The Flying Scotsman © NRM
Save our Scotsman
By Carole Green
The Flying Scotsman is probably the most famous train in the world and she was saved for the nation in 2004. The National Railway Museum are now custodians of this elegant old lady, but she's under-going some major repairs and your help is needed.
In 2004 it seemed the Flying Scotsman might be lost to the nation. An appeal was launched to save this iconic locomotive with the public raising £415,000. Along with a donation from Sir Richard Branson and a grant of £1.8 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund meant that the Flying Scotsman was saved.
The Flying Scotsman in pieces
The Flying Scotsman is now in pieces in the workshop at the National Railway Museum (NRM) and they are hoping the public will again dig deep and help raise £250,000 to put this iconic train back on track.
When the locomotive was brought to the National Railway Museum in 2004, it soon became very clear she was in need of some tender loving care, and a major overhaul. Rather than go for a quick fix, it was decided to go for the long-term option and repair the Scotsman to her former glory and get her safely under steam again.
Jim Rees, curator of rail vehicles at the NRM explains why the money is needed: "When the museum acquired the engine it was carrying a boiler from an A4 that had been fitted in the 1970s. It also came with an A3 boiler that it had carried from 1964 until that date.
“The A4 boiler was in poor condition, having had many repairs and alterations, some conventional and recorded, others less so, so we decided to repair the A3 boiler, not just for the short term, but to the highest possible standard.
“The restoration has cost a great deal more than anticipated due to the poor condition of the boiler and the rising cost of copper - hence the need for a public appeal to 'Steam Our Scotsman'.”
All donations, no matter how small are welcome: £25 will pay for a bolt, £125 piston rings, or if you’re feeling very generous, £100,000 will pay for an outer firebox!
Boiler Smith, Gordon Reed
The Flying Scotsman is held in great affection by the nation, if not the world as was proved in 2004 when the first appeal was launched. But, what makes her so special? Jim Rees has one theory:
“The Flying Scotsman was the name of a route in the 1870s, a regular service that became more and more famous. This is the engine named for that route. Every day the Flying Scotsman left for Scotland, up the east coast main line from Kings Cross.
“The myth of that route and the romance of travel were encapsulated by this locomotive. Although it was built in the 1920s its most famous achievement was to be certified doing 100 mph in the mid 1930s. Because of this it was part of that art-deco romantic era that we all picture. The rich and famous travelling on impressive cruise ships or by high class railway travel.
“In a way, because this engine was built then, named after that route, it’s somehow all tied together and made it without doubt the most famous engine in the world.”
last updated: 27/02/2009 at 17:01
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