The Flying Scotsman


The Flying Scotsman’s first run with the double tender installed by Alan Pegler that allowed it to run non-stop from London to Edinburgh in 1968 when water troughs to allow steam engines to pick up water while running were no longer available. Video Tou Tube, Novawheels

The Flying Scotsman ended service with British Railways in 1963. It was one of the first UK main line express steam locomotives to be privately preserved, being bought by businessman Alan Pegler who had it restored as closely as possible to its original LNER external condition. During Pegler’s ownership the locomotive worked a number of railtours, including a non-stop London–Edinburgh run in 1968 – the year steam traction of service trains ended on BR. Following the end of steam haulage on BR, steam specials using privately owned steam locomotives were also banned for several years and Pegler who already had an agreement to operate Flying Scotsman on BR tracks until 1971, could have capitalised on his monopoly position.

Instead he shipped Flying Scotsman to the USA for a number of tours promoting British businesses. The tour was to be financed by the UK government’s Department of Trade and Industry and several business sponors. Part of the promised funding from the Department of Trade and Industry never materialised and with the tour no longer backed by the DTI several businesses also withdrew. Pegler became personally bankrupt, and if not for a last minute intervention by Sir William McAlpine, the locomotive might well have been cut up in the USA.

Flying Scotsman continued to have an eventful life visiting Australia in 1988, The locomotive continued to be a costly investment both for Sir William and its subsequent owner, Tony Marchington. In 2004 Marchington put the locomotive for sale and it was bought for £2 million plus by the National Railway Museum in York.

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