WANSFORD HOSPITALITY NETS FLYING SCOTSMAN AS NRM CONFIRMS IAN RILEY CONTRACT RENEWAL
To say thank you for hosting Flying Scotsman when it required repairs in October last year, the National Railway Museum has confirmed that the celebrity ‘A3’ will return to the Nene Valley Railway in 2018. It comes as the NRM confirmed that engineering firm Riley & Son (E) Ltd would continue operating and maintaining the 1923-built locomotive until 2024. The confirmation follows two months after the NRM announced that the firm was the “preferred supplier to operate and maintain” the Gresley ‘A3’ (see Down Main, SR475) and that there was an agreement in principle for Ian Riley’s continued custodianship of the engine. In addition to day-to-day running and maintenance, the six-year contract includes a comprehensive overhaul in 2022, followed by planned celebrations to mark Flying Scotsman’s centenary in 2023. The Gresley ‘Pacific’ will be in action on the WansfordPeter borough line on September 29-October 1, its first working visit to the NVR since 1994, when it was similarly turned out as No. 60103 in its later BR guise with double chimney and German smoke deflectors. Flying Scotsman used the yard at Wansford for several days after it failed during a Steam Dreams railtour on October 18 last year with a warm right-hand middle driving axlebox, requiring three cranes to lift the 96¼-ton locomotive so the offending wheelset could be removed for re-metalling (see SR473). Preliminary details of Flying Scotsman’s schedule for 2018 have also been released, including a return visit to the East Lancashire Railway on several dates throughout the year. No. 60103 will be on public display on the HeywoodRaw tens tall line on March 10/11, March 30-April 2 and September 9, and will be hauling passenger trains on May 12/13, August 24-27 and September 5-8. No visits to other preserved railways have been announced. Ian Riley of Riley & Son (E) Ltd said: “I am very pleased that we have been appointed to maintain and operate Flying Scotsman for the next six years, which will enable us to develop a long-term plan for the care and management of this world-renowned engine. “The success is down to the skills, experience and hard work of the whole team, who have spent many hours working on the locomotive from restoration to the present day. Flying Scotsman is definitely a special engine and the chance to work with such a well-loved locomotive again is a real privilege.”
‘A3’ No. 60103 Flying Scotsman passes under Mill Lane bridge with a Wansford-bound train on July 2 1994, during its last working visit to the Nene Valley Railway.