The locomotive left King’s Cross for York at 7.40am on its official return to steam, the first time it has carried passengers on the East Coast Mainline in its green livery with nameplates and headboard. On board were paid-for passengers, competition winners, media and VIP guests including Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, and Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber.
In 2004, the National Railway Museum bought Flying Scotsman for £2.3m, thanks largely to a £1.8m grant from NHMF to help keep the steam icon in Britain. National Lottery players had a hand in the subsequent restoration and interpretation which was supported with a grant of £275,000 from HLF.
The restoration work was carried out by the National Railway Museum and Riley and Son - a firm of steam and diesel engineering specialists experienced in running and maintaining its own small fleet of Network Rail-registered steam locomotives.
This week marks the anniversary of the British-built icon being ‘out-shopped’ from Doncaster Works as number 1472 on 27 February 1923, and is the sole surviving locomotive of its class. On 30 November 1934, Flying Scotsman became the first locomotive to officially reach 100mph, and is considered by many to be the world’s most famous steam engine.
Flying Scotsman will be on display at the National Railway Museum from 25 February to 6 March and from 25 March to 8 May 2016. A programme of mainline and heritage railway events is planned for the rest of 2016.
Find out more on the Flying Scotsman website.