Flying Scotsman
  • Number: 4472, formerly 1472, 502, 103 and 60103
  • Friends: Everyone (except Spencer)
  • Enemies: Spencer, Gordon (sometimes)
  • Class: LNER A3 "Pacific", formerly LNER A1 "Pacific"
  • Designer: Sir Nigel Gresley
  • Builder: Doncaster Works
  • Built: 1923, rebuilt 1947
  • Restored: 1968, 2016
  • Configuration: 4-6-2
  • Top Speed: 100 mph

Flying Scotsman, an LNER Class A3 4-6-2, is the last of Gordon's brothers. He holds the records for being the first engine to officially run at 100 mph in 1934, and having the longest non-stop run for a steam engine, which was 442 miles/711 kilometres non-stop while on tour in Australia in 1989.


coming soon


60103 ended service with British Railways in 1963 and was sold for preservation to Alan Pegler, who had him restored as closely as possible to his original LNER condition. He then worked a number of rail-tours, including a non-stop London–Edinburgh run in 1968 – the year steam traction officially ended on BR. As watering facilities for locomotives had by then disappeared, a second eight-wheel tender was adapted as an auxiliary water tank.

In 1969, he went on a promotional tour to the USA, where he was fitted with a cowcatcher, a high-intensity headlamp, a bell, air brakes and buckeye couplings. The trip was initially a success, but when Pegler's backers withdrew their support he began to lose money and was finally bankrupted in 1972. Fears then arose for his future, the speculation being that he could take up permanent residence in America or even be cut up. Fortunately, in January 1973 William McAlpine stepped in at the eleventh hour and had him repaired and repatriated.

In 1988, Flying Scotsman travelled to Australia to take part in the country's bicentenary celebrations. There, he set another record, travelling 442 miles/711 kilometres from Parkes to Broken Hill non-stop, the longest such run by a steam locomotive ever recorded.

In recent years Flying Scotsman has continued to have an eventful existence. In 1995 he was in pieces at Southall depot in West London and facing an uncertain future owing to the cost of restoration and refurbishment necessary to meet the stringent engineering standards required for main line operation. Salvation came in 1996 when Dr. Tony Marchington bought him and had him restored to running condition at a cost of some £750,000. During his overhaul between 1996 and 1999, Flying Scotsman's vacuum brakes were removed and replaced with air brakes.

In 2004 Flying Scotsman was put up for sale because of the mounting debts of its owning company. After a high-profile campaign, he was bought in April by the National Railway Museum in York and is now part of the national collection. Between 2006-16, Flying Scotsman underwent a major overhaul at the NRM and was originally due to resume running in summer 2011. The overhaul took much longer than expected due to the National Railway Museum's decision to rebuild Flying Scotsman's "spare" A3-type boiler rather than rebuilding his A4-type boiler, which he had fitted in his last overhaul between 1996 and 1999. The copper inner firebox from Flying Scotsman's "spare" boiler was rebuilt - only for the engineers to discover some faulty welds, which meant that it was sent back to the boiler works in Devon to be mended again. Also, a decision had been made to replace the air brakes with more effective vacuum brakes.

In February 2011, Flying Scotsman was nearing the end of his extensive and expensive overhaul when his boiler passed its steam test. Nearing completion of reassembly at the East Lancashire Railway's workshops in Bury, he was repainted in wartime black carrying two numbers "103" and "502" and sent to the National Railway Museum for a public launch on 27 May 2011 on the Great Hall's turntable.

However, Flying Scotsman returned to Bury, Lancashire for his reassembly to be completed - only for the engineers to discover that, when they were carrying out the fitting of the air brake system, there were five cracks in the hornblocks (metal inserts in the frames to guide the axleboxes). As a result, Flying Scotsman was again dismantled with his frames lifted from his wheels so that an ultrasonic test on the frames could be carried out. Unfortunately, more cracks had been discovered in the main frame stretcher, which required the boiler to be lifted out of the frames. This latest setback meant that Flying Scotsman would not be back in steam until April 2012 as originally planned. In July and August 2011, the National Railway Museum banned photography of Flying Scotsman as a result of these setbacks. However, the ban was lifted on 30 September 2011 when the National Railway Museum held a press conference at Bury where it was announced that an investigation was launched to find out why the cracks in the frames were not discovered before.

In the midst of Flying Scotsman's setback, Doctor Tony Marchington, Flying Scotsman's third owner (1996-2004), sadly passed away aged 55 on 16 October 2011. This was closely followed by the passing of Alan Pegler, Flying Scotsman's first owner (1963-1972), on 18 March 2012, aged 91.

Flying Scotsman took part at Railfest in the first week of June 2012. However, he missed out on the Barrow Hill Eastern Region-themed gala in April, as well as the Olympic Torch relay in the third week of June 2012 as further work had mounted up on his over-running and highly expensive overhaul.

Flying Scotsman's appearance at Railfest received mixed reviews, as he was still in his wartime black livery, but without his side rods. Following his appearance at Railfest, Flying Scotsman was put back inside the museum's workshop to be completed.

On 26 October 2012, an inquiry report investigating Flying Scotsman's troublesome overhaul was published. The investigation discovered failings at every level of the overhaul due to the lack of an overhaul plan, which has been considered a massive embarrassment for the National Railway Museum (NRM).

Sadly, prior to Christmas 2012, another major mechanical flaw was found on Flying Scotsman - his middle cylinder was discovered to be out of alignment by half an inch. This resulted in Flying Scotsman being dismantled for a fourth time. On March 2013, another report produced by First Class Partnerships declared that Flying Scotsman's lengthy overhaul would not be finished until 2015.

In October 2013, Flying Scotsman's chassis had once again been sent to Bury, Lancashire for further restoration (his boiler and tender remained in the National Railway Museum). A month later, his chassis successfully passed an ultrasonic test (no cracks found in the chassis), meaning that further work on the cylinders can once again progress.

Flying Scotsman returned to steam on 7 January 2016 at the East Lancashire Railway with a series of test runs following. A return to main line service and an official inaugural run between King's Cross and York followed a month later.


In the Railway Series and television series, Flying Scotsman is painted in LNER green with black and yellow lining with LNER painted in yellow on his tender side. In the television series, his pistons are painted a darker green and he lacks lining on his bufferbeam.

Choice of livery is a subject of controversy amongst those involved in the preservation of historic rolling stock and Flying Scotsman has attracted more than his fair share, the result of forty years' continuous service during which he has undergone several changes to his livery. Alan Pegler's option was evidently to return him as far as possible to the general appearance and distinctive livery he carried at the height of his fame. A later option was to reinstall the double Kylchap chimney and German smoke deflectors that he carried at the end of his career in the 1960s; this encouraged more complete combustion, a factor in dealing with smoke pollution and fires caused by spark throwing. More recently, until his current overhaul, he was running in an anachronistic hybrid form retaining the modernised exhaust arrangements while carrying the LNER "Apple Green" livery of the 1930s. Some believe that the more famous LNER colour scheme should remain; others take the view that, to be authentic, only BR "Brunswick Green" livery should be used when he is carrying these later additions – the issue is further complicated by the fact that while in BR "Brunswick Green" livery he never ran with the corridor tender. Other liveries that Flying Scotsman has had are the "Wartime Black" livery and the British Railways "Express Passenger Lined Blue" livery.

For a public relaunch in May 2011, the National Railway Museum repainted him in unlined "Wartime Black", with number 502. Following his return to steam, Flying Scotsman remained in "Wartime Black" for his first month of service in 2016 and was repainted into BR "Brunswick Green" livery in February that same year.


Flying Scotsman is a polite and proud engine, however he can be pompous and somewhat smug; like his brother Gordon. Despite being friendly with Thomas and giving him a pep talk, he thought that no famous engines came from Sodor and indicated that he viewed Sudrian engines with low expectations but later changed his mind after seeing the Sodor engines competing at the Great Railway Show, realising they were made of "sterner stuff" than he initially believed.

Scotsman enjoys teasing Gordon, referring to him as his "little brother" to annoy him, using his catchphrase as his own or bragging about being invited to the Great Railway Show but does care for him as when Gordon was overheating during the race, he urgently tried warning him to stop.



  • He was intended to have a larger role in the third season episode Tender Engines, however, the modelling crew could not afford to build the entire engine.
    • This creates a hole in continuity: in Tender Engines, Gordon does not recognize Flying Scotsman, whereas they are immediately established as brothers in The Great Race.
  • In The Great Race, Flying Scotsman refers to Gordon as his "little brother", a title the latter is not particularly fond of, even though Gordon is older and they are the same size. This relation, however, is tied to their being the same class but of differing upgrades or Scotsman was just teasing him.
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