The return of the Flying Scotsman (fingers crossed!)

kevsmith Dec 30, 2015

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    January in the U.K will hopefully see the return to main line action of arguably the most famous steam train in the world ‘Flying Scotsman’ The Gresley designed A3 4-6-2 of the former LNER railway has never been far from the headlines, both good and bad, for the last 5 decades and it is hoped that the recent extensive renovation has cured many of the deep lying problems and will see the loco pounding the rails of Britain for some time to come


    The history of the loco since its withdrawal by British Railways and its purchase for preservation is littered with high and low points including bankruptcy, being hidden from debt collectors straight after a barn storming tour of the USA, a complicated logistical tour of Australia and a rebuild program co-ordinated by the national railway Museum in York that at times bordered on the ridiculous as one thing after another went wrong. Finally given to the Riley & sons workshop in Bury on the East Lancashire railway it should be undertaking test runs on the preserved line in January 2016


    Current status can be seen here


    http://www.nrm.org.uk/flyingscotsman/see/photos


    The sorry account on the recent history of the loco can be found at


    http://www.rail.co.uk/rail-news/2013/damning-flying-scotsman-report-issued-by-nrm/

    Now both myself and my father before me have followed this loco from pre-preservation days with my dad first photographing it in the late 1950s in the South Yorkshire area so as the weather here is awful I sat down with a glass of vintage port and started to work out just how much stuff we had of it. Ken Smith, my father was a member of the Railway Photographers circle along with other well known people like Eric Treacy, Ivor Bulmer et al

    His job as a sales rep gave him ample opportunity to record Steam in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire right up to the end of Steam in the U.K

    Freshly outshopped from Doncaster Works (The Plant) in January 1959 the loco had received the double chimney but had not yet got the German style smoke deflectors. See here drifting south light engine prior to working a test train.

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    Eleven months later in December it heads a Leeds to King Cross express through Rossington in South Yorkshire

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    More soon

    Kev
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  2. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Spruced up in April 1906 the loco worked a Trains Illustrated magazine organised railtour from London Marylebone to Doncaster and back. Seen here on the Northbound leg at Conisborough

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    And latter southbound at Woodhouse station near Sheffield

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    In October 1966 the Gainsborough Model railway Society organised the ‘Farnborough Flyer’ railtour and it is seen at Millhouses in Sheffield heading South. Now back in the Iconic LNER Apple green livery

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    At this time the loco was owned by Alan Pegler a Yorkshire businessman who ran it on the main line until British rail got cold feet about main line steam so he decided to tour the U.S.A. The history of that is well documented elsewhere but a quick Google will find you the basic story.

    After its eventual return from the USA it had to earn some Money and in 1973 was let loose on its old stomping ground of the East Coast Main Line still wearing the chime whistle and bell fitted for America.

    Seen here drifting into York station as it headed North

    [​IMG]

    More soon

    Kev
     
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  3. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    And later ’Line Speed’ at Tollerton on the racing stretch between York and Thirsk. And yes, that kid with the blue top and his foot on the ballast is me! You would never ever get away with spotters running about the line like this today! Note the additional tender to increase water capacity.

    [​IMG]

    Now one of the strangest encounters I had with ‘Scotsman’ was in April 1990 after its return from Australia. We had got wind of a positioning move to get it back to Steamtown at Carnforth and sure enough caught it at Tapton bridge at Chesterfield still carrying the rather over the top headboard. I was still working as a sports photographer then and had all my gear in the car including some serious long lens which were shortly to come into their own..


    It is seen here crossing over onto the Midland ‘Old Road’ with its support coach and Sir William McAlpine’s LNER Saloon. Note that it only has the one tender now.

    [​IMG]

    Now then, I said to Pete Drewry, I reckon if we crack on a bit we can get to Grindleford the other side of Totley tunnel before the train does so I gunned my Ford Granada Scorpio (Car of choice for ram-raiders back in the day!) through the winding roads of the Hope Valley into the Peak District. What unfolded next was pure theatre.


    Coming out of Grindleford station where the track had recently been regraded to allow faster running of the Sprinter DMUs the cant had been increased quite dramatically but Scotsman was running really slowly with the footplate crew hanging out of the side. The setting sun was lighting the front up quite dramatically at this stage in a shot taken with a Canon 300 F2.8 lens the size of a dustbin.

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    Even as it creeped toward the road bridge the crew were still looking anxiously forward

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    More soon

    Kev
     
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  4. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    All was revealed as the change of track formation had reduced the clearance drastically

    [​IMG]


    Let the tyres down to give you some more room I helpfully shouted!

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    Safely back at Carnforth.

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    The last time I got chance to photograph it in steam it had regained its double chimney and smoke deflectors and was back in BR Brunswick green. The colour scheme I would have seen it in first as a seven or eight year old

    [​IMG]

    This is the form it is due to come out in shortly, So, Fingers crossed for the future. I’ll be out to photograph it in January along with half the railfan population of the U.K I imagine.

    Kev
     
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  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Wonderful photo essay. Thanks, Kev.
     
  6. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Looking forward to future posts on her, a great locomotive. As Hytec said, thanks, Kev.
     
  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Such wonderful photographs and memories. Thanks for the posts!
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Is it's future still a worry, or is the situation actually stabilized now?
     
  9. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Superb photo documentary on this iconic locomotive Kevin. Hopefully Riley have done a great job and she is back in fine fettle. Look forward to seeing her in action again along the ecml where I saw her and her classmates countless times. BR green is my favourite as this is how I remember them. Was a bit dubious about the German type smoke deflectors at first, but they do seem to suit the A3's ok and we soon got used to seeing them thus fitted.

    Alan Curtis
    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
     

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