The Flying Scotsman, the famous bottle green Victorian steam train, is currently undergoing restoration by the best experts around. For fans of the locomotive, and other interested citizens alike, the recommencement of the Flying Scotsman’s work on Britain’s rail lines is sure to cause a stir in 2011. Until she’s brought back to her former glory, fans can get their locomotive fix through a wide array of Flying Scotsman memorabilia that is available.
The Birth of the Flying Scotsman
Before the famous locomotive was brought to life, the name Flying Scotsman was actually the name of the first ever line between London (Kings Cross) and Edinburgh (Waverley). The line opened in 1862, bringing a revolution to travelling by train. The previously lengthy journey time was cut down to just 10 and a half hours.
The train itself was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley in 1924. Built by the London North East Railway in Doncaster, it travelled the London – Edinburgh route of the Flying Scotsman line.
The train was designed in order to allow drivers and firemen to swap mid-journey, which drastically reduced the amount of time it previously took to switch over. This was done by building a corridor leading from the cab to the train. It may sound like a simple solution now, but this innovation managed to bring the journey time down to just 8 hours for its 392 miles!
Record Breaking Locomotive
Not long after this breakthrough, the Flying Scotsman managed to become the first train to travel at speeds of over 100 mph. This particular record took place during a light test run in 1934. But the Flying Scotsman didn’t stop there. It became the star of the first ever full length British feature film with sound; the film (perhaps unsurprisingly!) was called ‘Flying Scotsman’.
Nearly half a century later, in 1989, the level-headed train travelled 442 miles non-stop from Parkes to Broken Hill, Australia. Yet again, the train managed to break a record; it was the first recorded steam locomotive to travel such a long distance without stopping. This is a train that has travelled over 2,000,000 miles throughout its life, and is expected to travel many more in the coming years.
Bradford.co.uk has a range of Flying Scotsman memorabilia. Compare the market & buy online.0