Why is the Flying Scotsman so Famous?
In 2015, a poll was conducted by The National Railway Museum that resulted in LNER Class A3 No.4472 – aka the Flying Scotsman – being recognised as the world’s most famous locomotive. The poll asked four continents (United Kingdom, United States, India and Australia) to name five trains or engines that they were familiar with.
The top ten results
1. Flying Scotsman (UK)
2. Rajadhani Express (India)
3. Orient Express (Various routes)
4. The Ghan (Australia)
5. Shatabdi Express (India)
6. Amtrak (United States)
7. Indian Pacific (India)
8. Mallard (UK)
9. Duronto Express (India)
10. Bullet Train (India)
About this Steam Loco
Designed by Nigel Gresley, the LNER Class A3 No. 4472 is a 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works.
In 1924, the London and North Eastern Railway decided to officially name the train the Flying Scotsman. To promote the service they named an express locomotive the “Flying Scotsman”. By the 30th November 1934, the Flying Scotsman had become the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h).
Within 1963, the locomotive was no longer required. Most railways sadly moved out of the steam-age era and ended up being bought by private companies. It was not long before it became the symbol of “the great days of steam”, running trips all over the country.
In 1989, the Flying Scotsman set a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive. It covered 422 miles (679 km) on the 8th August, whilst travelling through Australia. The National Railway Museum saved the iconic locomotive from being sold abroad in 2004. The NRM workshop team worked hard to fully overhaul the locomotive – something that visitors can view themselves on the Museum’s workshop balcony. The final cost of the restoration was valued at £4.5 million in September 2016.
During 2016, the locomotive returned to run on the mainline under its own power once again. Finally the ten year restoration was completed.
Today, the most famous train in the world occasionally makes trips all over the UK on special rail tours.
Photo: LNER A3 Class 4-6-2 No: 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ and LMS Class 5MT 4-6-0 No: 44871 are seen passing through Totnes station. It is working the 1Z44 09.00 Plymouth to Exeter St Davids‘ The Cathedrals Express’ on the 8th October 2018
Is this your favourite steam train?
Please feel free to let me know if it is or not your favourite train by replying to this blog post.