World-famous locomotive No. 60103 Flying Scotsman, will return to Sussex this summer.
Bluebell Railway, a heritage railway operating steam-hauled trains between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, will welcome the locomotive in August 2022.
It will be the Flying Scotsman’s second visit to the Bluebell. The locomotive visited the steam railway for a 7-day run in April 2017 – marking the first time the engine had visited Sussex in more than 50 years.
Geoff Mee, chairman of Bluebell Railway Plc, said:
“We are thrilled to confirm The Flying Scotsman is on track to visit us once again.”
“The last event was a huge success, with many people travelling from far and wide to glimpse the famous loco on Bluebell rails. We have some exciting plans for this year’s visit – including the chance to travel behind Flying Scotsman on regular services and special dining trains, so keep an eye out for more information soon!”
Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive of the newly-formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). The locomotive (previously numbered 1472) was renumbered 4472 in 1924 and given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the daily 10.00 London to Edinburgh rail service.
It was numbered No. 60103 after British Railways was formed and rail travel was nationalised in 1948.
The Flying Scotsman is now owned by the National Railway Museum and operated and maintained by Riley & Son (E) Ltd.
The locomotive is due to undergo an overhaul in April 2022, prior to the locomotive’s centenary celebrations in 2023. The visit to the Bluebell Railway will be one of the first chances to see the famous engine following the overhaul. As part of the overhaul, Riley & Son (E) Ltd will restore the locomotive to the same standard as the last overhaul in 2016, with work focusing on the boiler and the required retube and recertification. There will not be any changes to the locomotive’s livery, numbering or chimney configuration.
Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion said: “Flying Scotsman is a symbol of the grace, speed and style of the steam age and the world’s most famous locomotive is a fantastic ambassador for the National Railway Museum. Ahead of the centenary in 2023, we’re keen for as many as possible to see the newly-overhauled Flying Scotsman, whether at speed on the main line or up close at heritage lines and I’m sure the visit to the Bluebell Railway will be a great success.”
The Flying Scotsman will be running non-stop return services between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead for five days from 25 – 29 August. All seats must be pre-booked in advance.
Visitors will also be able to see the locomotive on static display at Sheffield Park from 17 – 24 August and 30 August – 5 September. Tickets for footplate viewings will be available to book online.
Tickets will be on sale from Sunday 1 May. Please visit the Bluebell Railway’s website for further information: www.bluebell-railway.com