A Short History
Flying Scotsman is the most famous steam locomotive in the World. Built in 1923, it has since run approximately 2.5 million miles and will celebrate its 75th birthday in 1998. The year after building, Flying Scotsman was exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley and in 1928 hauled the first non-stop 'Flying Scotsman' train from King's Cross to Edinburgh - the longest non-stop run in the World.
A unique corridor tender was fitted to enable train crews to change en-route without the train stopping. In 1934, Flying Scotsman became the first locomotive to authentically achieve 100mph in the course of a test run from Leeds to King's Cross to assess the feasibility of accelerated schedules.
Flying Scotsman was rebuilt in 1947 with a high pressure boiler and in 1959 with a Kylchap double chimney to improve the steaming capability of the boiler with inferior quality coal. Flying Scotsman was withdrawn from service by BR in 1963 after a hard 40 year working life and was purchased by Alan Pegler who maintained the locomotive privately for operating special trains on BR. Flying Scotsman toured America from 1969 to 1972 and was purchased in 1973 by Sir William McAlpine who continued to maintain the locomotive privately for hauling special trains over BR lines and on private railways.
In 1988/89 Flying Scotsman toured Australia during the course of which a World record non-stop run for steam was achieved of 422 miles from Parkes to Broken Hill in New South Wales. In 1996 Flying Scotsman and a train of Pullman cars were purchased by Dr Tony Marchington who took on the complex and very costly responsibility of restoring the locomotive and train back to the highest standard of operational condition.
A Short History
The Flying Scotsman is the world’s most famous steam locomotive, having travelled approximately 2.5 million miles since its launch in 1923. At nearly 100 years old, this nostalgic old steam engine is remaining as popular as ever, and tickets can still be bought for special journeys on the train to this day.
In 1924, the year after it was built, The Flying Scotsman was exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, and in 1928 it began its first non-stop journey from London King's Cross to Edinburgh. At the time, this was the longest non-stop train journey in the world – a total length of approximately 400 miles.
A unique corridor tender was fitted to enable train crews to change en-route without the train needing to stop. In 1934, Flying Scotsman became the first locomotive to reach speeds of 100mph in the course of a test run from Leeds to King's Cross. This increased speed helped the engineers to plan train journeys which would run even more quickly.
In 1947, The Flying Scotsman was rebuilt with a high-pressure boiler, helping it to cope with more modern demands following World War II. By 1959, a Kylchap double chimney was installed to improve the boiler’s steaming capabilities with coal that was of inferior quality. As The Flying Scotsman has travelled through the years, it has been upgraded and repaired to bring it in line with more modern standards of rail travel.
However, in 1963, after 40 long years of service, The Flying Scotsman was retired from service by British Rail. The train was then purchased by Alan Pegler, who maintained the locomotive’s condition privately and used it for privately-run train trips for passengers who wished to ride on the famous train.
From 1969 to 1972, The Flying Scotsman travelled around the railways of the US, helping it gain even more popularity over the pond. By 1973, the late Sir William McAlpine, a British businessman and train enthusiast, had purchased the locomotive following financial problems in the US which threatened to end the train’s working life.
McAlpine continued to maintain the locomotive privately for several years, using it to haul special trains over both private railways and British Rail lines. The businessman maintained the train for several years, helping to keep it in working order and stop it from being sold off.
In 1988 and 1989, The Flying Scotsman toured throughout Australia. During its travels in Australia, the train beat its own record for the longest non-stop run of a steam engine. The train travelled a total of 422 miles from Parkes to Broken Hill in New South Wales, proving its worth once again after more than 65 years of service.