New images show the world’s most famous steam locomotive, the Flying Scotsman, being prepared for its upcoming centenary.
The legendary loco turns 100 on February 24, 2023. And its home, the National Railway Museum in York, has released the first details of what is planned for its anniversary year.
These include live appearances and a new children’s book by Michael Morpurgo.
Flying Scotsman is currently undergoing a mechanical overhaul by a specialist engineering team from Riley & Son, based in Heywood in Greater Manchester.
Full details of the centennial plans will be revealed later in the year.
About Flying Scotsman
Flying Scotsman, which first left Doncaster Works in February 1923, is synonymous with the golden age of rail travel and is a recognized national treasure as a feat of design and engineering.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, it was the first locomotive of the new LNER (London and North Eastern Railway). He was given the name “Flying Scotsman” in 1924, when he was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, after the daily 10:00 a.m. rail service between London and Edinburgh which began in 1862.
Flying Scotsman holds the world record for a non-stop run by a steam locomotive, set in 1989 with a journey of 442 miles.
But they will involve the publication of Flying Scotsman and the best birthday ever (Thames & Hudson) – a new book by acclaimed writer Michael Morpurgo, and illustrated by Michael Foreman in October.
There will also be the chance to see Flying Scotsman at several locations around the country, starting with Swanage Railway in Dorset next month (October 2022) and at the National Railway Museum in York in 2023.
Director of the National Railway Museum Judith Mc Nicol said: “Flying Scotsman is one of the most recognizable steam locomotives in the world and always draws excited crowds wherever it goes.
“She is one of the crown jewels of our world-class collection, and we are delighted to share these iconic images of her recent refit as well as her first public event this fall as we prepare for the centenary of the engine in 2023.”
Author Michael Morpurgo did not hesitate to embark on the celebrations: “I grew up on steam trains, remember their noise, their smell, their rhythm. I went on vacation with them, I went to school with them.
“So when Michael Foreman asked me to write a story about the greatest and most iconic steam engine of them all, Flying Scotsman, I sat down right away and did it… All the memories are income.”
Model train manufacturer, Hornby, is also announced today as the title sponsor of the year-long program of centenary events and activities.
Hornby has had a relationship with the Flying Scotsman since 1927 when it introduced the first ‘0’ gauge tinplate model bearing the name ‘Flying Scotsman’.
Since then, the company has produced almost 50 model versions of the famous engine.
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