Home Heritage Video: Flying Scotsman returns

Video: Flying Scotsman returns

Painstakingly overhauled and repainted in BR livery, Flying Scotsman has returned to its former stamping ground on the East Coast Main Line with a run from London King’s Cross to York.

This legend of the railway’s past is back in steam again after benefiting from a £4.2 million restoration programme. It’s been a long haul, due in part to the extensive modification and variable maintenance it received under private ownership.

Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, Flying Scotsman emerged from Doncaster works as an A1 locomotive in 1923. It hauled the inaugural non-stop London to Edinburgh service on 1st May 1928 and became the first steam locomotive to officially reach 100 mph six years later.

Having covered more than two million miles, it entered private ownership in the Sixties and went on to tour both North America and Australia. Today the locomotive is in the hands of the National Railway Museum, bought in 2004 through a sealed-bid auction for £2.3 million.

Ahead of Flying Scotsman is a busy summer, starring in a season of events at the National Railway Museum before venturing out onto the main line again for a nationwide tour, most of it already sold out.

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Graeme Bickerdike
Graeme Bickerdikehttp://www.railengineer.co.uk

SPECIALIST AREAS
Tunnels and bridges, historic structures and construction techniques, railway safety


Graeme Bickerdike's association with the railway industry goes back to the mid-nineties when he was contracted to produce safety awareness videos and printed materials aimed at the on-track community. This led to him heading a stream of work to improve the way safety rules are communicated and understood - ultimately simplifying them - for which he received the IRSE’s Wing Award for Safety in 2007.

In 2005, Graeme launched a website to catalogue and celebrate some of the more notable disused railway structures which still grace Britain’s landscape. Several hundred have since had their history researched and a photographic record captured. A particular focus has been the construction methods adopted by Victorian engineers and contractors; as a result, the site has become a useful resource for those with asset management responsibilities.

Graeme has been writing for Rail Engineer for the past ten years, generally looking at civil engineering projects and associated issues. He has a deep appreciation of the difficulties involved in building tunnels and viaducts through the 19th Century, a trait which is often reflected in his stories.

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