The Flying Scotsman is to return to service

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© Timothy E Baldwin - Wikimedia
The Flying Scotsman

EVERYBODY over the age of 50 plus train spotters will immediately recognise the name of The Flying Scotsman which was one of the greatest names from the age of steam, but what few realise is that although the iconic engine 60103 was retired from service in 1963, the first locomotive to be named Flying Scotsman was built in the 19th century and the name has continued with a more modern engine until now.

Having made this piece of fact clear, there is no question that the real Flying Scotsman will always be considered to be the steam engine which has been restored over a 10 year period by the National Railway Museum at a cost of £4.2million (€5.6million) following its purchase for the nation in 2004 thanks in part to a donation from Sir Richard Branson.

Large crowds turned out in Bury to see its first test outing on January 8 undertaken by specialist engineers at Riley and Son Ltd. Assuming that all goes well with the tests, the locomotive built in 1923 should enter regular service by the end of February, running until July including a week- long visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in March, which is already sold out.

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