Thursday, 15 November 2007

Cautionary Tale No. 4472 [Part II]

In the previous part of this tale I mentioned that the Flying Scotsman had a well known history and so wasn't just a unknown model train. For those of you who don't know your steam train history Flying Scotsman was the first steam train to be official recorded at 100mph. This magnificent feat was achieved in 1934 as part of testing for the introduction of high speed trains between London, Newcastle and Leeds.

Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 at Doncaster works from a design by Sir Nigel Gresley. The engine was initially numbered 1472, but was renumbered 4472 during repairs carried out before being displayed by LNER (London and North Eastern Railway) at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924. Flying Scotsman was used continually on the mainline network until the 14th of January 1963 when it pulled it's last train for British Railways who were fazing out steam trains during a phase modernizing the rail network.

After the removal of steam trains from the British rail network, Flying Scotsman, now in private ownership, was the only steam engine allowed to run on the main line network. This allowed Flying Scotsman to earn enough money, running nostalgia tours, to pay for its continued upkeep. Over the following years it continued pulling trains around the UK as well as a couple of promotional tours in America.
The main part of my cautionary tale takes part in mid September of 1983, at which time Flying Scotsman was owned by William McAlpine and was stored and maintained at Steamtown in Carnforth, which is where the tale will continue in the next exciting instalment of...... Cautionary Tale No. 4472.


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