Flying Scotsman to return to Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 12:07 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:07 03 September 2020
World-famous steam engine Flying Scotsman will visit Mid-Norfolk Railway for the first time ever in October 2021.
The visit was originally due to take place this October, but the locomotive’s 2020 programme was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The No.60103 locomotive will appear at the Dereham-based heritage railway for 10 days - both on display and hauling passenger trains along the 11-mile (17.7km) line to Wymondham.
George Saville, the railway’s general manager, said: “All of us at the railway are looking forward to welcoming this famous engine to the railway and being joined by the many enthusiasts who will travel here to experience a ride on a train hauled by Flying Scotsman.
“This year has seen the coaching stock refurbished and significantly added to, which means that our passengers will be travelling in greater comfort behind Flying Scotsman along our beautifully line.”
Flying Scotsman’s visit will take place from Friday October 2 to Sunday October 18, 2021, with tickets to go on sale next year.
Although this will Flying Scotsman’s first visit to the Mid-Norfolk Railway, the locomotive has visited Norfolk a number a times before, most recently in October 2017.
Charlie Robinson, the chairman of the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust, said he was thrilled the iconic engine would finally be making its back way to Norfolk.
Mr Robinson said: “We, at the railway, look forward to the visit of the Flying Scotsman and are planning to make sure our visitors will be able to get up close and personal to this famous steam engine here at the Mid-Norfolk Railway.”
MORE: 10 things to know about the Flying Scotsman
Flying Scotsman was built in Doncaster and became the first locomotive of the newly-formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) when it left the works on 24 February 1923 with the number 1472.
It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class - the most powerful locomotives used by the LNER at that time.
By 1924, when it appeared at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the locomotive had been renumbered 4472 and given its current name after the daily 10am London to Edinburgh rail service which started in 1862.
Flying Scotsman, which has been called the world’s most famous steam locomotive, toured around the UK an overseas in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, visiting the United States, Canada and Australia.
A major overhaul of the locomotive began at York’s National Railway Museum in 2006, and the project was finally completed 10 years later at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, which has been based at Heywood, near Manchester, since 2016.
The engineering firm also managed Flying Scotsman’s operations for the next two years.
Since then the locomotive has been hauling special passenger tours and making appearances across the UK.
MORE: Flying Scotsman set to wow steam fans as it comes to Norwich for first time
Sarah Price, head of rail operations at the National Railway Museum, which owns the locomotive, added: “Flying Scotsman’s plans for 2020 had to be postponed following the coronavirus pandemic and I am very pleased to announce the visit to Mid-Norfolk Railway which is the first date to be confirmed from Flying Scotsman’s draft 2021 touring schedule.”
Colin Green, Riley & Son’s director, said: “I am very pleased that Flying Scotsman will be visiting the MNR after all in 2021 and I am looking forward to seeing the famous engine back in action.”
The Mid-Norfolk Railway is owned and operated by the volunteers of the trust.
To find out more, visit: www.mnr.org.uk/newsmedia.
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