The Flying Scotsman is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year with a packed programme of events that gets changed or added to from time to time. See the updates on this post.
The Railway Touring Company (RTC) are running the lion’s share of day excursions in the early part of the summer, radiating out from London’s mainline stations. Then, later in the summer they switch to operating from York, Leeds and the Aire Valley travelling over the famous Settle & Carlisle Railway. These trips offer full dining (English breakfast & 3-course dinner), OR morning & afternoon tea & refreshments OR just travel in a reserved seat.
UPDATE (26/09/2023): Ticketing details for the Doncaster Stopover in November updated.
UPDATE (17/09/2023): Two new day excursions have been added to Flying Scotsman’s schedule in early December.
UPDATE (19/08/2023): Flying Scotsman will be on display at the National Railway Museum for Autumn half-term.
UPDATE (08/08/2023): A short weekend visit to Doncaster has been added to the programme in November.
UPDATE (03/08/2023): ‘The Waverley’ day trip on 06 Aug has been cancelled at the last minute due to an engineering issue with Flying Scotsman. Apparently a routine inspection has revealed excessive wear in her “locomotive cylinders”. The trip has been rescheduled for 19th November.
UPDATE (27/07/2023): Three new dates in October.
UPDATE (18/03/2023): Flying Scotsman at home at the National Railway Museum, 1 – 16 Apr , has now been extended to 23 April. Nine days at the beginning of August appear to have been freed up in the Flying Scotsman’s schedule by shifting her start date at the Bluebell Railway from 14 to 23 Aug. I would keep your eyes focused for an announcement on an addition to her programme in early August, after her Waverley trip on 6 Aug. AND there’s an addition in Sept. Flying Scotsman will be appearing on various dates on the Strathspey Railway.
UPDATE (02/02/2023): There are still a limited number of places on The Railway Touring Company’s Flying Scotsman Centenary Weekender tour on 30th June. However, the RTC’s ten mainline day tours with Flying Scotsman have sold out and waiting lists are now in operation. *
Flying Scotsman Programme for 2023
(Last Updated: 26/09/2023)
|The Flying Scotsman will be based at the 12 mile East Lancashire Railway for most of March, offering trips on 11, 12, 17 – 19 March, dining trips on 11, 17 – 18 March, and a chance to see her on static display on other days.|
|Flying Scotsman will be on display at the National Railway Museum in the newly updated Flying Scotsman Story exhibition, with the engine and tender separated to allow access onto the footplate.|
|Flying Scotsman will be pulling the Royal Duchy train from Bristol Temple Meads, to Yatton, Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth, Par and return. On route will be the stunning coastal route past Dawlish and Brunel’s Saltash Bridge over the River Tamar. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|The 4½-mile Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is well-known as the location for ‘The Railway Children’ movie. Flying Scotsman will be operating day trips, dining trips and static photo opportunities.|
|A day excursion from London Paddington through the Thames Valley and along the river Severn. Flying Scotsman will travel via Slough, Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel, Maindee Junction where it will use the triangle track to turn the train. A diesel will then take the train through Newport to Cardiff and later return it to Maindee for the return journey with Flying Scotsman to Paddington. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|Flying Scotsman will pull a special charter train, The Cheshireman from London Euston along the West Coast Main Line via Watford Jct, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Rugby, Nuneaton, Crewe, to Chester, and then return. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|Flying Scotsman will pull a special charter train, The Portsmouth Flyer from London Victoria to Portsmouth via Staines, Woking, Guildford, Haslemere Water, Fratton, Portsmouth and Southsea station, to Portsmouth Harbour. The return journey goes via Fareham, Southampton, Romsey, Laverstock, Andover, Basingstoke, and then retraces the outbound route through Woking & Staines to London Victoria. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|A day excursion from London Paddington to Salisbury, travelling outbound via Slough, Reading, Newbury Racecourse & Westbury. Then returning from Salisbury via Romsey, Southampton, Basingstoke & Reading to Paddington. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|A day excursion behind Flying Scotsman along its former LNER route from King’s Cross towards the Fens and Norfolk. The route goes via Hertford North, Stevenage, Cambridge, & Norwich to Great Yarmouth. The return goes via Wensum Curve before re-joining the outbound route at Ely. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|A weekend excursion on the Flying Scotsman’s old route from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh via York, and then on to Aberdeen before returning to York. Limited Spaces (02/02/2023)|
|These are day excursions from York on the spectacular Settle & Carlisle Railway. The trips runs via Leeds, Keighley & Skipton to Carlisle and then return to York.
|The programme for Flying Scotsman at the Bluebell Railway seems to have shifted. She was to have been on static display and running trips along the 11 mile railway through Sussex, between 14 -31 Aug. Now she’ll run non-stop return services between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead for a week between 23-29 Aug, and then be on static display at Sheffield Park from 30 Aug to 03 Sep. Bluebell have released some extra seats for the Gala Dinner on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 August and the Gala Breakfast on Monday 28 August. (18/04/2023).|
|Another day excursion from York on the spectacular Settle & Carlisle Railway, running via Leeds, Keighley & Skipton to Carlisle and then returning to York. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|15 Sep – 01 Oct||STP||Trips on Strathspey Railway (various dates)||On 16 & 17 Sept, Flying Scotsman will be on static display in light steam, attached to the LNER Coronation Beavertail observation car, and visitors will have the rare opportunity to walk through the corridor tender and visit the footplate. She’ll also be running 20-mile round trips from Aviemore on 23, 24, 30 Sept, and 1 Oct.|
|7 Oct||RTC||The Highland Express||A day trip departing Edinburgh Waverley for a journey to Inverness via Perth, returning in the evening. Ticket options include dining. NB the train is diesel-hauled on the outbound journey and steam-hauled by the Flying Scotsman on the return journey. New 27/07/2023|
|8 Oct||RTC||The Fife Circular||Three scenic circular 4-hr journeys from Edinburgh via the Forth Rail Bridge and Dunfermline, in the morning, afternoon and evening. New 27/07/2023|
|10 Oct||RTC||The Aberdeen Flyer||A day trip departing Edinburgh Waverley for Aberdeen and back. Ticket options include. New 27/07/2023|
|14 Oct||RTC||The Hadrian on the Settle & Carlisle Railway||A day trip from Derby, starting with a diesel to York (stopping also at Long Eaton, Beeston, Ilkeston, Alfreton, and Chesterfield to pick up more passengers). The Flying Scotsman joins at York to haul The Hadrian train, via Leeds, over the Settle to Carlisle Railway to Carlisle, and then down to Darlington, where she leaves the train. A diesel takes the train back via York to Derby. Sold out. Waitlisted.|
|21 Oct – 5 Nov||NRM||At home||Flying Scotsman is scheduled to be on static display on the turntable in Great Hall at the National Railway Museum over half-term. New 19/08/2023|
|11-12 Nov||NRM||Doncaster Stopover||The National Railway Museum have added a weekend event to the programme – Flying Scotsman will be staying two days at the Railport terminal in Doncaster. Tickets (free) to step onto her footplate will be available via the Doncaster Council website from 10.00am on 2nd October. Updated 26/09/2023|
|19 Nov||RTC||The Waverley on the Settle & Carlisle Railway||This is the new date for the 6 Aug trip cancelled due to engineering problems with Flying Scotsman. It’s a day excursion from York on the spectacular Settle & Carlisle Railway. The trip runs via Leeds, Keighley & Skipton to Carlisle and then return to York. It was sold out & waitlisted, but now there will be people who are unable to join her in Nov, so there may be some seats available (3/08/2023).|
|10 Dec||RTC||The Christmas Waverley on the Settle & Carlisle Railway||A day excursion from York on the Settle & Carlisle Railway to Carlisle and back. The train will call at Leeds, Keighley & Skipton. There’s a strong rumour that Flying Scotsman fan, Father Christmas, will be on board. (New 17/09/2023)|
|13 Dec||RTC||The Worcester Christmas Express||A day excursion to Worcester, starting from Cambridge with passengers joining at Ely, March & Peterborough, and returning in the evening. (New 17/09/2023)|
|Dec||LOC||On static display||Flying Scotsman is scheduled to be on display at the Locomotion museum in Shildon from 16 Dec 2023 – 2 Jan 2024.|
NRM = National Railway Museum
ELR = East Lancashire Railway
RTC = The Railway Touring Company
SDR = The Steam Dreams Rail Company
KWV = Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
LOC = Locomotion Museum
A1 = A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
MNR = Mid-Norfolk Railway
BBL = Bluebell Railway Trust
SRT = Swanage Railway Trust
STP = Strathspey Railway
Can I buy a ticket? It’s always sold out! Flying Scotsman RTC trips generally take around 600 people, so if a new date comes up and you are quick, you are in with a chance!
Flying Scotsman – the historic locomotive
Built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works, Flying Scotsman was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class – the most powerful locomotives used by the railway. She was quickly used by LNER for their long-distance express services, notably on the long-running (62 yrs) daily 10.00am London to Edinburgh ‘Flying Scotsman’ train service after which she was named.
She still holds two world records: the longest non-stop run at 441 miles (8 Aug 1989 in Australia), and the first steam locomotive officially authenticated at reaching 100 miles per hour (30 Nov 1934 in the UK).
The Flying Scotsman numbers game…
It’s easy to get confused over the identity of the ‘Flying Scotsman’ because she is sometimes referred to by different engine numbers.
When she came out of the Doncaster Works on 24th Feb (my birthday too! But I’m not yet 100!) 1923, she was Engine No. 1472.
Within a year she was re-numbered No. 4472, given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’, and introduced to the public at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition.
Then, in 1948, when the independent rail companies were nationalised and merged into British Railways, ‘Flying Scotsman’ became No. 60103.
* If you have missed out on travelling with the Flying Scotsman this year, RTC are operating over 50 mainline steam journeys this year using other historic steam locomotives. Eg. The 1927-built 46115 Scots Guardsmen is due to haul trains across the Settle & Carlisle Line. At 96 years old, Scots Guardsman is only a few years behind Flying Scotsman and has its own unique history as the star of the 1936 GPO film ‘Night Mail’. The 1938-built locomotive Princess Coronation Class Pacific 46233 Duchess of Sutherland will also be put through her paces working a number of RTC’s trains, as will 34067 Tangmere, 35028 Clan Line, 35018 British India Line and Black 5 No. 44932.