Back on track: First pix of restored Flying Scotsman steaming down the line ahead of inaugural run

In full flight: Flying Scotsman on a trial run near York. Photographs: Nigel Holland
23 Feb 2016 @ 8.18 pm
| Entertainment, History, Transport
In full flight: Flying Scotsman on a trial run near York. Photographs: Nigel Holland
In full flight: Flying Scotsman on a trial run near York. Photographs: Nigel Holland

It’s a sight to stir the blood.

Flying Scotsman hurtling down the tracks, leaving a plume of white steam trailing in its wake.

Ahead of the official inaugural run from London Kings Cross to York on Thursday (February 25), the legendary engine was being put through her paces near York.

Ready for a close-up: Flying Scotsman
Ready for a close-up: Flying Scotsman

These awesome photographs were taken by Nigel Holland on the line at Towthorpe, shortly before 6pm on Tuesday (February 23). Back to her best after a £4.2 million, ten-year restoration, Flying Scotsman was a sight to behold.

Nigel said:

It was superb to see.

I heard nothing until it was on top of me. I felt the vibration first, then it flew past me.

It’s fantastic, like nothing we’ve got today.

Back to glorious best

Ian Hewitt paints the number 60103 onto the iconic Flying Scotsman cab. Photograph: National Railway Museum
Ian Hewitt paints the number 60103 onto the iconic Flying Scotsman cab. Photograph: National Railway Museum

Anticipation is growing ahead of Flying Scotsman’s return to the National Railway Museum on Thursday, kicking off its Flying Scotsman season.

Last week, the final touches were added to the engine’s famous paintwork.

Ian Hewitt and his team from Heritage Painting applied the numbers 60103 on the cab of the steam icon, marking the final stages of its transformation from business-like black to gorgeous BR green.

This was the number of Flying Scotsman in its BR days. Photograph: National Railway Museum
This was the number of Flying Scotsman in its BR days. Photograph: National Railway Museum

Ian said:

It’s taken us just over a week to get to this point, and its used 45 litres of paint plus 20 litres of varnish, 20 litres of thinners and hours of painstaking work for our team of five.
Ready for the off… Photograph: National Railway Museum
Ready for the off… Photograph: National Railway Museum

The decision to restore Flying Scotsman to its BR-era livery, dating from the Fifties and Sixties, also meant the original 4472 number was replaced with BR’s 60103 number.