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Following a 10 year 4 million pound restoration, British Rail Fans will once again be able to travel behind this iconic loco.
The new “Flying Scotsman” will have its more recent number 60103, instead of the well known 4472, to be as authentic to its current state as possible.
This steam locomotive is credited with being the first in the world to be verified at travelling over 100 mph, although I doubt that she will be permitted to get to that speed in future.
This fact and her fast runs between London and Edinburgh will retain her place in history forever.
You will be able to ride behind this engine any day now at Bury, trials set to start this weekend.
The test runs mark the completion of a painstaking £4.2m restoration project by specialist engineers at Bury-based Riley and Son Ltd, appointed by the York-based National Railway Museum, which owns the Scotsman, three years ago.
Colin Green, the firm’s co-director, said: “These are the first stages of bringing it back to the mainline and despite being self-confessed men of iron, we’re really quite emotional to see it move under its own steam at last after years of hard work.”
The public events at Bolton Street on Friday and Saturday, and on January 15 and 16, will be the Scotsman’s first public appearances in 10 years.
Mike Kelly, chairman of the East Lancashire Railway, said fans would be able to ride or dine behind the engine on carriages during test runs. Tickets are needed.
He added: “Our ‘Scotsman in Steam’ events are literally the first ever opportunities to see Scotsman post-restoration. We’re honoured to host this iconic steam locomotive first in its big return year.”
The engine, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, was built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1923.
The Flying Scotsman in Manchester in the 1960s
A year later it was renumbered and named Flying Scotsman – after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am.
The 100mph record was achieved in 1934. The Scotsman is currently in its wartime black livery, but will be repainted in its famous green by a specialist firm in Blackburn later this year.
The first mainline test run is expected to be from Manchester to Carlisle, over the Ribblehead Viaduct, on January 23.
The museum said that once the Scotsman had built up its mileage, it would return to York ahead of a series of public events in a UK tour.
Museum director Paul Kirkman said: “Along with all our generous supporters for this complex project to bring a 1920s-built cultural icon back to life, we have all been looking forward to the day when Flying Scotsman is once again running on Britain’s tracks. Even though we still have the rest of the commissioning phase to get through, including the mainline test runs, we are so thrilled this historic day will finally come to pass.”
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