Gresley-designed N2 class loco 1744 at London King’s Cross station today (5 April 2016)

One of the steam engines designed by Sir Nigel Gresley arrived at London King’s Cross today (5 April 2016) in time for the unveiling of a Gresley statue at the station.

The statue of Sir Nigel Gresley was revealed on the new concourse at King's Cross station while N2 class 1744 was enveloping nearby platform 8 with steam and smoke.

Sir Nigel was famous for designing world speed record holder Mallard but also designed these workaday engines.

More than 100 of them operated local rail services from King’s Cross and Moorgate until the 1960s when they were replaced by diesel and, later, electric trains.

An idea to have a mallard at the foot of Sir Nigel’s bronze statue was ruled out by the Gresley Society.

Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy unveiled the statue (by Hazel Reeves) on the 75th anniversary of Sir Nigel's death, a few yards from where he had his office.

Restored in 2009, the Great Northern Railway’s 1744, now owned by the Gresley Society, is usually based at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire.