The National Railway Museum have published details of plans for the world’s most famous steam locomotive’s first year of operation after completion of its major overhaul. According to the latest official Flying Scotsman overhaul blog entry* to-date (as this article is published,) Riley and Sons still plan to complete the Flying Scotsman’s overhaul later this year, but 2016 is set to be “Scotsman Season.”Given historical rivalries it might seem unusual that York have given a Lancashire line a special 2016 New Years gift – the Flying Scotsman’s first steaming preview will be held at the East Lancashire Railway. The dedicated “Scotsman in Steam” event will be held 9-10 and 16-17 January 2016 when the loco will be wearing a simple black base coat with no numbering. Following this, the black beauty will have its first mainline outing on 23rd January hauling the “Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express 1” operated by the Railway Touring Co on the main line via Shap summit and the Settle and Carlisle Railway.
The Inaugural Run will be in February (the exact date is to be confirmed) when the Flying Scotsman will depart from London Kings Cross heading for York. Presumably this will be the Flying Scotsman’s first official appearance in completed condition, wearing BR Green. 60103 Flying Scotsman is then set to appear at the North York Moors Railway 12th – 20th March, which will be it’s first run on a heritage railway in finished condition. This will be followed by a number of mainline engagements and the Severn Valley Railway’s Autumn Steam Gala 2016 (22nd – 25th September 2015.) There are also a number of other Flying Scotsman themed activities/events at the NRM York and Locomotion: Shildon. Full details of engagements with onwards links can be found by clicking here.
Flying Scotsman’s overhaul cost is an incredible £4.2 million and is probably one of the most controversial in heritage railway history to-date. Let’s hope that we can leave some of that controversy to one side when we go out to ride behind and see the world’s most popular steam locomotive in action. I for one am very much looking forward to seeing it again and hoping it might help continue to inspire new generations of heritage railway enthusiast!
*UPDATE – York Press have published some excellent behind the scenes pictures, click here to view them.
Thanks for reading.