Monday 21 July 2014

The Flying Scotsman

The first Flying Scotsman, a green apple painted train, left London for Edinburgh back in 1862.  It set a record for the first steam locomotive to reach 100 miles per hour in 1934.  After a century of service, the Flying Scotsman made its last run in 1963.  

The Flying Scotsman was the dream of Nigel Gresley.  The first locomotive took ten and a half hours to travel the 392 miles from the English to the Scottish capital.  Only first and second class passengers were sold tickets; third class had to find another mode of transportation.  

Nigel Gresley and passengers on board the Flying Scotsman circa 1928 courtesy 

IN 1923, a new locomotive was built with such a large tender that it could carry nine tons of coal.  Without the need to stop for refueling the Flying Scotsman made the trip within eight hours.  By now, third class passengers were also sold tickets.  

The train featured a cocktail bar, a Louis XVI themed restaurant and even a cinema coach for a short time. In the hair salon, female passengers could get a new coif while male passengers could get shaved with a straight razor.  

In 1924 and 1925, the Flying Scotsman served as the "flagship" for the railroad company at the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley.  Four years later, the train starred in its own movie bearing the same name.  

In 1963, the Flying Scotsman made its last run from King's Cross Station to Waverley Station.  It was about to be sold for scrap, but was saved from the scrapyard by a local businessman.  Next year plans are in order to restore it once again.  

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