1948: Fly­ing Scots­man makes first non-stop run since the war

The Herald - - OPINION - Pic­tures from our ar­chive


THE cel­e­brated train, the Fly­ing Scots­man, made its first post-war, non-stop jour­ney from Lon­don to Ed­in­burgh on June 1, 1948.

The Lord Mayor of Lon­don, Sir Fred­er­ick Wells, went to plat­form 8 at King’s Cross to wave it off. The train awaited him, gleam­ing with fresh paint but now bear­ing - rather sketchily in­scribed, on the ten­der, the leg­end of Bri­tish Rail, which had not long come into be­ing.

The Lord Mayor shook hands with the train’s driver and fire­man, then with the guard, to whom he gave a let­ter to be de­liv­ered to the Lord Provost of Ed­in­burgh. At 10am the sta­tion mas­ter handed Sir Fred­er­ick a green flag, and the train was waved off.

Apart from the restau­rant cars, it was an en­tirely new train. “The steel coaches,” wrote our Fleet Street cor­re­spon­dent, “are air-con­di­tioned, there is a buf­fet lounge car, and ladies’ rooms for both first- and third-class pas­sen­gers.” Its driver, one McLeod, had worked on the Scots­man be­tween Ed­in­burgh and New­cas­tle for years. Nei­ther he nor the fire­man, Mr Inglis, had ever been in Lon­don be­fore.

To­day’s pho­to­graph was taken at Waver­ley the day be­fore, as the Scost­man pre­pared to make its first non-stop jour­ney down south since the end of the war. The driver, Wil­liam Bell, of Ed­in­burgh, was at pains to make sure the train was in full work­ing or­der, and is seen here oil­ing wheel bear­ings be­fore set­ting off.

▪ Copies of our ar­chive pho­to­graphs can be pur­chased by email­ing pho­toen­[email protected] her­al­dand­times.co.uk or via our web­site www.thep­ic­ture­desk.co.uk

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