Exploring the Flying Scotsman’s Route
As you probably already know, the Flying Scotsman is a bottle green train that has worked the lines of Britain since 1924. The route itself has been running longer than the train though; it has been in service since 1862! Stretching 390 miles between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley stations, it is now commonly known as the East Coast Main Line.
Today, the East Coast Main Line is the second most important route on Britain’s rail network, only behind the West Coast Main Line. It is now a modern high-speed railway, although it didn’t start out this way. Before electrification and high speed trains, the line was the masterpiece of the Great Northern, Northern British and North Eastern companies.
The line was built in sections by each company before it came together as a whole. The section between London King’s Cross and Doncaster was built by the Great Northern Railway, whilst the North Eastern Railway built the section between Doncaster and Berwick. The North British Railway built the line between Berwick and Edinburgh.
One of the major hurdles in the line was at York. The station was designed to be a terminus; therefore trains going north or south had to reverse onto the station. Luckily, this was resolved in 1877 when York opened its new train station. The same problem was also present at Newcastle, which was also designed as a terminus. Instead of a new train station, a bridge over the River Tyne was created to put an end to this predicament.
In 1983, the last realignment of the East Coast Main Line was made in order to divert the route around the Selby coalfield. This change was made as Selby coalfield was an active mining area at the time, which could have raised the risk of subsidence affecting the tracks. These days, the Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) is the holder of the operating franchise for the route of the Flying Scotsman; although most of the work to the line just involves the upkeep of the track, signals and stations.
Bradford.co.uk has a range of memorabilia dedicated to Flying Scotsman. Compare the market & buy online.