Flying Scotsman

Contributed by National Railway Museum in York

Why is Flying Scotsman so famous?

In 1862, when the East Coast route to Scotland was still young, Walter Leith of the Great Northern Railway had an idea. Why not run a through train from London to Edinburgh? This train was soon nicknamed the 'Flying Scotsman'.

In 1924 the London and North Eastern Railway decided to 'officially' name the train 'Flying Scotsman' and to promote the service they named an express locomotive 'Flying Scotsman'.

In 1963 the locomotive was no longer required as the railway moved away from the steam age and was bought privately. It swiftly became a symbol of the 'great days of steam', running pleasure trips all over the country whilst the railway busily promoted its modernised service. This continued the confusion between the locomotive and the passenger service which had started in 1924 when the LNER decided to name one of their fleet of 'Gresley' pacific's 'Flying Scotsman'.

In 2004, the National Railway Museum saved the iconic locomotive from being sold abroad. Since then the NRM workshop team has been hard at work carrying out a full overhaul of the locomotive which can be witnessed by visitors from the Museum's workshop balcony.

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