National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Steaming ahead



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. railwaymus­

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. railwaytou­

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.

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