This week a legend comes to King's Cross Station in London. With the magnificent station turning 170 years old on 14th October, who better to attend the celebration than Flying Scotsman - arguably the world's most famous locomotive.
But the locomotive itself will soon be celebrating. 2023 marks the centenary - 100 years of existence - and its timely visit to the capital becomes the precursor to what will undoubtedly be a year to remember for any railfan. In anticipation of both of these historic events, we've compiled a selection of photographs highlighting just why Flying Scotsman is revered and admired across the globe.
It is also worth mentioning, for the uninitiated, that this is of course Flying Scotsman, not 'The Flying Scotsman'. The difference? The Flying Scotsman is a train service that has been running since 1862 and hauled by a variety of locomotives, including LNER's Class 91s of today, the Class 55 'Deltics' and the locomotive in question: LNER's Class A3 Flying Scotsman. This famous locomotive, omitting the The from its title, is the focus of our attention here, built in 1923 and run extensively on the East Coast Main Line here in the UK and abroad most notably for its tours in both the United States and Australia.
'Flying Scotsman' at Glenndale, MD on October 25, 1969. A Roger Puta photograph. A legendary locomotive,complete with bell and cow-catcher, meets a legendary railfan in the USA during 1969. You can read more about the photography of Roger Puta here.
Railfan and photographer Jamie Ringwood managed to capture 'Flying Scotsman' at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in April of 2017. In the UK, this magnificent locomotive has visited many heritage railways that maintain a connection to the main line rail network. The photos show 'Flying Scotsman' at both at Oxenhope (above) and exiting Keighley Station towards Oxenhope (below). But though the excitement of a local visit is great to support suitable heritage railways, perhaps the best place to see 'Flying Scotsman' is on the main line. In the same year as above, 2017, it is seen exiting Norwich Station with just its support coach and adorned with its National Railway Museum headboard, denoting its current owners. Photo by Jamie Ringwood. Visits, wherever in the UK, always bring out railfans, families, children and photographers looking to safely catch a glimpse from either a publicly accessible location or one with explicit permission from the landowner. Such is the case here, with a photo taken during a visit to the Mid Norfolk Railway almost exactly 12 months ago (October 2021). Photo by Jamie Ringwood. Some are permitted to go one step further and get a glimpse behind the scenes during 'Flying Scotsman's' travels around the nation. This photograph, exclusive to We Are Railfans, shows the Buckley Wells Locomotive Depot on the East Lancashire Railway in Bury with 'Flying Scotsman' positioned for coaling. Photo by Joe Rogers.
To find out more about 'Flying Scotsman's' visit to King's Cross for the 170th anniversary of the station opening, head over to the National Railway Museum's website: FLYING SCOTSMAN AT KING'S CROSS STATION
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