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The Flying Scotsman will be visiting Cornwall for the first time

Article by Callum Wood of Rail Technology Magazine

The Flying Scotsman will be appearing on the railways of Cornwall for the first time in its long and monumental history.

The locomotives visit to Cornwall is one of a series of trips on the UK mainline. It will also be the first time in 15 years the locomotive has been to Devon.

Details of the trip will be revealed on Tuesday at Bodmin Park Railway Station.

The Flying Scotsman, initially numbered 1472, was built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), emerging from the works on the 24 of February 1923, becoming the first locomotive to travel on the newly constructed railway.

It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 Class – the most powerful locomotives used by the railway at that time.

In 1924, the Scotsman was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London. The locomotive had been renumbered 4472 and was given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am in 1862.

The Exhibition in London made Flying Scotsman famous and it went on to be featured in many more public events for the LNER.

In 1928, it was given a new type of tender with a corridor, which meant that a new crew could take over without stopping the train. This allowed it to haul the first ever non-stop London to Edinburgh service on 1 May, reducing the journey time to eight hours.

Flying Scotsman has set an impressive two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100 mph (160.9 km/h) on 30 November 1934, and then setting a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on 8 August 1989 while in Australia.

LNER passenger locomotives had always been painted Apple Green. But during the Second World War, Flying Scotsman was repainted temporarily. After the war, it became green again, and was rebuilt as an A3 Pacific wartime black, in common with all railway stock.

Retired from regular service in 1963 after covering over two million miles, Flying Scotsman gained considerable fame in preservation under the ownership of, successively, Alan Pegler, William McAlpine, Tony Marchington, and finally the National Railway Museum (NRM).

In January 1963, the Scotsman was bought by businessman Alan Pegler. As part of the deal, Pegler negotiated a complete overhaul, returning the Scotsman to its original condition and colours.

Scotsman ran its last train for BR on 14 January 1963.

The locomotive has toured extensively in the United States and Canada from 1969 until 1973, as well as Australia in 1988/89.

In 2004, Flying Scotsman hit the headlines due to a crisis over its ownership. A campaign spearheaded by National Railway Museum to save the locomotive for the nation amassed the support of thousands, confirming its status as a national treasure.

From 2006, Flying Scotsman underwent an extensive restoration in the workshop of Riley & Son (E) Ltd. In 2016, the painstaking £4.2m project to bring the legend back to life, resplendent in its BR green livery in its guise as 60103, was completed.

The Flying Scotsman has been described as the world’s most famous steam locomotive. In a 2015 poll which questioned people from four continents it was again ranked the most famous locomotive.


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