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Full steam ahead for Flying Scotsman’s London to York return

The Flying Scotsman returned to British railways today in a journey from London to York after a 10-year restoration project.

The legendary steam train, which was the first UK train to reach 100mph in 1934, will now go on display at York’s National Railway Museum until 6 March, sponsored by Virgin Trains.

Virgin received permission from the Office of Rail and Road last week to introduce 42 new services a week on the Flying Scotsman’s original London to Edinburgh route and is introducing £40m improvements to its East Coast fleet, including new seats, carpets and lighting.

David Horne, managing director of Virgin Trains on its East Coast route, said: “The Flying Scotsman has an incredible history. In the pre-war era, it symbolised speed and style - service qualities which remain important to our customers today.”

The Flying Scotsman embarked on its journey from King’s Cross at 07.40am today and arrived in York at 1.20pm.

It was almost an hour late because the crowds by the railway line were so large that around 60 trespassers spilled onto the track near St Neots.

It also stopped north of Doncaster after rumours of a second trespassing incident, which were found to be false.

The train was retired in 1963 and bought by the National Railway Museum in York in 2004 for £2.3m. It was restored by Bury engineers Riley & Son for £4m and was originally due to return to the rails by the end of last year.

It will carry out a programme of trips until September, with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Steam Dreams, the Railway Touring Company and Severn Valley Railway.


Michael Still   25/02/2016 at 20:52

Brilliant to see the Flying Scotsman on the main line again. When working at a station north of Watford Junction few years ago steam specials came through about 8.30 am. The station would suddenly be busy with tripods and camera's. A few positioned themselves on the fast line platform when a Pendolino come to a stand for a red signal and blocked there view. The Railway Chaplin would sometimes come. It was a good time for selling platform tickets.

Colin Thompson   26/02/2016 at 13:46

Wholeheartedly agreed. In my youth, a trainee on BR at Darlington and Teesside Civil Engineer's offices, I went to Thirsk one lunchtime to record 4472 on a much earlier (and only-just!) non-stop Kings Cross - Edinburgh run (1/5/68?). This was with extremely generous and understanding official permission, although I also saw her trackside on the ECML and elsewhere on several other rather less officially-sanctioned occasions. Happy Days!

Dr.Peter Long   26/02/2016 at 16:24

city of truro exceeded 100mph much earlier,hauling a gwr boat train between plymouth[millbay docks ocean terminal] and london paddington,heavily laden with liner passengers and royal mail.of course,lner's mallard was soon to follow.

Andrew G   29/02/2016 at 22:08

The Flying Scotsman is the most iconic steam locomotive for over 100 years.

Andrew G   29/02/2016 at 22:10

Sorry I meant was "the most iconic steam locomotive for nearly 100 years".

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