After undergoing a decade-long restoration that cost $5.86 million, the Flying Scotsman, the most famous British locomotive in history, has been brought back to life. The legend rolls again.
The 70-foot-long, 100-ton machine was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, one of Britain’s most famous steam locomotive engineers. It ran long-distance express trips from 1923 to 1963, setting speed records along the way. After 2,076,000 miles in service at the London and North Eastern Railway, the locomotive was bought by rich guy Alan Pegler, who paid a complete overhaul in 1968. Over the next few decades the locomotive toured the United States, Canada, and Australia;. This is her story in the US:
In 1969 Flying Scotsman headed for America. The first year tour broke even, but the second lost money. To try to balance the books Pegler arranged for the train to travel to San Francisco. Trading was good but sponsorship didn’t materialize. Alan Pegler was forced into bankruptcy and for now at least, Scotsman was stranded in the USA. However, in 1973 Flying Scotsman was brought back to the UK after William McAlpine heard about the situation in the USA and promptly put together a rescue plan.
Because of the owners’ financial problems, the Scotsman was nearly sold abroad in 2004. After a national campaign, the train was bought by the National Railway Museum in York, which embarked on second restoration effort in 2006. The Flying Scotsman did a test run for the first time in ten years on January 8, before making its inaugural trip from London Kings Cross Station to York on February 25th. The legend will be exhibited at the National Railway Museum, between the upcoming events on the tracks around in Great Britain.