Flying Scotsman departs Kings Cross

Great photo from Ed – illustrates why train was later stopped by trespassers on track  


About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
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1 Response to Flying Scotsman departs Kings Cross

  1. Mark Townend says:

    I was lucky enough to have been invited to ride on this very special trip to York along with my father Peter Townend. He was the former shedmaster at Kings Cross ‘Top Shed’ depot during the late 1950s and early 60s, right until at the end of steam. (Note shedmaster is an archaic term for a role that today might be known as depot or fleet manager). Both Flying Scotsman and Mallard were among the large fleet of express locomotives he was responsible for at the time along with a plethora of smaller tank engines that powered the suburban services. As a fully trained chartered mechanical engineer, apprenticed at Doncaster works where all these wonderful locomotives were designed and built, he was instrumental in arranging for a number of very cost effective modifications to be made to these locomotives towards the end of their careers that improved their performance and economy and ensured train performance was easily maintained and even enhanced in the run up to the risky handover to the new diesel technology. His locomotives remained clean and reliable right up to the very end. As restored by the NRM, Flying Scotsman today is presented in exactly the same configuration and appearance as when it was retired from front line service and purchased by the late Alan Pegler. The “Innaugural Run’s” departure from Kings Cross on Thursday 25th February 2016 almost exactly echoed Flying Scotsman’s famous last run under British Railways ownership in 1963.

    Not only at Kings Cross and York, but along the entire route, tens of thousands of people turned out to watch ‘the most famous locomotive in the world’ steam past. At every station, crossing and bridge, in fields, outside factories and schools all were smiling, many were cheering, many were capturing the event for posterity behind their cameras. It was unfortunate a tiny minority, in their excitement, chose to go beyond the fence and put themselves in danger. That inevitably led to delay not only for the special train but also for regular traffic along the route as signals were hastily set to red. Luckily however there were no injuries or worse, and I hope at least the publicity surrounding the event will highlight the dangers and inconvenience of that rather foolish behaviour.

    A memorable, emotional experience for me and my father. A momentous occasion in the history of the locomotive and a great acheivement for the NRM and all those behind the restoration.


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