The Flying Scotsman

LNER 4-6-2 No. 4472 'Flying Scotsman' - photograph courtesy of the National Railway Museum
LNER 4-6-2 No. 4472 'Flying Scotsman' - photograph courtesy of the National Railway Museum

The world’s favourite steam locomotive, the Flying Scotsman, was the star attraction once again at the National Railway Museum in York at the end of May. The locomotive has been away from the public for the last five years undergoing a complete overhaul and went on display in its all-black wartime colours – though it will soon be painted in its more usual green livery.

The Flying Scotsman was the first steam engine to be recorded breaking the 100 mph speed barrier and has been a firm favourite with the public ever since. For 40 years this A3 Gresley Pacific steam locomotive plied the east coast line between London and Edinburgh, clocking up around 2 million miles before being gracefully retired in 1963. Between then and now it has had several different owners and an eventful life – travelling the world and setting records in the process – in 1989 it set a record of 422 miles for the longest steam non-stop journey across Australia.

Watch a video of the unveiling at the National Railway Museum here:

But in 2004 the locomotive was bought for the nation by the National Railway Museum and the restoration process was started in 2006 – with the help of funds from the National Lottery and Tata Steel, plus support from the public.

After the locomotive has been repainted in its customary apple-green livery it will carry out a number of excursions on the main railway line, including trips from York to Shildon, Co Durham over the weekend of 17 & 18 September 2011 (prices and times to be confirmed). Before that, for the whole of August, the Flying Scotsman will be on display in the Museum.

The NRM has a permanent Flying Scotsman exhibition (with free admission) which tells the story of this classic locomotive with audio/visual displays, film footage and a 1930s buffet car for you to explore. The locomotive itself isn’t part of this exhibition,

Entry to the National Railway Museum is free – though charges may apply to some activities and excursions.

If you need accommodation in York for your trip to the National Railway Museum, find York hotels and York B&B on Hello Yorkshire.

You may also be interested in the Pickering Steam Rally, the National Railway Museum’s Wizard Week and the annual Wartime Weekend on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Flying Scotsman
Flying Scotsman - the first steam train to break the 100mph barrier - photograph courtesy of the National Railway Museum