United Kingdom

Flying Scotsman gets up to speed as it flies through the north east

The world's most famous locomotive The Flying Scotsman today powered through the Northumberland countryside and into Scotland as it continued its sell-out trip from London to Edinburgh.

Passengers enjoyed stunning scenes of the north east as the locomotive passed the quaint coastal village of Alnmouth before crossing the border into Scotland.

It is due to take part in three circular routes of Fife tomorrow. As part of its three circuits, one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, the locomotive will head into Fife and make its way along the coast towards Kirkcaldy, back to Edinburgh. 

The morning train for the Fife Circular will depart from Edinburgh at 9.44am and return at 12.41am. The afternoon one will depart from Edinburgh from 2.14pm and return at 4.38pm. The evening service will leave Edinburgh at 7.05pm and return at 9.56pm.

The excursion is organised The Steam Dreams Rail Company using the National Railway Museum's locomotive, with the journeys all sold-out. 

The world's most famous locomotive The Flying Scotsman today powered through the Northumberland countryside and into Scotland as it continued its sell-out trip from London to Edinburgh

Passengers enjoyed stunning scenes of the north east as the locomotive crossed the border into Scotland, where it is due to take part in three circular routes of Fife tomorrow

As part of its three circuits, one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, the locomotive will head into Fife and make its way along the coast towards Kirkcaldy, back to Edinburgh. Pictured: The Flying Scotsman passes by Alnmouth in Northumberland on its way to Scotland

2,500,000 miles covered including 422 in one go: Ten facts about the world-famous Flying Scotsman 

  1. The Flying Scotsman, an A3 Pacific class locomotive, was originally built in 1923 for the London and North East Railway
  2. It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and has been in the public eye since it first went into service, having been on display at the British Empire Exhibition the following year
  3. The Flying Scotsman took eight hours to complete the trip between London and Edinburgh and in 1934 was officially credited with becoming the first steam locomotive to be clocked at 100 miles an hour
  4. It holds a second record for the longest non-stop run of 422 miles when it was in Australia
  5. The locomotive weighs about 100 tons
  6. The Flying Scotsman has covered around 2,500,000 miles in its long career
  7. It had five numbers, 1472, 4472, 502, 103 and 60103
  8. Doncaster railway works is where the engine was built
  9. The Flying Scotsman took eight hours to cover the 392 miles between London and Edinburgh
  10. At one stage it had a tender with a corridor to enable crew changes during the Edinburgh trip

Built in 1923 in the South Yorkshire market town of Doncaster, the 60103 Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive in the UK to officially reach 100mph and hauled the first regular non-stop London to Edinburgh service.

The Pullman-style dining cars are vintage carriages with wood panelled walls, table lamps and curtains, while those travelling in premium standard were invited to bring their own picnics whilst seated in 1960s open carriages with large picture windows.

The famous locomotive made its first mainline journey with passengers in two years in May.

Speaking ahead of that trip, David Buck, owner of Steam Dreams Rail Company, said: 'We are delighted to be back out on the tracks again bringing the magic of steam train travel back to those who have missed it so much over the last year. 

'What better way to re-start our steam train programme than with the most famous locomotive of them all. We are very grateful to Riley & Son (E) and the National Railway Museum for helping make it happen.' 

The Flying Scotsman was built for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1923 to a design of Sir Nigel Gresley, and employed on long-distance express trains on the LNER and its successors, British Railways Eastern and North-Eastern Regions. 

The following year, the Flying Scotsman was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, and had been renumbered 4472 – and given the name 'Flying Scotsman' after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am in 1862.

The locomotive, initially numbered 1472, set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100mph (160.9 kmh) on November 30, 1934.

It then set a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679km) on August 8, 1989 while in Australia. 

The Flying Scotsman passes over a level crossing in Chiswick, West London, in May on a mainline trip with passengers 

The Flying Scotland - which was also the first steam locomotive to undertake a non-stop run between London King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley - was eventually retired from regular service in 1963 after covering 2,076,000 miles.

The locomotive then gained further fame in preservation under the ownership of Alan Pegler, William McAlpine, Tony Marchington and finally the National Railway Museum which owns it today.

The Flying Scotsman now runs special journeys in the UK for rail enthusiasts, but also toured extensively in the US and Canada from 1969 to 1973 and later Australia from 1988 to 1989. 

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