Flying Scotsman Trips in 2023 – 100th Anniversary

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 (18/12/2023) An interesting article in the Yorkshire Post newspaper, speculating on Flying Scotsman’s future. It is mainly based on the views of rail enthusiasts in specialist forums, like this.

UPDATE (14/12/2023) Flying Scotsman’s programme for the next year (2024) would normally have been revealed by now, or at least some of it. The statement released a few days ago by the National Railway Museum, saying they are carefully considering Flying Scotsman’s future now that the contract with her operators is up for review, might explain the delay. They clearly are intending to operate some mainline trips in future. We just don’t know how many. Watch this space. 

UPDATE (08/10/2023) Flying Scotsman’s excursions on 8th (today) &  10th October are now confirmed. The rest of her programme should be as listed.

UPDATE (07/10/2023) Flying Scotsman has had her full inspection, following her shunting accident, and has been passed for mainline operation. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) says they don’t need to hold onto her for their inquiry into the accident. So the National Railway Museum has said that her  planned schedule is back on track, and had anticipated that would start with today’s Highland Express excursion from Edinburgh to Inverness. HOWEVER, the Amber Weather Alert for rain and floods, issued by the Met Office has triggered mainline rail cancellations. LNER are not running services north of Newcastle today (7th Oct), and no services will run between Edinburgh and Inverness tomorrow (8th October). Flying Scotsman’s schedule has been similarly affected, although the Railway Touring Company have said they are switching her route to Aberdeen for today’s excursion. Her excursions on 8th &  10th October are listed as ‘To Be Confirmed’.

UPDATE (09:40am 30/09/2023) Yesterday at 7.10pm in the evening, Flying Scotsman was involved in a “slow speed”” crash as it was being coupled with the Royal Scotsman carriages at Aviemore, home to Strathspey Railway heritage railway. The incident was serious enough that eight fire & rescue vehicles attended. Two people, a crew member and a member of the public, were taken to hospital as a precaution and later released. There is, as yet, no word on any damage to Flying Scotsman or the Royal Scotsman carriage set. Nor is it known what effect this incident will have on Flying Scotsman’s schedule. She was due to be taking trips on Strathspey Railway today and tomorrow. Her 0900 departure was cancelled, but a Strathspey Railway spokesman said they plan to operate the scheduled 1100 departure using their locomotive, Ivatt No. 46512. Flying Scotsman awaits an inspection. LATEST (11:45am) It appears the 11:00am departure was cancelled too.

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: 19/11/2023)

1 – 25 Mar ELR Trips on the East Lancashire Railway 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.
1 – 23 Apr NRM Flying Scotsman at home 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.
30 Apr RTC The Royal Duchy – a day trip to Devon & Cornwall 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.
1 – 24 May KWV Trips on the ‘Railway Children Line’ 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.
7 Jun RTC Cardiff Express from London 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.
10 Jun RTC Cheshireman from London Euston 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.
17 Jun RTC Portsmouth Flyer from London Victoria 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.
21 Jun RTC Salisbury Express from London Paddington 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.
24 Jun RTC Great Yarmouth Flyer from London King’s Cross 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.
30 Jun – 4 Jul RTC Flying Scotsman Centenary Weekender 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)
9 Jul & 6 Aug RTC The Waverley on the Settle & Carlisle Railway 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. Both sold out. Waitlisted. 6 Aug trip now postponed to 19 Nov
23 Aug – 03 Sep BBL Trips on the Bluebell Railway 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).
10 Sep RTC The Waverley on the Settle & Carlisle Railway 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)
16 Dec – 07 Jan LOC On static display Flying Scotsman is scheduled to be on display at the Locomotion museum in Shildon from 16 Dec 2023 – 7 Jan 2024 (5 days longer than originally scheduled). The event is free to attend but (free) museum admission tickets must be booked prior to arrival and parking on site will be limited.


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).

Flying Scotsman  is owned by the National Railway Museum (Review here) and operated and maintained by Riley & Son (E) Ltd.

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.

Image: Flying Scotsman at Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway, 18 April 2017 – Nigel Menzies (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

* 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.

Further Reading Pound sign



Join the Conversation →

  1. My family and I are planning a trip to England (from Florida!!) just to ride the Flying Scotsman on my son’s birthday 11/19/23. I check every day for ticket availability and there is never any available. I need 4.
    Is there another place I can buy tickets for that ride? I am desperate to make my son’s dream come true…..

    amy / Reply
    • Hi Amy

      I don’t think I can offer any comfort on this one. RTC are the only ticket source. It’s their train. I’m sure The Waverley trip on the 19th Nov is sold out and there is probably a wait list. You might see if you can get on it, there are always last minute cancellations (people’s plans change). You might try their website chat ( I don’t think it is an AI bot. Even better would be to phone them +44 1553 661 500. They can at least tell you what the chances are.

      Failing that, there are other steam engines, though the chances of finding a mainline ride at this stage are slim. Steam Dreams for example have a steam trip from London to York the day before (18 Nov) but it is already sold out. Again, there might be a waitlist. The fall-back might be to visit one of the heritage railways (they have their own tracks & trains). For example, I see Bluebell Railway has a ‘festive trip‘ on 23 Nov.

      I can’t find a simple list of the principle heritage railways (I might draw one up myself), but here’s a map that might give you an idea of what’s out there.

      Alastair / Reply (in reply to amy)
  2. Trying to book tickets for the flying Scotsman
    Wednesday 17th December express
    The Worcester Christmas ex press

    Jane jones 15 foxes way comberton cambridge cb23 7 dl


    Jane jones / Reply
    • Hi Jane, there isn’t an excursion on 17 Dec that I’m aware of, yet. You may have read “New 17/09/23” as 17 Dec, but this is the date I listed it. I’m not an agent btw. Any tickets would have to be booked with Railway Touring Company

      Alastair / Reply (in reply to Jane jones)
      • I work at a retirement home in Colchester Essex and have a lady whose wish is to go on the flying Scotsman. Is there anything up coming in London I could possibly book? It would absolutely mean the world to her. Many thanks!

        Sarah Duplock / Reply (in reply to Alastair)
        • Hi Sarah, Sadly I don’t see any London events in this year’s programme (that could change, but unlikely), and next year’s programme hasn’t been announced yet.

          Alastair / Reply (in reply to Sarah Duplock)
  3. Has there been any update in the tickets for the Doncaster visit, would love to take my dad

    Abbie / Reply
    • Hi Abbie, No I haven’t seen anything yet. They have slipped in a half-term appearance at the National Railway Museum over the half term (before Doncaster) but nothing yet on Doncaster or ticketing. It can’t be long, the mayor of Doncaster announced it with great aplomb! 😉

      Alastair / Reply (in reply to Abbie)
  4. Any tickets left for August 11 th to 12 th to see flying scotsman at doncaster please

    Pkirkham / Reply
  5. one trip in the southwest but thenanywhere west of london does not exist

    sunshine / Reply
    • As I recall, there were a lot of complaints that the original schedule didn’t go any further north than Edinburgh. They addressed them by adding the Weekender trip to Aberdeen at the end of June. If enough people complain that the Southwest is being short-changed, maybe there could be another tweak to the schedule.

      Alastair / Reply (in reply to sunshine)
  6. Definitely a pattern there as per usual, it’s all about London.

    Steve Ballantyne / Reply
  7. Very Disappointing there will not be a stop during Centenary year at Doncaster the Birth Place of the Flying Scotsman.

    Linda woodhead / Reply
  8. Disappointing to see that Flying Scotsman is only making one trip to Scotland, but not surprising. About time organisers realise that there is a world north of the border and offer more than just a token gesture. Very poor!

    Shane Rodgers / Reply
  9. Only one trip to Scotland and nothing on the West Coast line. Very disappointing.

    Mary / Reply
  10. Flying Scotsman will always be number 4472 to me, that’s the number I grew up with and I’m now 68.

    Ron Hallas / Reply

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