it was unveiled, the brick model train remains a beloved local landmark.
The piece celebrates the railway history of the town which formed one end of the famous Stockton to Darlington railway, the first public railway in the world to use steam locomotives. It depicts the record-breaking Mallard, which still holds the world record for a steam locomotive at 126 mph.
It was designed by David Mach and constructed from 185,000 bricks and 6,000 cubic feet (170 cubic meters) of concrete. Some 34 construction workers took 21 weeks to construct it. It is 23 feet high and 120 feet long. It weighs 15,000 tons and covers an area of 6,458 square feet (600 square meters). Its official name is just “Train” although “Brick Train” is, for obvious reasons, commonly used.
It is reported to have cost over a million dollars (about 760,000 pounds) to construct with funding provided by a large consortium including local and national government, the National Lottery and Morrison’s Supermarkets. Within the structure are numerous special hollow bricks, intended to encourage the nesting of bats.
Know Before You Go
The sculpture is at the side of the busy A66 road, but on foot you need to approach from the Morton Park/Morrison's Supermarket parking lot.