National Geographic Traveller (UK)
MARK THE GLOBE-TROTTING TRAIN’S CENTENARY BY LEARNING ABOUT ITS RECORD-BREAKING FEATS
There’s much to celebrate on Flying Scotsman’s 100th birthday. Built in 1923, the world-famous steam train has broken all kinds of records in its history, becoming the first locomotive to officially hit 100mph and circumnavigate the globe. In 1989, it also ran the longest nonstop service by a steam locomotive, clocking 422 miles while touring Australia — a record that still stands today. Following an overhaul, it’s now ready to embark on a celebratory programme of events up and down the country.
Festivities kick off with a pair of exhibitions at its current home, York’s National Railway Museum. From 10 February, Flying Scotsman: 100 Years, 100 Voices will explore the train’s significance with stories from its makers, staff and passengers, while the original watercolour sketches from the new children’s book Flying Scotsman and the Best Birthday Ever will be on show from 11 February until 17 June. Later on, between 1-16 April, a new VR experience will encourage the entire family to delve into the locomotive’s 100-year history. railwaymuseum.org.net
Rail journeys will also be in order, including a ride from Bristol to Cornwall on 30 April, a day trip from Paddington to Cardiff on 7 June, and a weekend trip from King’s Cross, calling at York, Edinburgh and Aberdeen between 30
June and 4 July. From 14-31 August, Flying Scotsman will also make an appearance at the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, one of the
UK’s oldest preserved passenger lines. It’ll end its travels on 14 October with a day’s excursion along the Settle to Carlisle railway. railwaytouring.net bluebell-railway.com
The year-long birthday bash reaches the end of the line on 16 December. Flying Scotsman’s Centenary Festival at the National Railway Museum is set to be a hands-on celebration, featuring the build of a giant sand sculpture, railway-themed workshops and immersive activities — with the iconic train positioned just outside for all to see.