After its £4.2 million refurbishment, in February 2016, the nation’s favourite iconic steam train returns to cruise the rails of Britain.
This refurbishment process began in 2006 in the workshop of Riley and Son Ltd, where mechanics worked around the clock to return The Flying Scotsman to its former glory. Dressed in a luscious coat of deep green, the train has been lovingly renamed ‘60103.’ This restoration was assisted by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of a sum of £275,000.
Designed by Sir Nigel Grisley, The Flying Scotsman was conceived in Doncaster, and upon its creation became the first locomotive of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway. It first flew the nest on the 24th February 1923, lavished with the number 1472, and was the most powerful locomotive utilized by the London and North Eastern Railway at that time.
The name ‘The Flying Scotsman’ is a tip of the cap to a train which ran between London and Edinburgh on a daily basis at 10am in 1862, a name it received in 1924 when the locomotive had been chosen to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, and renumbered 4472. It was the British Empire Exhibition which brought The Flying Scotsman its fame, featuring in countless publicity events for the London and North Eastern Railway.
Four years later, this iconic locomotive was awarded a new type of tender with a corridor – this allowed a new crew to take over without the train ever having to stop. This change allowed The Flying Scotsman to carry the first ever non-stop London to Edinburgh service, taking place on the 1st May, reducing the journey time to just eight hours.
The Flying Scotsman became an icon in 1934, when it reached a speed of 100mph on a special test run, making it the first locomotive in the UK to have reached that speed.
During the Second World War, The Flying Scotsman was repainted black, as was all railway stock in the six year period. After 1945, it returned to its emerald green hue, and was rebuilt as an A3 Pacific. Just three years later, the formation of British Railways nationalised rail travel in Britain, which called for the Scotsman, now renumbered 60103, to be painted blue for a short period of time, before returning to its original shade of BR Green.
The Scotsman’s primary retirement was brought about in 1963 after undergoing several alterations to boost its performance. Under its belt, it carried four decades of pulling trains, and steam engines were becoming old fashioned.
Between the 25th of February and the 6th March, The Flying Scotsman will be on public display for the first time at the National Railway Museum in York.
Find out more about The Flying Scotsman at:
The Flying Scotsman