Step On Board Flying Scotsman Through The Eras

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The steam celebrity Flying Scotsman flew into position in a superstar locomotive line-up at the National Railway Museum, marking the successful end of not just one, but two restoration projects.Stunts, Speed and Style gives visitors to the York museum the chance to step on board the cab of the famous locomotive, fresh from February’s triumphant inaugural run, the official end of the decade-long £4.2m restoration project to bring this legend back to life, and recent steamy showcase at the North Yorkshire Moors.
The line-up which features two locos built in the 19th century, GNR No 1 and Henry Oakley, alongside star attraction Flying Scotsman, is also the first chance to see the newly cosmetically restored King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry which pulled the Flying Scotsman train in the sixties.
Heritage painter Ian Matthews along with the Co Durham-based workshop team at Locomotion: the National Railway Museum at Shildon which includes staff, trainees, and volunteers transformed the diesel locomotive into the BR green ‘two tone’ appearance it sported when it was first seen on the East Coast Mainline more than half a century ago.
Ian Matthews said: “It’s a real North East labour of love that sees this locomotive lined up in the same green livery as the legendary Flying Scotsman, and we’re glad to be here today to celebrate its official unveiling. All of the brushwork has been completed by hand after hours of filling in the bodywork and sanding so it’s as smooth as when it first rolled out of Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows in 1961.”
Flying Scotsman is considered by many to be the world’s most famous locomotive after its name topped a National Railway Museum poll late last year. On 25 February 2016, the beloved steam engine made its inaugural journey, storming down its old East Coast stamping ground between London King’s Cross and York, reaching speeds of 75mph.
Now, the visiting public can stand right at the scene of the heart of the action that day, on the footplate of the oldest mainline working steam locomotive, and find out what makes a steam engine tick.
Paul Kirkman, Director of the National Railway Museum, said: “Our Scotsman Season is a tribute to all the people who have worked so hard to bring a legend back to life, from those that have worked on the restoration itself to the public that donated to our appeals. Getting on board is what our six week display is all about and apart from free cab access to Flying Scotsman itself our visitors can book tickets for a virtual journey on Service with Style, a carriage tour with a difference which uses cutting edge 3D binaural sound technology to bring stories of speed, innovation, fame and luxury associated with the world’s most famous loco to life.
Jamie Taylor, Interpretation Developer at the National Railway Museum explained:
“We’ve partnered with the award winning immersive design team A Taste Of Space and Curious Space known for last summer’s ‘Show Two Sides’ for Cornetto to create a really unique experience. Using new wireless technology, a world will unfold around our visitors as they are led through original carriages of the kind that would have travelled the flagship route, encountering fascinating characters that tell the tale of the different services the luxurious Flying Scotsman train had to offer, from a 1920’s cinema car to a 1930’s hair salon and cocktail bar.
Lorie Jo Trainor Buckingham, Creative Director for Taste of Space, added: We wanted to push people’s perceptions of the reality around them and offer a fully sensory experience that would allow the audience to feel like an actual passenger on board the Flying Scotsman. We decided using headphones with 3D binaural sound was the perfect way to create a fully immersive and theatrical experience for the Museum visitors.”
Flying Scotsman’s celebrity status was established when it was named after the renowned high speed passenger train service between London and Edinburgh, which was first referred to as The Flying Scotchman in 1875. “Starring Scotsman”, the National Railway Museum’s free exhibition examining the locomotive’s claims to fame, is also open to visitors until 19 June.
The latest Flying Scotsman liveried power car unveiled last Autumn by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was displayed nose to nose with its 1920’s – built counterpart to mark the opening day of the line-up furthering the story of the famous Flying Scotsman train onto the current day.
David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains on its East Coast route, said: “Flying Scotsman has an incredible history and we’re proud to be sponsoring a season celebrating its return to the tracks. In the pre-war era, the Flying Scotsman train symbolized speed and style – service qualities which remain important to our customers today. Our locomotive on display for today’s opening is a great showcase of the current service – our fantastic new Virgin Azuma trains in 2018 will make the four hour Edinburgh to London journey the norm – half the time it took the Flying Scotsman to do the journey non-stop before the war – and bring an even better customer experience with them.”
Tickets for Service with Style cost £8 and pre-booking is recommended. The National Railway Museum’s Scotsman Season is sponsored by Virgin Trains. “Stunts Speed and Style” and “Service with Style” runs until 8 May 2016. For the latest conversations about the return of Flying Scotsman, use or track #Flying Scotsman. For photos or stories about Flying Scotsman track #MyScotsman or visit;

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