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A3 4772 Flying Scotsman 

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 A3 Flying Scotsman in the siddings next to York station in 2004.

A3 Flying Scotsman in the siddings next to York station in 2004.


Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 at Doncaster works of the LNER. It was designed by Nigel Gresley, as LNER class A1. It appeared at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley.Flying Scotsman was picked to haul the the inaugural Flying Scotsman train

On the 1st of May in 1928 it ran from Kings Cross in London to Edinburgh in Scotland with a 10am start from King Cross taking eight hours non-stop.

In August 1928, a new and improved version of the Gresley A1 locomotive, classed A3 began to come out of Doncaster. The older A1s were later rebuilt with Flying Scotsman, not being rebuilt in Doncaster works till 4 January 1947 because of the 2nd World War.

With it British Railway number of 60103, double chimney and the German type smoke deflectors, in January 1963 it was sold by BR to Alan Pegler. Bill McAlpine later purchased the locomotive. Dr Tony Marchington also owned it and then Pete Waterman also owned part of it

The National Railway Museum now owns Flying Scotsman as part of the National Collection. £415,000 was raised by the public and Sir Richard Branson Chairman of the Virgin Group donated £365,000 plus £1.8m grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Well done to all who helped get this famous locomotive in the National Collection were it belongs.

Flying Scotsman has been since around 2005 its been in the work shops for a full overhaul of the locomotive.

The story of this overhaul has been long, and is still going on in 2014. I am not going place any blame on any one, that is for others, but its all been a bit of a mess. The locomotive was nearly ready for Railfest, then had to be took apart again. Every one knowns, it has cost the earth.

The sooner I can get some photos of it back on the main line the better.

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Flying Scotsman leaves York Station in 2004

A3 4472 Flying Scotsman leaves York Station in 2004

What Does a A3 look Like

There has been a lot of talk about the colour of Flying Scotsman. What colour should it be with an A4 boiler and a double chimney and the German type smoke deflectors?   

The late BR green with German type smoke deflectors is nearer to what it looked like it its last years with British Railways. But less all the dirt and grime of the last years of steam.

When I saw Flying Scotsman at Peterborough North around 1959, if it had not stopped in the station, you could not have seen its name  and number, under all the grime.

The LNER apple green, with its LNER number of 4772, which Flying Scotsman has carried for most its time after it was sold by BR is all wrong.

The German type smoke deflectors were taken off when it was sold by BR. But there was still a need for them to help the driver see were he is going. This is because they help lift the steam above the cab windows in certain cross wind conditions. The German type smoke deflectors had to be put back on, so the driver could see track ahead.

The A4 boiler with a double chimney will soften the exhaust blast and stop it lifting just above the cab windows.  This is why the smoke deflectors were put on in the first place. The shape of the A4 does helps do the same job.

I hope that the present rebuild at the NRM on Flying Scotsman is done in 2011/?? Will it  have  the right colour and number for the engine, as it is then. If the NRM canot get it right, then who can?

Will it be BR green, German type smoke deflectors, double chimney and  a BR number and logo?

The man or woman in the street thinks, it should be in LNER apple green, with LNER on its tender and the number 4772. But they are not the NRM.

York station with A3 4472 Flying Scotsman in 2004

York station with 4472 Flying Scotsman.

I hope this steam locomotive is soon back on the main lines.

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York Stationin 2004


The UKs National Railway Museum is at York next to the railway station

Updated 13/10/2014



This website is Ukrailways1970tilltoday.me.uk it is a webe site on railways, but it is not just on trains, but all things railways, with photos, which I have taken from the 1970s till now. I take photos of all things railways, steam diesel and electric trains, and signal boxes like this page, any thing that is on the National Rail network, which was BR when I started taken photos.

Today EWS, East Coast, Central trains and EWS are just some of the names on the trains. The name on the train does not mean, thats whos train it is these days. These names keep changing, but that means I have to keep taking photos. I also take photos of preserved railways with steam diesel and electric trains.There is lots more to add and I keep taking More!