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Flying Scotsman Back in Action in 2022 before Centenary Overhaul

Engine to undergo boiler overhaul ahead of 2023 centenary.

The world’s most famous steam locomotive No. 60103 Flying Scotsman is back on the tracks in 2022, hauling a limited number of redated steam excursions before undergoing a boiler overhaul.

Scheduled for April and lasting between three and four months, the overhaul and recertification will ensure Flying Scotsman is able to take part in national celebrations to mark the engine’s centenary in 2023.

The National Railway Museum which owns Flying Scotsman on behalf of the nation, is preparing a series of activities and events in 2023 to mark the centenary.

The first centenary project to be announced will be Flying Scotsman: 100 Years, 100 Voices, - a new exhibition and film that will capture the human stories behind the Flying Scotsman legend. The museum is asking members of the public to get in touch to help shape the exhibition and film and to share their memories of Flying Scotsman - whether through personal records, letters, photos or film clips.

Scheduled to launch at the museum and online during the centenary, the exhibition and film will feature 100 distinct ‘voices’ of people connected to the Flying Scotsman story, from former drivers, railway workers and members of the public.

Further details of the centenary plans will be announced later in the year once confirmed, but they will involve a chance to see the locomotive at several locations across the country, including at the National Railway Museum in York and Locomotion in Shildon.

Charlotte Kingston, Head of Interpretation and Design at the National Railway Museum, said: 

“After Covid affected the touring schedule in 2020 and 2021, I am pleased to confirm that Flying Scotsman will be back in 2022 to haul a series of four rearranged trips. The engine will then undergo a boiler overhaul, ahead of the centenary in 2023, which will involve an exciting, yearlong programme of events, exhibitions and activities where we will be celebrating this very special birthday with the public.

“Often described as ‘the people’s engine’, we want to hear what Flying Scotsman means to you, whether it’s through working on the railways, seeing Scotsman as a child or another cherished memory. We hope that Flying Scotsman: 100 Years, 100 Voices will help create a lasting and important chapter in the Flying Scotsman story.” 

The overhaul will be carried out by Riley & Son (E) Ltd, the engineering firm that operates and maintains Flying Scotsman. The locomotive will be restored to the same standard as the last overhaul, which was completed in 2016. With much of the mechanical work already completed during the enforced down-time caused by the pandemic, work will centre on the boiler and the required retube and recertification. It will not involve any changes to the locomotive’s livery, numbering or chimney configuration.

Once the overhaul is complete, Flying Scotsman will require ‘running in’ time before the locomotive attends a small number of heritage railway visits, also redated due to the knock-on effects of the pandemic.   

Stuart Gray, Operations Manager for Riley & Son (E) Ltd said:

“Riley & Son (E) Ltd are pleased to be able to support our customers by re-scheduling the upcoming trips previously cancelled by the pandemic. On completion of these tours, the remaining mechanical work and boiler retube will be completed, enabling us to also fulfil postponed Heritage Railway visits later in 2022.

“Rileys look forward to working with the National Railway Museum to put together an exciting and ambitious program of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the most famous locomotive in the world.”

Flying Scotsman will haul four trips in 2022 – the first is due to take place on Saturday 5 March and will see Flying Scotsman travel from London Paddington to Worcester and is organised by the Railway Touring Company. This was due to take place on 19 February but was postponed as a result of the stormy weather conditions.

The following weekend, (13 March) Flying Scotsman will travel from London Paddington to Oxford, with a circular tour through the city’s suburbs towards Warwickshire organised by the Steam Dreams Rail Co. The remaining two tours are also promoted by Steam Dreams and will see Flying Scotsman travel from London Victoria to Canterbury on 17 March and from London Victoria to Salisbury on 24 March.

Flying Scotsman left Doncaster works in February, 1923 and was the first locomotive of the newly-formed LNER (London and North Eastern Railway). Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and numbered 1472, the locomotive was not named ‘Flying Scotsman’ until the following year when it was picked to attend the British Empire Exhibition in London and renumbered 4472. The locomotive went on to operate in service until 1963 and later in preservation, which included tours of the USA, Canada and Australia, where it captured the hearts of millions.

Today the locomotive is owned by the National Railway Museum in York and is operated and maintained by Riley & Son (E) Ltd, based in Heywood Greater Manchester.

To find out more about Flying Scotsman’s itinerary in 2022 and the centenary plans, visit www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/flying-scotsman.

To submit your memories of Flying Scotsman for consideration in the Flying Scotsman: 100 Years, 100 Voices, exhibition and film, visit: railwaymuseum.org.uk/flying-scotsman/your-moments-and-memories

ENDS

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Notes to Editors

About the National Railway Museum

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and prior to the pandemic, attracted more than 750,000 visitors per year
  • The collection includes over 260 locomotives and rolling stock, 600 coins and medals as well as railway uniform, equipment, documents, artwork and photographs
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free, visit: www.railwaymuseum.org.uk

About Flying Scotsman

  • Flying Scotsman was built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), entering service on 24 February 1923 and initially numbered 1472
  • It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class – the most powerful locomotives used by the railway
  • By 1924, when it was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the loco had been renumbered 4472 – and been given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am in 1862
  • The engine is recognised worldwide and was the first steam locomotive to achieve an authenticated speed of 100mph and the first scheduled service to undertake a non-stop run between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley
  • Visit www.flyingscotsman.org.uk for further information

Part of the Science Museum Group