National Railway Museum announces plans for 2016 return of Flying Scotsman

By Culture24 Reporter | 16 September 2015

National Railway Museum reveals plans for return of Flying Scotsman

A colour photograph of the Flying Scotsman in green livery at a railway station
Flying Scotsman at Kings Cross Station, 1963 just before its last journey to Doncaster© National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The National Railway Museum in York has outlined plans for the long-awaited return to the tracks of the Flying Scotsman next year.

From early 2016 the globetrotting screen star and multiple record-breaker will be seen around the UK as a working museum exhibit, demonstrating the engineering science behind steam traction to new generations of Scotsman fans.

As the steam legend now enters the last phases of the painstaking £4.2 million project in the workshop of Riley & Son (E) Ltd, the much-anticipated return is set to be the heritage railway event of 2016,

For the past two years the dedicated team have been completing the work to make the 1920s-built locomotive fit to operate within the stringent requirements of today’s modern railway network – a journey that will start with an inaugural run between London Kings Cross and York.

a black and white photo of the Flying Scotsman emerging from a railway station
Kings Cross January 14 1963© Peter Brumby
The latter will mark the Scotsman’s official completion and return to steam, and form the opening event for the National Railway Museum’s February Flying Scotsman Season, which will be a celebration of the fame and celebrity of the locomotive legend.

Highlights will include an exhibition exploring the highs and lows of the steam icon’s rollercoaster career and a Flying Scotsman display in the National Railway Museum's hall of railway greats, allowing visitors to step on board the most famous train in the world.

The season’s finishing flourish will be the chance to see the Scotsman in light steam at a Shed Bash at the National Railway Museum’s Shildon Co. Durham site.

A flagship of modernity for millions at the 1924 Wembley British Empire Exhibition, the Doncaster-built locomotive has been a media darling from the moment it was named after the world’s oldest-established express train between London and Edinburgh.

Three Museum showcases, where the public can get up close and personal with the nation’s favourite steam starlet - the sole survivor of Sir Nigel Gresley’s well-known A3 class of locomotives - will support its return to steam.

a black and white photo of Flying Scotsman arriving at a railway station
Steam locomotive 4472 arrives to cheers from waiting crowds.© Courtesy NRM
“With its new BR Green No. 60103 guise, Flying Scotsman will be starting a new chapter in its long and fascinating history as the oldest mainline working locomotive on Britain’s tracks,” said Jim Lowe, the museum's Head of Operations.

“Its first outing in its latest incarnation will be a triumphant return home with the inaugural run. The steam icon will be the same colour as when flamboyant business man Alan Pegler saved it from the scrapheap in 1963, and after a decade-long restoration where it has been literally taken down to the bare bones, the frames, it will probably be in the best condition it’s been in since the comprehensive overhaul it received at Doncaster Works that year.”

Keen railway enthusiasts will be able to catch the Flying Scotsman in its black undercoat during its test runs at the East Lancashire Railway, and then resplendent in its BR green livery at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Pickering, North Yorkshire and the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

“As a national museum, we are committed to ensuring that as many people as possible can enjoy our remarkable collections, including icons like Flying Scotsman, within the UK,” added Lowe.

“Working closely with the team at Riley & Son (E) Ltd who are managing the operation of the locomotive for a period of two years we have chosen locations that cover a large proportion of the UK, the North, the South, the East and West, including Scotsman’s former stamping ground, the East Coast Mainline."

Further dates and locations are expected to be announced online.

a black and white photo of Flying Scotsman steaming down the railway tracks
'Flying Scotsman' A3 Class steam locomotive leaving Leeds station, 1956.© National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Libr

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Just seen the Flying Scotsman today on Anglesey and am immensely disappointed that she is not yet in apple green. She looked rather nondescript in BR green, even though it was beautifully finished.
Is there a date for a repaint - she is only truly iconic in my opinion inthe old 4472 apple green livery
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