Photos and video

Flying Scotsman on track for mainline return

Date posted 20 Jul 2015

Flying Scotsman continues to take shape in the workshop of Riley & Son (E) Ltd in the last phases of the painstaking £4m project to bring this steam legend back to life.

"We have come through all the critical milestones for a locomotive restoration and although there is a lot of work still to get through and parts to fit, there is nothing significant standing in the way of Scotsman coming back to steam."

said Colin Green, co-director at Riley and Son (E) Ltd who were appointed in October 2013 to complete the high profile restoration project to bring the 1923-built locomotive, the sole survivor of its class, back to Britain's tracks.

A major milestone is currently underway with the fitting of the equipment needed for the steam legend to operate on the mainline – the Train Monitoring Recorder and the Train Protection & Warning System. Once this is complete and some routine maintenance on the wheel bearings has also taken place, the world's most famous locomotive will have taken another significant step towards its much anticipated return.

Bob Gwynne, Curator of Collections and Research at the National Railway Museum who dropped in to check on the progress of the restoration said:

"The fitting of the equipment for the mainline really makes its return a reality. We still anticipate that the restoration work to return Flying Scotsman to steam will be completed in late 2015. This will be followed by a full programme of running in tests on heritage lines. Once it has built up sufficient mileage on the mainline - 1000 miles under its belt – and it's resplendent in its new BR green livery it will be ready for its long-anticipated inaugural run between London and York – a triumphant return home at long last."

The inaugural run will form the opening event for the February Flying Scotsman Season, a celebration of the fame and celebrity of the locomotive legend, to mark its anticipated return to the tracks. Highlights will include an exhibition exploring the highs and lows of the steam icon's rollercoaster career and a Flying Scotsman experience allowing first-hand access to the most famous train in the world. Further details will be announced later in the summer.

Once Scotsman's return to mainline operation is complete, a commercial partnership agreement has been reached, under which Riley & Son (E) Ltd will manage the operation of the locomotive for a period of two years. This will include a programme of on-going maintenance using Riley's vast experience of keeping steam locomotives on the tracks and in-depth knowledge of Flying Scotsman, as well as helping to resolve any issues that may arise during its return to mainline steam.


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
The workshop at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire).


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
The workshop at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire).

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
The front of Scotsman in the workshop (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire).

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
Engineers at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire).

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
Engineers enjoying a joke on the buffer beam (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire).


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
National Railway Museum Curator Bob Gwynne inspects progress (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire)


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
Engineers at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire)


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
Engineers at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire)


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
National Railway Museum Curator Bob Gwynne on the running plate (Credit - Peter Bryne/PA Wire)


Further links

Watch Tom Ingalls video when he reported for BBC News on 19 July 2015.

Major milestones in Scotsman's restoration - July 2015

Date posted 06 Jul 2015

Flying Scotsman's tender has now left our workshop, marking the complete departure of the locomotive from our site. Both locomotive and tender are now in the workshop of Riley & Son (E) Bury, and the equipment needed for the steam legend to operate on the mainline – the Train Monitoring Recorder and the Train Protection & Warning System - will be fitted over the coming weeks. Once this is complete and some routine maintenance on the wheel bearings has also taken place, the world's most famous locomotive will have taken another significant step towards its much anticipated return to steam.

Flying Scotsman Restoration at the National Railway Museum
Scotsman takes shape at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury (Credit - James Shuttleworth).


Flying Scotsman Restoration at the National Railway Museum
Tender leaves National Railway Museum's North Yard.

Flying Scotsman Restoration at the National Railway Museum
Tender on the traverser at Holgate after departure from the National Railway Museum.

Major milestones in Scotsman's restoration - May 2015

Date posted 01 May 2015

The restoration of Flying Scotsman passed two momentous milestones Riley & Son (E) Ltd this week with the boiler refit and partial re-wheeling in the yard outside the Bury workshop.

The boiler which has been on display in our museum workshop left the Great Hall after opening hours on Wednesday 29 April. The workshop team have been readying it for its departure, including making new components for the smokebox door, giving the famous locomotive its new guise as No 60103.

Our team at York have been playing a supporting role to the skilled heavy engineering work taking place at Bury and have now sent across the Pennines more than 90% of the components the engineers need to bring Scotsman back to steam. Our machinist is busy creating new components for the brake ejector from scratch, to ensure that the legend's brakes are fit for purpose when working at full boiler pressure.

The frames were successfully fitted to the wheels of the locomotive, followed by the boiler being reunited with the frames. The boiler will stay on the frames temporarily while some adjustments are made to the alignment.

The next milestone is the tender leaving our workshop ready to be reunited with the rest of the locomotive. Among other preparatory work including the refitting of overhauled airbrake components, our Engineering Manager is currently relocating the water gauge which will make it easy for the crew to assess the water level while travelling along the tracks, to a safer location.

Steady progress as the boiler leaves Great Hall (video).

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
The boiler in our Great Hall.


Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
The boiler being craned onto a low loader before the journey to Riley & Son (E) Ltd in Bury.

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
The frame being craned into position on top of the wheels.

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
With the boiler and cab in position it starts to take familiar shape of an A3 Class.

Flying Scotsman restoration at the National Railway Museum
Meanwhile, sparks fly in the York workshop as Engineering Manager Simon Holroyd repositions the water gauge on the tender of Flying Scotsman.


Progress at Riley & Sons - April 2015

Date posted 17 Apr 2015

The dedicated team at Riley & Son (E) Ltd have been busy making preparations for the re-wheeling of the locomotive, including a fresh coat of paint on the famous locomotive's wheel sets and the completion of the axle boxes.

Staff in the Bury workshop have also been hard at work refitting parts to the frames ready for the refitting of the boiler in the coming weeks, including the middle slide bar to the middle cylinder.

Flying Scotman restoration
Flying Scotsman's wheel sets.

Flying Scotman restoration
The cylinders on Flying Scotsman's frames.

Flying Scotman restoration
The frames and cylinders with staff from Riley & Son (E) Ltd assessing progress.


Flying Scotsman restorationNew face for the steam legend

Meanwhile, visitors to the balcony over our museum workshop can catch a glimpse of what the front of the famous locomotive will look like once complete – including its British Railways number, 60103. The engineering staff at York have been supporting the heavy engineering work under way in Bury with a range of tasks including this new look for the steam legend.

Engineering specialists, First Class Partnerships, are continuing to provide specialist engineering and project management advice to the museum with regards to this complex project.

Progress at Riley & Sons - March 2015

Date posted 06 Mar 2015

The team at Riley & Son (E) Ltd continue to progress on the project to bring Flying Scotsman back to Britain's tracks and the frames of the 1920's locomotive are now looking significantly different. The new buffer beam plate is attached and specialist painters from Heritage Painting have been painting components including the cylinders of the locomotive. Flying Scotsman will be painted BR Green and carry the number 60103 when it returns to steam.

The remaining works to be undertaken at Bury include the final fit of components and reconstruction of the A3 locomotive. Major milestones include the re-wheeling and the fitting of the boiler plus full 'running-in’ testing once the locomotive is complete.

Engineering specialists, First Class Partnerships, are continuing to provide specialist engineering and project management advice to the museum with regards to this complex project.

Flying Scotsman update March 2015
Scotsman's newly-painted cylinders.

Flying Scotsman update March 2015
Ian Hewitt of Heritage Painting paints the buffer beam plate.

Flying Scotsman update March 2015
Ian painting within Flying Scotsman's frame
.


Flying Scotsman update March 2015
Sparks fly in the background, with Scotsman's newly-painted cylinders in the foreground.


All Flying Scotsman marks and designs owned and registered by NMSIT Ltd. © NMSIT 2010. Flying Scotsman locomotive device is a Registered Trademark No. 2449033A.
Flying Scotsman nameplate device is a Registered Trademark No. 2057869. Science Museum ® is a Registered Trademark No. 2345143.
The National Railway Museum Collection is a Registered Trademark No. 2309517.