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The Flying Scotchman The Flying Scotchman
by The Ovi Team
2017-11-30 08:40:20
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November 30th 1934; the steam locomotive Flying Scotsman becomes the first to officially exceed 100mph.

scot001_400The LNER Class A3 Pacific locomotive No. 4472 Flying Scotsman (originally No. 1472) was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works to a design of H.N. Gresley. It was employed on long-distance express trains on the LNER and its successors, British Railways Eastern and North-Eastern Regions, notably the 10am London to Edinburgh Flying Scotsman service after which this locomotive was named. In its career 4472 Flying Scotsman has travelled 2,000,000 miles (3,200,000 km)

The locomotive was completed in 1923, construction having been started under the auspices of the Great Northern Railway. It was built as an A1, initially carrying the number 1472. Flying Scotsman was something of a flagship locomotive for the LNER. It represented the company at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and 1925. At this time it acquired its name and the new number of 4472. From then on it was commonly used for promotional purposes.

With suitably modified valve gear, this locomotive was one of five Gresley Pacifics selected to haul the prestigious non-stop Flying Scotsman train service from London to Edinburgh, hauling the inaugural train on 1 May 1928. For this the locomotives ran with a new version of the large eight-wheel tender which held 9 tons of coal. This and the usual facility for water replenishment from the water trough system enabled them to travel the 392 miles (631 km) from London to Edinburgh in eight hours non-stop. The tender included a corridor connection and tunnel through the water tank giving access to the locomotive cab from the train in order to allow replacement of the driver and fireman without stopping the train. The following year the locomotive appeared in the film The Flying Scotsman. On 30 November 1934, running a light test train, 4472 became the first steam locomotive to be officially recorded at 100 mph (160.9 km/h) and earned a place in the Land speed record for railed vehicles; the publicity-conscious LNER made much of the fact.

On 22 August 1928, there appeared an improved version of this Pacific type classified A3; older A1 locomotives were later rebuilt to conform. On 25 April 1945, A1 class locomotives not yet rebuilt were reclassified A10 in order to make way for newer Thompson and Peppercorn Pacifics. This included Flying Scotsman, which emerged from Doncaster works on 4 January 1947, as an A3 having received a boiler with a long "banjo" dome of the type it carries today. By this time it had become no. 103 in Edward Thompson's comprehensive renumbering scheme for the LNER, then 60103 from 1 January 1948, on the nationalisation of the railways when all the LNER locomotive numbers were prefixed with 60.

Between 5 June 1950, and 4 July 1954, and between 26 December 1954, and 1 September 1957, under British Railways ownership, it was allocated to Leicester Central shed on the Great Central, running Nottingham Victoria to London Marylebone services via Leicester Central, and hauled one of the last services on that line before its closure.

All A3 Pacifics were subsequently fitted with a double Kylchap chimney to improve performance and economy. This caused soft exhaust and smoke drift that tended to obscure the driver's forward vision; the remedy was found in the German-type smoke deflectors fitted from 1960, which somewhat changed the locomotives' appearance but successfully solved the problem

Number 60103 ended service with British Railways in January 1963 and was sold for preservation to Alan Pegler, who had it restored at Darlington Works as closely as possible to its LNER condition: the smoke deflectors were removed, the double chimney was replaced by a single chimney, and the tender was replaced by one of the corridor type with which the locomotive had run between 1928 and 1936. It was also repainted into LNER livery, although the cylinder sides were painted green, whereas in LNER days they were always black. It then worked a number of railtours, including a non-stop London–Edinburgh run in 1968 – the year steam traction officially ended on BR. In the meantime, the watering facilities for locomotives were disappearing, so in September 1966 Pegler purchased a second corridor tender, and adapted as an auxiliary water tank; retaining its through gangway, this was coupled behind the normal tender.
 
Pegler had a contract permitting him to run his locomotive on BR until 1972, but following overhaul in the winter of 1968–69 it went on a promotional tour to the USA, for which it was fitted with cowcatcher, bell, buckeye couplings, American-style whistle, air brakes and high-intensity headlamp. The trip was initially a success, but when Pegler's backers withdrew their support he began to lose money and were finally bankrupted in 1972. Fears then arose for the engine's future, the speculation being that it could take up permanent residence in America or even be cut up. Fortunately in January 1973 William McAlpine stepped in at the eleventh hour and had the locomotive repatriated and repaired.

In October 1988 the locomotive arrived in Australia to take part in that country's bicentenary celebrations and during the course of the next year it travelled more than 45,000 kilometres (28,000 mi) over Australian rails, including a transcontinental run from Sydney to Perth. It was a central attraction in the Aus Steam '88 festival, double heading with NSWGR locomotive 3801, and running alongside Victorian Railways R class locomotives along the 300 km (190 mi)-long parallel broad and standard gauge tracks of the North East railway line, Victoria. The Flying Scotsman stayed in Victoria for 2 months before heading back to New South Wales. On 8 August 1989 Flying Scotsman set another record, travelling 442 miles (711 km) from Parkes to Broken Hill non-stop, the longest such run by a steam locomotive ever recorded.
 
In recent years Flying Scotsman has continued to have an eventful existence. In 1995 it was in pieces at Southall depot in West London and facing an uncertain future owing to the cost of restoration and refurbishment necessary to meet the stringent engineering standards required for main line operation. Salvation came in 1996 when Dr Tony Marchington bought the locomotive and had it restored to running condition at a cost of some £750,000. Before this Flying Scotsman was partly owned by music guru and well-known railway enthusiast Pete Waterman. Pete also owned a locomotive and carriage restoration company at Crewe Heritage Centre. He currently owns several pieces of railway heritage including Britannia Pacific no. 70000.

In 2004 Flying Scotsman was put up for sale because of the mounting debts of its owning company. After a high-profile campaign it was bought in April 2004 by the National Railway Museum in York and it is now part of the National Collection. In 2007 Flying Scotsman entered the Museum's workshops for a major overhaul to mainline running standard; originally planned to be completed by mid 2010 if sufficient funds were raised, but now will be completed by 2011. The bay in which the locomotive was being refurbished was on view to visitors to the NRM but the engine was rapidly dismantled to such an extent that the running plate was the only component recognisable to the casual observer


  
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