Photos and video

New Year update

Date posted 07 Jan 2015

The first stages of the weld process to unite Flying Scotsman's new frame sections with the existing frames took place before the Christmas break at the workshop of Ian Riley & Son (E) Ltd Bury.

The complex weld process was preceded by the fitting of the temporary jig to the new frame assembly of frame plates, smokebox saddle and middle cylinder for stabilisation purposes, the frame cut of 4472's old frames following further dimension and alignment checks and stabilising the whole new and old structure to restrict frame section movement during welding.

The weld temperature and control process was then set up and the first stage of the weld process – vertical weld runs on the new to old frame assembly - was successfully carried out.

The first horizontal 'Temper Bead' weld was also in place before the Christmas break, with the next being carried out early in the New Year.

Once the weld process and subsequent testing is complete the next steps in the project to bring the locomotive back to steam will be the commencement of the front end dimensioning, trialling and the final fit of components and reconstruction including the attachment of the new front buffer beam plate.

Flying Scotsman - restoration
Machining of one of the new piston heads to suit the new cylinder bore diameter.

Flying Scotsman - restoration
Side view of the new frame plate and smokebox saddle.

Flying Scotsman - restoration
The frame weld control equipment with Greg McGill (Riley and Sons) overseeing the weld process.

Flying Scotsman - restoration

Flying Scotsman update
The right hand old and new frame plates with the completed first stage vertical welds.


Flying Scotsman - restoration
The first 'Temper Bead' (horizontal) weld.

Progress at Riley & Sons - November 2014

Date posted 25 Nov 2014

The new frame sections and new smokebox saddle arrived in the workshop of Ian Riley & Son Ltd (E) Bury last week.

Progress with the Flying Scotsman restoration
Ahead of their journey to Riley & Son, the new frame sections were successfully aligned and pre-assembled to the three cylinders, blast pipe, and smokebox saddle at Arthur Stephenson's Engineers Ltd, Greater Manchester. The next stage of the restoration is to weld the new sections on to the existing frames. Picture by Riley & Son (E) Ltd staff.

Progress with the Flying Scotsman restoration
The new frames arrive at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, Bury

Progress with the Flying Scotsman restoration
The frames along with other components

Progress with the Flying Scotsman restoration
The frames in the workshop at Riley and Son (E) Ltd, Bury

Progress at Riley & Sons - October 2014

Date posted 08 Oct 2014

The additional work on the frames of Flying Scotsman is progressing according to plan. We are still working towards a 2015 completion date for the project to bring this iconic locomotive, the sole survivor of its class, back to Britain’s tracks.

Flying Scotsman restoration
Frames at Riley & Son

It was decided that new frame sections were required when a trial fitting of the cylinders to the frames earlier this year showed how badly out of alignment and elongated the mounting holes were. Although we always anticipated that some remedial work would be needed in this area, the amount of welding that would have been required would have necessitated a lot of heat to be applied in adjacent areas, with potential deformation of the frame plates.

Flying Scotsman restoration
Section of plate frame with crosses marked for painters

The new frame plates, which are 12ft in length and 1 1/8 inches thick, have now been manufactured at Arthur Stephenson’s Engineers Ltd, Greater Manchester. They will be trial assembled there with the smokebox saddle and other components that will assist their eventual fitting to the locomotive.

Flying Scotsman restoration
New plate frame sections completed

The work on the middle cylinder is now fully complete and the next stage in the project is the machining of the smokebox saddle and the making of a framework jig. Once this is complete, the trial assembly will take place and then the fitting of the new frame plates will commence at Riley & Son (E) Ltd.

Flying Scotsman restoration
Final stage of work on cylinders, now complete

Flying Scotsman restoration
New smokebox saddle ready for machining

Progress at Riley & Sons - August 2014

Date posted 18 Aug 2014

Last week (w/c 11 August) marked a milestone in the Flying Scotsman restoration project with the completion of the major works to the cylinders.

Although there are some smaller elements to finish still, the fitting of the new cylinder liners by the team at Riley & Son (E) Ltd in Bury last week means that the remedial work on the frames is now the major task in hand.

The liner is lifted into position by Dave Smith, Nick Bartle and Greg McGill at Riley & Son (E) Ltd:

Latest progress on the flying scotsman

Latest progress on the flying scotsman

4472's cylinder blocks with the new cylinder liners in place:

Latest progress on the flying scotsman

Latest progress on the flying scotsman

Progress at Riley & Sons - July 2014

Date posted 23 Jul 2014

The team at Riley & Son (E) Bury Ltd is still working hard on Flying Scotsman's cylinders and the work on all three cylinder blocks including the fitting of the new valve and cylinder liners will be complete in the next few weeks.

Some remediation work on the frames is needed to ensure the finished cylinders can be fitted in the correct location. 

Work is also being carried out on the buffer beam castings, the slide bar and motion brackets to make sure everything is correctly aligned.

We still anticipate a return to steam next year for this iconic locomotive, the sole survivor of the A3 class. 

1. The middle cylinder prior to liner fitting. The original holes have been filled, ready for drilling new holes in the correct alignment:

Flying Scotsman update from the NRM

2. Middle cylinder block. The mounting holes have been re-drilled and the valve liners have been inserted. This work will be finished in the next few weeks:

Flying Scotsman update from the NRM

3. One of the slide bars has new packing pieces machined, checked against original engineering drawings:

Flying Scotsman update from the NRM

4. New buffer beam components are manufactured from new plate:

Flying Scotsman update from the NRM

5. Cracks on the buffer beam castings have been marked up ready for remedial work:

Flying Scotsman update from the NRM


Flying Scotsman update from the NRM


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.