Full steam ahead for the Flying Scotsman as National Railway Museum gives green signal

By Culture24 Reporter | 21 January 2014

The Flying Scotsman restoration will go ahead after a crucial part of the project revealed few problems

A photo of an engineer working on a piece of a steam engine inside a technical workshop
Work takes place on The Flying Scotsman's cylinder block© Courtesy National Railway Museum
The removal of the cylinders from the frame of the Flying Scotsman, at locomotive engineers Riley & Son in Bury, revealed a hidden, “unknown element” of the 1920s steam train, with the potential to make a complex project “hit the buffers”, according to commissioners the National Railway Museum.

But gentle testing showed that there were “no significant problems” with the frames, despite minor issues with the condition of the cylinders.

“The frame condition has been found to be acceptable,” said Ian Riley, the Director of the refurbishment team.

“While the cylinders still need a lot of attention, these are relatively straightforward problems which can be readily fixed by our specialist engineers.

“We will continue to work together with the museum to see the restoration through to completion and its first two years of operation.”

Following a final viability assessment, the museum’s trustees are said to have given a “resounding” go-ahead to the plan to restore the sole survivor of the A3 class, making it fit to run within the stringent demands of the modern railway network.

Its three oversized steam cylinders will now be rebored and fitted with new liners in Lancashire. Engineering specialists First Class Partnerships are advising a project which could see the train return to the mainline by the summer of 2015.

“We are now progressing full steam ahead towards completing the restoration”, declared Paul Kirkman, the Director of the museum.

“We are showcasing British engineering genius, with our Mallard 75 Great Goodbye celebration next month, so it’s great that we can announce good news regarding another Gresley-designed icon.”

  • The Great Goodbye takes place at the National Railway Museum in Shildon from February 15-23 2014. Visit Mallard 75 for full details.

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