1862-Present: The Flying Scotsman
One of the most famous locomotives of all time is amazing Flying Scotsman. The green Victorian steam train has many achievements to its name, and is still loved by many fans to this day.
Before the famous locomotive came to life, the name belonged to the first ever line between London Kings Cross and Edinburgh’s Waverley station. The line opened in 1862, bringing a revolution to travelling by train. The journey time was cut down to just 10 and a half hours!.
The Flying Scotsman train was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in 1924. Built by the London North East Railway in Doncaster, it travelled the London – Edinburgh route. With a distinctive rich, bottle green colour, it is recognised not only for its looks but also for the scores of records it managed to achieve.
The train was designed in order to allow drivers and firemen to swap mid-journey, which drastically reduced the amount of time it previously took to switch over. This was done by incorporating a corridor leading from the cab to the train. This innovation shaved considerable time off the journey, bringing the total journey time down to just 8 hours for its 392 miles.
Not long after this breakthrough, the Flying Scotsman managed to become the first train to travel at speeds of over 100 mph. This was achieved on a light test run, when no passengers were aboard, and was completed in 1934. But the Flying Scotsman didn’t stop there. It became the star of the first ever full length British feature film with sound, and the film (perhaps unsurprisingly!) was called ‘Flying Scotsman’.
Nearly half a century later, in 1989, the unflappable train travelled 442 miles without stopping from Parkes to Broken Hill, Australia. This was the furthest a steam locomotive had ever been recorded to travel in one non-stop journey, and over the course of its working life the Flying Scotsman travelled an astonishing 2,000,000 miles.
Today, the popular locomotive’s journey continues on. She is currently being lovingly restored to her former glory by experts, and is due to resume her work on Britain’s rail lines next year.
Bradford.co.uk has a range of memorabilia dedicated to Flying Scotsman. Compare the market & buy online.