Yesterday the National Railway Museum published an update of progress of the overhaul of the worlds most famous steam engine. The overhaul has caused much controversy with costs spiraling massively. The good news is that the National Railway Museum are reporting that the overhaul shall finish this year. An update of work being completed by Ian Riley & Son (E) Ltd Bury is shown in the latest report at www.flyingscotsman.org.uk/see/photos.
Much debate over the overhaul has raged in many forums and throughout the press. It is fair to say that mistakes have been made and the costs are quite extraordinary and far too high. However, I hope that does not detract from the excitement of the prospect of seeing this locomotive in steam again. I am sure that when it is running again it will be very popular. The Flying Scotsman will wave the flag for heritage steam, whether you like it or not! The adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity rings true in some respects, indeed I think the controversies have helped keep the locomotive in the limelight, even if for the wrong reasons. This is not to say that it is a good thing that so much money has been spent (not at all, money is very tight in the heritage sector,) but I think this overhaul will be added to the unique story of the Flying Scotsman, alongside the good (such as it being the first official steam locomotive to reach 100MPH) and the bad (such as Alan Pegler’s bankruptcy whilst the locomotive toured the USA.) I, for one am looking forward to see the end of this overhaul and am genuinely excited about seeing the legendary beast back in steam.
Locomotives of the London and North Eastern Railway fared very poorly in preservation, something that is masked somewhat by the fact that there are six surviving A4 class pacific’s. Putting things into perspective, the only ex-LNER locomotive to be saved from Barry scrapyard was B1 class 61264. 4472 is the last of the Gresley A3 pacific’s and if it wasn’t for new-build A1 class Tornado, the only other top-link LNER representative would be A2 class 60532 Blue Peter (I am very excited at the prospect of seeing this beauty running again too!) So lets get excited that the Flying Scotsman is on its way back into operations again, hopefully this very year! Thanks for reading! 🙂