One of the most famous steam trains in the world will return to Kings Cross Station for its inaugural run since returning back to service following a £4.2 million refit.
The Flying Scotsman will be sporting its new BR green livery as it makes the run between London Kings Cross and York. The locomotive will go up the East Coast Mainline, its flagship route to return to its home at the National Railway Museum.
The Flying Scotsman was the flagship locomotive of the new London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), designed by renowned engineer Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster Works in 1923. The locomotive was named after the express train service between London and Edinburgh, and quickly became famous with a series of promotional stunts and public appearances. It achieved a series of speed records including in 1934, being the first locomotive to achieve an authenticated 100mph run.
Despite its superstar status, in the Second World War, the loco’s previously iconic number 4472 became 103, and like the rest of the LNER fleet, it hauled heavier loads, was maintained less regularly, and was painted in Wartime Black. After the war, the steam engines was considered largely obsolete and were replaced by new diesel locomotives. The Flying Scotsman like many other steam locomotives were taken out of service and designated for the scrapyard.
At the last minute, the famous locomotive had a reprieve when she was sold to enthusiast Alan Pegler in 1963. Flying Scotsman was restored and set off on a three-year tour of the United States which ended in Pegler facing bankruptcy, fortunately British businessman Sir William McAlpine arranged for the locomotive to return to Britain. Another overseas tour was organised, this time to Australia, when the steam train smashed the world’s non-stop steam record, travelling a remarkable 442 miles in 1988 and became the first locomotive to circumnavigate the globe when it returned from Australia to the UK via Cape Horn.
In 2004, the Flying Scotsman hit the headlines again with another ownership crisis which led to a campaign headed by National Railway Museum to save the locomotive for the nation. Since 2006, Flying Scotsman has been undergoing an extensive restoration in the workshop of Riley & Son (E) Ltd. As the restoration process is now finished, all eyes will be on one of the world’s most famous locomotive when she returns to London for the inaugural run, the journey from London Kings Cross leaves at 7:40am on 25 February 2016, arriving at York at approximately 12:30pm.
The National Railway Museum will welcome the Flying Scotsman locomotive home with two exhibitions opening in March, the locomotive will also be back on the tracks throughout 2016 when it will haul special tours across the UK.
For more information or book tickets, visit the Flying Scotsman website here
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