Flying Scotsman 2016 exhibitions and inaugural run details released by National Railway Museum

By Richard Moss | 16 October 2015 | Updated: 08 February 2016

The National Railway Museum in York has announced further details of the return of Flying Scotsman in 2016

a colour photo of Flying Scotsman steaming past a signal box
Flying Scotsman departing Scarborough Station on the return journey to York August 5 2004© Courtesy NRM
The National Railway Museum has today announced details of the return to the tracks of Britain’s biggest steam celebrity together with the release of more tickets for its preview appearances.

Promising the chance to get “up close and personal with the nation’s favourite steam star” on three separate occasions during the museum’s 2016 Flying Scotsman season, Thursday February 25 has been confirmed as the date Scotsman makes its official return to Britain’s mainline tracks with a "London – York Inaugural Run".

Te famous loco will then be in steam from February 26 in the North Yard area of the museum until March 1.

It will then take pole position on the turntable in the Great Hall between March 6 and March 12.

Scotsman will then be heading back out onto the tracks with Riley & Son Ltd managing the operation of the locomotive for the first two years.

'Scotsman on the Tracks' begins with a spell on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (March 12 – 20) before undertaking more than twenty further appearances across the UK over the summer.

Two Scotsman-themed exhibitions at the National Railway Museum in York have also been revealed for spring and summer 2016.

A £4.2m restoration of the famous loco, which broke the locomotive speed record in 1934, is currently underway in Bury, East Lancashire. It’s new livery will see it emerge in British Railways Green.

a black and white photo of a cheering crowd pressing towards the cab of the Flying Scotsman with a man shaking the hand of the engine driver
Flyinbg Scotsman breaks the 100mph record, London, November 30, 1934© Courtesy National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum Public Events Manager Kate Hunter said “We expect its first outing as the oldest working locomotive on the mainline to be the ultimate experience for the dedicated Scotsman fan.

“However we are sure that hundreds more will attend its welcome home party at the museum where it will be displayed for a number of days after its triumphant arrival.

Following its first public appearance back at the York museum, the Starring Scotsman exhibition, running until June 2016, will examine the ups and downs of the locomotive’s rollercoaster celebrity career.

An LNER dynamometer car behind Flying Scotsman will tell the story of its record-breaking reputation, capturing the world speed record at 100mph on the London to Leeds run on November 30 1934.

A poster with the silhouette of hands shaking a cocktail maker
Flying Scotsman Cocktail Bar poster from LNER, circa 1930s.© National Railway Museum
Service with Style, a six week display in the Great Hall, will also tell the story of the luxury service between London and Edinburgh route throughout the eras, from the 1890s through to the swinging sixties – including the Flying Scotsman service from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Jamie Taylor, who is working on the two headline exhibitions at the York site said the Service with Style exhibition will use three carriages of the kind that travelled the Flying Scotsman route to create “a sensory experience”.

“Using set dressing, film and audio it will tell a story of speed, innovation, fame and luxury right up to the present day with the modern London to Edinburgh service run by Virgin Trains East Coast,” he added.  

The flagship Flying Scotsman service was known for innovations like the cinema car, cocktail bar and hairdressing salon. All of this along with continual publicity stunts helped it grab the headlines from the very first mention of the ‘Flying Scotchman’ in 1864, and long before the loco that took its name was built in 1923.

“Visitors will embark on a fascinating journey with each carriage giving a different sensory experience, using a variety of methods including archive newsreel footage to evoke the opulence of each era,” added Taylor.

A black and white photo of Flying Scotsman Locomotive in a large hall
Flying Scotsman at Wembley Exhibiton 1924© SSPL, National Railway Museum
The season’s finishing flourish will be the chance to see Flying Scotsman in light steam at a sixties-style ‘Shed Bash’ at the National Railway Museum’s Shildon County Durham site.

Throughout the season, there will a family-friendly Scotsman science show on the theme of speed, craft activities during the school holidays, a schedule of photography events, and a programme of talks.

The events will be happening in addition to Flying Scotsman travelling around the UK as a working museum exhibit, demonstrating the engineering science behind steam traction to new generations of fans.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

More on this story:

In Pictures: Flying Scotsman returns to steam for the first time in a decade

National Railway Museum announces plans for 2016 return of Flying Scotsman

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

National Railway Museum reveals extent of Flying Scotsman restoration

Flying Scotsman off tracks for two years as report calls for contractor

Flying Scotsman restoration update: Classic loco due to return in spring 2012

Latest comment: >Make a comment
Interesting to hear that the restoration was delayed by damage to what's now called the 'chassis'. In my days, at Doncaster Loco Works whenever a Gresley 3 cylinder engine appeared for general repairs the first thing fitters did was to look for cracks in the top corners of the horn gaps. To do this, those areas were whitewashed. Oil, which had seeped from the cracks was shown by the whitewash. The damaged part removed and an insert welded in. Drastic, but effective.
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