The world-famous LNER A3 Pacific 4-6-2 locomotive, Flying Scotsman, is set to return to the Bluebell Railway this summer.
It will be Flying Scotsman’s second visit to the Sussex line, last visiting for a seven-day run in April 2017 – which was the first time the locomotive had visited Sussex in more than 50 years.
Geoff Mee, chairman of Bluebell Railway Plc, said: “We are thrilled to confirm that Flying Scotsman will visit us once again. The last event was a huge success, with many people travelling from far and wide to glimpse and travel behind the famous locomotive. We have some exciting plans for this year’s visit – including the chance to travel behind Flying Scotsman on regular services and special Pullman dining trains.”
Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive of the newly-formed London & North Eastern Railway. The locomotive (previously numbered 1472) was renumbered 4472 in 1924, and given the name Flying Scotsman after the named daily 10am London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley express service. It was numbered No 60103 after British Railways was formed in 1948.
Flying Scotsman is now owned by the National Railway Museum and operated and maintained by Riley & Son (E) Ltd.
The locomotive underwent an overhaul in April 2022, in preparation for its centenary celebrations in 2023, and the visit to the Sussex line will provide the first chance to see the locomotive following that work. As part of the overhaul, Riley & Son (E) Ltd restored the locomotive to the same standard as the last overhaul in 2016. Much of the work this time was focussed on the boiler, its re-tube and recertification. No changes were made to the locomotive’s livery, numbering or chimney configuration.
Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion (NRM Partner and part of The Science Museum Group), said: “Flying Scotsman is a symbol of the grace, speed and style of the steam age, and the world’s most famous locomotive is a fantastic ambassador for the National Railway Museum. Ahead of its centenary in 2023, we’re keen for as many as possible to see the newly-overhauled Flying Scotsman, whether at speed on the main line or up close at heritage lines, and I’m sure the visit to the Bluebell Railway will be a great success.”
Flying Scotsman will be running non-stop return services between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead for five days from August 25th to the 29th. All seats will need to be pre-booked in advance.
Visitors will also be able to see the locomotive on static display at Sheffield Park from 17 to 24 August 17th to the 24th, and also between August 30th and September 5th. Tickets for footplate viewings will also be available to book online.
Further information at www.bluebell-railway.com
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