One of Britain’s best-loved steam locomotives, the Flying Scotsman, is making an eagerly awaited return to the tracks in Lancashire in the New Year.
The East Lancashire Railway, a heritage railway running 12 miles between Rawtenstall and Heywood through Bury, is selling the hottest ticket around, for the ‘Scotsman in Steam Preview’ event which takes place on 9 to 10 and 16 to 17 January.
It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, entailing a host of themed experiences to appeal to all, from those simply wanting to catch a glimpse of the iconic engine to die-hard Scotsman fans.
The A3 Pacific 4-6-2 locomotive, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built for the London and North Eastern Railways’ non-stop King’s Cross to Edinburgh run, is owned by the National Railway Museum.
It has undergone a decade-long £4.2 million restoration and for the past two years has been at steam and diesel engineering specialists Riley and Son Ltd in Bury.
“It has undergone a decade-long £4.2 million restoration”
Instead of its familiar green livery, the loco is being turned out in ‘Wartime Black’ livery.
Visitors to the railway can enjoy a trip behind this famous loco, reserving not only a place in history but bragging rights too and can also indulge with a luxury on-board dining experience, including a six-course Premium Dining Evening and traditional Sunday afternoon Lancastrian Lunch.
Andy Morris, general manager at the East Lancashire Railway, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to host the celebrated locomotive. As one of the world’s most famous engines, Flying Scotsman resonates with many and it is hoped that its accolade as one of the greatest transport achievements of all time, combined with nostalgic appeal and celebrity, will encourage audiences from the north-west and beyond to sample this slice of history.
“Flying Scotsman is an important part of our railway heritage and is widely known as ‘the people’s engine’. We have done our utmost to reflect this ethos by keeping a return journey behind the locomotive at our standard Freedom of the Line ticket price to make this special event accessible and attractive to all.
“We have developed a range of visitor experiences for our ‘Scotsman in Steam Preview’ event to appeal to different visitor interests, from a ride behind the famous engine to an exclusive dining evening and even a behind the scenes photography course.