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Facts You Might Not Know About The Flying Scotsman

Facts You Might Not Know About The Flying Scotsman

10 January 2020  -  

The most famous steam engine of all time is going to be up and running again this year for one incredible journey. This magnificent journey will take place in September of this year and is a moment in history you don’t want to miss out on. So, if you’re looking for an incredible historical autumn adventure, look no further!


The iconic steam locomotive, The Flying Scotsman will be running on the East Lancashire Railway heritage line as it journeys through the picturesque Irwell Valley. The stunning route comprises of around 75 minutes of travel time starting and ending in Bury, in the beautiful North West of England. The steam-hauled trip will pass through charming towns, rural panoramas, and beautiful villages while passing over viaducts and journeying through tunnels.

Flying Scotsman

This amazing locomotive from the golden age of steam had massive historical impact and is still a sight of beauty today. Below is a list of 12 facts that you might not know about this world-famous steam engine.

1.  The Flying Scotsman was built in Doncaster in 1923. It was the first locomotive to run on the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER).


2.  It was the world’s first steam locomotive to officially hit 100mph in service in 1934 - a truly incredible feat for its time!


3.  The Flying Scotsman gained its iconic name from its London to Edinburgh service which began in 1862 and ran daily at promptly 10 am.


4.  This timeless train was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class – the most powerful trains used by the LNER during that time. It is 70 feet long and weighs 96 tonnes


5.  In 1928, The Flying Scotsman was redesigned. A new type of corridor was installed which meant a new crew could take over service without the locomotive having to stop. This reduced the journey time from London to Edinburgh by eight hours. This allowed The Flying Scotsman to haul the first-ever non-stop service from London to Edinburgh on 1 May 1928.


6.  When it was first created, the Flying Scotsman was painted apple green, but during World War ll it was repainted black in common with all railway stock and to comply with the blackout-blitz measures that were in place in order to foil Luftwaffe bombers.


7.  The Flying Scotsman was later painted blue when the railways were nationalised with the formation of British Railways in 1948. The locomotive remained blue until it went out of service in 1963. Its latest form is classic British Rail Green and it is officially known as No. 60103.


8.  The Flying Scotsman retired in 1963. After retirement, the magnificent steam locomotive toured the USA ferrying tourists about between 1969 and 1973 before returning to the UK.


9.  The locomotive was then later bought and repaired by the British businessman William McAlpine during the Eighties. It was once again refurbished and set to work on various heritage routes. After this, The Flying Scotsman went on a tour of Australia. On this tour, The Flying Scotsman ran for 422 miles - the longest ever non-stop run by a steam locomotive.


10.  The Flying Scotsman, also sometimes referred to by its pre-war locomotive number, 4472, has roughly travelled 2,500,000 miles over its lifetime.


11.  This beautiful steam engine starred in The Flying Scotsman - a feature film released in March 1930. This film was one of Britain's first films with a 'talkie' soundtrack.


12.  After a successful campaign, the iconic steam engine was once again returned to public ownership in 2004 thanks to the enthusiastic backing of Sir Richard Branson and the National Heritage Memorial Fund. This incredible, record-breaking locomotive was purchased by the National Railway Museum in York in April 2004 and its latest decade-long struggle to reach to working condition and to be certified for modern use has cost a staggering £4.2m.


It's clear that the Flying Scotsman has had an incredible historical impact and has a fascinating history of its own.

To be able to witness this magnificent steam locomotive in action is an experience that should not be missed out on. So whether you are a massive Flying Scotsman enthusiast or a first-timer, book your tickets now to be a part of this special occasion!




Want to read more about the Flying Scotsman? Find out how one of our own customers has his own very personal tale to tell about this iconic engine. Read more >>>



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