Published: 20th November 2016
Perhaps the World’s most famous and/or popular steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman, will be back on the UK national network again next year. The engine worked a series of sell-out trains across the UK in 2016 following its ten-year £4.5million pound overhaul. The engine also attracted a lot of dangerous railway trespass and so the routes over which it will be running have been restricted somewhat.
This means that it will be diverted away from stretches of the East Coast Main Line running via Lincoln and Stamford on various trips for example, rather than running direct on the main line.
The 2017 operating dates have been released and are split into two geographical areas and promoted by two special train companies. Steam Dreams has told rail.co.uk that these dates are expected to be confirmed by Network Rail amongst others soon but to make sure you don’t lose out, you can call them and ask to join their mailing list, ring their Booking Office on 01483 209888.
The provisional Steam Dreams list of Flying Scotsman hauled services in May and June is as follows:
May 13 – 16 Flying Scotsman to Edinburgh three day holiday
May 19 Cardiff to Shrewsbury
May 19 Severn Estuary evening circular tour from Newport
May 23 Severn Estuary lunchtime circular tour from Bristol
May 23 Bristol to Minehead evening tour
May 26 West Somerset evening tour from Bishops Lydyeard
May 31 Hampshire Bruch tour from Salisbury
May 31 Salisbury to London
June 6 Chiltern Hills lunchtime tour from London
June 6 Chiltern Hills evening tour from London
June 13 London to Chester
Some of these trains are a circular tour just to enjoy the experience of travelling behind the famous locomotive with the added attraction of eating a leisurely meal while watching the countryside go by.
These trains will sell out fairly quickly and Steam Dreams has an enviable reputation for customer service and attention to detail gained with 16 years experience of promoting main line steam services across the UK and overseas. Ticket rates are at first sight not cheap but the experience should pay back handsomely with rich memories!
The Railway Touring Company (RTC) is the other steam charter organisation which has managed to book Flying Scotsman for its trains. Apart from the geographical reach of the trains, the main difference between Steam Dream and the RTC is that their trains are usually far longer days than in the south and so more expensive.
The Railway Touring Company has also just announced its intended programme of Flying Scotsman trips. There are six repeat itineraries running under ‘The Waverley’ banner between York and Carlisle and The Scarborough Flyer, The Yorkshireman and The Hadrian.
The Scarborough Flyer runs on 24 June 2017 and costs from £129 and will be diesel hauled from London. The famous steam engine will be hauling it from Scarborough, York and Doncaster, where it was built, to Kings Cross routed via Lincoln.
The next outing will be on The Yorkshireman service on 1 July, also from £129, running from Kings Cross to York running via Peterborough and Stamford, Loughborough and Chesterfield. This train also calls at Stevenage and is diesel hauled on the return journey to London.
The Hadrian runs on 29 July 2017 using Flying Scotsman from Hellifield to York via Carlisle travelling over the Ribblehead viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle Railway and then the scenic Tyne Valley Line through Hexam with a dash back to York from the outskirts of Newcastle along the Coast Main Line.
The first of The Waverley trains runs on 16 July departing from York and calling at Leeds, Shipley, Keighley, and Skipton and sets down at Appleby and Carlisle. This trip is repeated on 23 July.
A variant of The Hadrian runs on 29 July when the train runs diesel hauled from Derby and calls at Long Eaton, Beeston, Langley Mill, Alfreton and Chesterfield and on to Carlisle. Flying Scotsman pulls the train from Hellifield to Carlisle and via the scenic Tyne Valley Line, back to York. The train is then diesel hauled back to Derby.
The next Waverly excursion is on 6 August and Flying Scotsman pulls the train from York via Leeds and Skipton to Appleby and Carlisle and return. This trip is repeated on 13 August, 20 August and 3 September. These trains are long days out and the fares start at £115 and up to £265 premier class.
The engine will also be visiting various preserved railways in 2017 but in 2016, all tickets were snapped up very fast so if you fancy a trip behind the engine, buy one as a Christmas present!