Steam locomotive and tender, London & North Eastern Railway, 4-6-2 No 4472 "Flying Scotsman", Class A3 Pacific, designed by Nigel Gresley, built at Doncaster in 1923.
Flying Scotsman was originally built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), emerging from the works on 24 February 1923 and initially numbered 1472. It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class – the most powerful locomotives used by the railway.
By 1924, when it was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the loco had been renumbered 4472 – and been given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am in 1862.
LNER passenger locomotives had always been painted Apple Green. But during the Second World War, Flying Scotsman was repainted in wartime black, in common with all railway stock. After the war, it became green again, and was rebuilt as an A3 Pacific.
In 1948, rail travel in Britain was nationalised with the formation of British Railways. Scotsman, now numbered 60103, was painted blue for a time, then BR Green.
It remained in this colour until 1963, when it was retired by British Rail.
In January 1963 Alan Pegler bought Flying Scotsman. As part of the deal, Pegler negotiated a complete overhaul of the locomotive. It was converted back to single chimney condition and repainted to London & North Eastern Railway livery. In a blaze of publicity Scotsman ran its last train for BR on 14 January 1963.
In May 1968 on the 40th anniversary of the first non-stop run, Flying Scotsman travelled non-stop from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh.
In 1969 Flying Scotsman headed for America. The American adventures, while popular, forced Alan Pegler into bankruptcy and stranded Flying Scotsman in the USA. However, in 1973 Flying Scotsman was brought back to the UK after William McAlpine heard about the situation in the USA and promptly put together a rescue plan.
Following a successful tour of Australia, Scotsman ran special trains around Britain. In 1993 it received an interim overhaul and pop impresario Pete Waterman bought a 50% stake in it. In February 1996 businessman Tony Marchington bought Scotsman outright for £1.25 million.
In 2004, Flying Scotsman hit the headlines again with yet another crisis over its ownership. A campaign spearheaded by National Railway Museum to save the locomotive for the nation amassed the support of thousands, confirming its status as a national treasure.
Flying Scotsman underwent an extensive restoration in the workshop of Riley & Son (E) Ltd. This painstaking project to bring the legend back to life was completed in 2016, and Flying Scotsman has returned to the mainline resplendent in its BR green livery as 60103.