Flying Scotsman: 100 years of the British star locomotive

Leaving Horsted Keynes station early on the morning of 28 August with a Pullman for breakfast on board.

By: Christophe MASSE

This three-cylinder Pacific designed in 1923 by Nigel Gresley is considered the best known in the world. It was built at the Doncaster workshops of the Great Northern Railway which, that same year, became the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). Flying Scotsman (French: “Flying Scotsman”) was one of a series of 77 units used primarily to pull fast long-distance trains between London and Edinburgh. He then traveled the 630 kilometers that separate the two cities in 7 hours and 30 minutes, without stopping thanks to the running water intake and an intercirculation corridor in the tender that allowed the driving team to change midway.

During its long career, Flying Scotsman carried various numbers, the best known being the LNER number: 4472. In 1947, at the time of the nationalization of the railways, it became 60103. Then, in 1960, Flying Scotsman received the title of “German”. “Style smoke deflectors.” And we cannot count the number of liveries that have marked his career.

Retired from commercial service in 1963 after having traveled more than 3.2 million kilometers, the locomotive holds two records in steam traction: it is the first engine to officially reach the speed of 160.9 km/h on November 30, 1934; He also completed the longest journey made by a steam engine: 679 km non-stop on August 8, 1989 during a voyage to Australia. His notoriety is undoubtedly due to his career honored with events such as his stays in the United States, Canada and Australia. After a long period of uncertainty over its operational status and following a major overhaul, Flying Scostman returned to the rails in 2016.

Railway passion n°312

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