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Flying Scotsman returns to the track after decade hiatus

The Daily Telegraph reports that the Flying Scotsman, one of the world's most iconic locomotives, is due to make a triumphant return to the tracks today for the first time in ten years.

The 92-year-old engine has been hidden from public view since 2006 to undergo a £4.2 million restoration.

In the early hours of the morning engineers prepare to light the fire of the Flying ScotsmanIn the early hours of the morning engineers prepare to light the fire of the Flying Scotsman  Photo: North News

But it will begin a series of low-speed test runs along the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) in Bury on Friday before it is unveilled to the public at a series of open days later this month.

In the early hours of the morning engineers prepare to light the fire of the Flying ScotsmanIn the early hours of the morning engineers prepare to light the fire of the Flying Scotsman  Photo: North News

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The locamotive acquired worldwide fame when it became the first to break the 100mph mark in its 1930s heyday.

The Flying Scotsman at King's Cross in 1963 before its last journey to DoncasterThe Flying Scotsman at King's Cross in 1963 before its last journey to Doncaster

Retired from regular service in 1963, it has been restored for York's National Railway Museum (NRM) in a shed in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Andrew McLean, NRM head curator, told the BBC: "From the dead it becomes something living and breathing again."

The Flying Scotsman leaves Leeds in 1956The Flying Scotsman leaves Leeds in 1956

The world's best rail journeys: in pictures

Later tonight, the public will be given the first opportunity to ride the engine on a 16-mile round trip along the ELR for a special dining event.

Several open days will be held along the heritage line over the next two weekends ahead of a mainline test from Manchester to Carlisle on 23 January.

 

"From the dead it becomes something living and breathing again."
Andrew McLean, NRM head curator

 

The engine will return via Settle on a route which will involve a climb to the highest railway summit in England, at Ais Gill, and the crossing of the viaduct at Ribblehead.

It will then receive a final lick of paint before its official inaugural trip from Kings Cross to York on February 10 before publlic services begin.

The Flying Scotsman leaving Marylebone Station, London in 1986The Flying Scotsman leaving Marylebone Station, London in 1986  Photo: PA

When not out on the tracks, it will spend periods on display at the National Railway Museum in York.

 

How to book a journey on the Flying Scotsman

 

• For details of the series of events surrounding the return of the Flying Scotsman in 2016, see nrm.org.uk/flyingscotsman/scotsman-season

• To book the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express trip on January 23, visit railwaytouring.net (click on UK list)

• To book the various trips planned by Steam Dreams later in the year – to destinations including Edinburgh, Salisbury, Taunton and Bath - see steamdreams.co.uk (click on locomotives)

• Booking details for the pre-inaugural runs on the East Lancashire Railway heritage line will be appearing on eastlancsrailway.org.uk

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