Flying Scotsman restoration update

29 Oct 2013

The National Railway Museum has today announced that work to complete the restoration to mainline operation of the iconic locomotive Flying Scotsman, will be undertaken by Riley & Son (E), Bury. The locomotive is moving from York to Bury today.

The announcement comes during the Museum's Autumn Great Gathering showcase, a celebration of another Gresley–designed steam giant, the world's fastest locomotive Mallard which broke the world speed record 75 years ago. The dazzling display of all six survivors of Gresley’' A4 class pulled in 20,000 visitors in its opening weekend.

Taking the advice of engineering specialists First Class Partnerships, a decision was made earlier this year to complete the remaining stages of the project using an external contractor and tenders were sought. Riley & Son (E), Bury were appointed as an outcome of their successful bid to take on this high profile project –making a 1920s locomotive, the sole survivor of the A3 class, fit to operate within the stringent requirements of today’s modern railway network.

Paul Kirkman, Director of the National Railway Museum, commented:

"We are pleased to have appointed a contractor with the specialist skills and expertise required for the final stages of the project. We are now progressing cautiously towards completing the restoration, subject to reviewing the condition of the main side frames. We are currently showcasing British engineering genius, with our Mallard 75 Autumn Great Gathering celebration so it’s great that we can now announce the next step for another Gresley-designed icon. Now contracts are signed, Flying Scotsman will leave our museum for Bury so work can commence as soon as possible."

Ian Riley, Director of Riley & Sons, added:

"We have been closely involved with this complex project to restore this iconic locomotive to working order. We are delighted to have been selected to work together with the museum to see the restoration through to completion and its first two years of operation."

The remaining works that will be undertaken at Bury include the alignment of the middle steam cylinder. All three steam cylinders are also currently oversize and need to be fitted with new liners and rebored to a nominal 19 inch diameter. This corrective work on the cylinders means that they will have to be separated from the frames of the well-known locomotive.

There is a small section of the main side frames that cannot be examined until the steam cylinders are removed. A final assessment of the viability of the restoration will be made once the condition of this final piece of the locomotive is known.

First Class Partnerships will continue to provide specialist engineering and project management advice to the museum.

The timescales involved with the remaining stages mean that Flying Scotsman will not operate on the mainline before Summer 2015.

Once the return to mainline operation is complete, a commercial partnership agreement has been reached, under which Riley & Sons will manage the operation of the locomotive for a period of two years. This will include a programme of ongoing maintenance and helping to resolve any issues that may arise.

For more information about Flying Scotsman visit our microsite.

For more information please contact:

Catherine Farrell, Senior Press Officer, National Railway Museum
01904 686281

Background: L&SWR Adams 563