Published: 2nd May 2016
Flying Scotsman has been an expensive hobby for all of its owners since British Rail days. Alan Peglar, Pete Waterman, Bill McAlpine and Tony Marchington all lost a huge sum of money while owning and operating the engine, being ruled by their hearts rather than their minds! But the owners had to work the engine hard just to cover its maintenance and overhaul costs.
The engine was therefore heavily used in their collective ownership but despite expensive overhauls at the mandated 7 to 10 year periods, it was simply worn out in mechanical terms after the last 20 years or so of its operational life.
This is why the latest overhaul has cost around £4.5million and taken a decade while under taxpayers ownership under the auspices of The National Railway Museum’s ownership.
Because of this thorough overhaul, the NRM, at First Class Partnerships recommendation (its consultants in the overhaul) has limited the main line operation to a defined number of outings on limited mileage and with a maximum trailing load specified. Previously, the engine ran hundreds of miles in one day pulling a dozen or more carriages, far more than it was designed for 90 years ago.
The engine is taking to the national rail network in May on trains promoted by Steam Dreams carrying its British Rail identity and number 60103. Most of these trains have been long sold out but it’s worth contacting the company in case intending passengers cancel at the last minute.
When the engine made its high profile run from Kings Cross to York in February, it was brought to a stand by trespassers near Sandy causing significant delays to other services. And it is for this reason that times of Flying Scotsman hauled trains are not being released in advance.
May 10. 60103. ‘Cathedrals Express’. Kings Cross-York and return by diesel. Flying Scotsman leg is York-Newcastle and return.
May 14. ‘Flying Scotsman to Edinburgh’. Kings Cross-York by diesel. Flying Scotsman York-Edinburgh.
May 15. 60103. ‘Borders Scotsman’. Edinburgh-Tweedbank and returns by diesel.
May 15. 60103. ‘Fife Evening Circular’. Edinburgh-Forth Bridge-Edinburgh.
May 17. 60103. ‘Flying Scotsman from Edinburgh’. Edinburgh-York by Flying Scotsman and York-Kings Cross by diesel.
May 19. 60103. ‘Cathedrals Express’. York-Kings Cross.
May 21. 60103. ‘Cathedrals Express’. Paddington-Reading-Salisbury and return
May 21. 60103. ‘Hampshire Cream Tea’. Salisbury area circular trip.
May 25. 60103. ‘Cathedrals Express’. Victoria-Surrey Hills-Victoria.
May 28. 60103. ‘Cathedrals Express’. Paddington-Reading-Salisbury and return
May 28. 60103. ‘Hampshire Cream Tea’. Salisbury area circular trip.
Steam Dreams can be called on 01483 209888 (9am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday) But do not call them for train times as they will be extremely busy making sure all the arrangements run smoothly for their paying passengers.
And remember, do not trespass on the railway as you may at worst get killed, or seriously injured and main line steam operations will cease.