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News Release - Issued by The National Railway Museum

Return of Flying Scotsman Still on Track for 2015

The National Railway Museum has today announced that they anticipate that the restoration work to return iconic locomotive Flying Scotsman to steam will be completed in 2015, after a milestone moment in the project was safely passed this month.

In summer 2014 the decision was made to manufacture new sections of the frames when a trial fitting of the cylinders showed how badly out of alignment and elongated the mounting holes were. Although some remedial work in this area was expected, the amount of welding that would have been required could have led to potential deformation of the frame plates.

The new frame plates were manufactured at Arthur Stephenson’s Engineers Ltd, Greater Manchester and were welded to the original frame of the 1920s locomotive, the sole survivor of the A3 class at the workshop of Ian Riley & Son (E) Ltd in Bury.
In the run up to January 25th’s Burns’ night, when the 2009 Steam our Scotsman appeal was launched, the York-based museum also announced how the locomotive will look on its eventual full return to Britain’s tracks. Scotsman will be painted in British Railways Green livery and carry the number 60103.

Andrew McLean, Head Curator at the National Railway Museum said: “The loco has been changed so often over the past 90 years that it is now practically impossible to present it in a wholly historically accurate appearance. As well as the currently most well-known guises of the apple green 4472 and the BR green 60103, Flying Scotsman has also been numbered 1472, 103, and 502.

The loco will retain the double chimney and smoke deflectors it carried when the Museum acquired it in 2004. This being the case we have decided to present it in its final BR working appearance as far as is reasonably practicable.

Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury were appointed to complete the work in Autumn 2013 as an outcome of their successful tender bid to take on the high-profile work to bring a national steam icon back to the mainline.

Engineering specialists, First Class Partnerships, are continuing to provide specialist engineering and project management advice to the museum with regards to this complex project.

Paul Kirkman, Director of the National Railway Museum, commented:
“We are still progressing towards completing the restoration this year and we are planning a whole season of events and activities from February 2016 celebrating this star locomotive in our collection.”

The remaining works that will be undertaken at Bury include the commencement of the front end dimensioning, trialling and the final fit of components and reconstruction including the attachment of the new front buffer beam plate. There will also be full ‘running-in’ testing once the locomotive is complete.

Once the return to mainline operation is complete, a commercial partnership agreement has been reached, under which Riley & Son (E) Ltd will manage the operation of the locomotive for a period of two years. This will include a programme of ongoing maintenance and helping to resolve any issues that may arise.

For more information about Flying Scotsman please visit


For more information please contact
Catherine Farrell, Senior Press Officer, National Railway Museum
01904 686281

Notes to editors:

• For more information about Flying Scotsman please visit

• In 2004, the National Railway Museum bought Flying Scotsman for £2.3 million. The appeal to keep No.4472 in Britain was supported by a £1.8 million grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the generosity of the public. The restoration has also been undertaken with the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £275,000. The aim of the purchase has always been to operate Flying Scotsman as a working museum exhibit.

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