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In October the iconic steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman, will be visiting Cornwall. Read on for our guide to its maiden journey in the county.
Built in Doncaster during the early 1920’s, the locomotive was the first to belong to the recently formed London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the powerful A1 class.
Originally released in 1923 with number 1472, the train later appeared at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924, having been renumbered 4472 and given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the rail service connecting London to Edinburgh.
This exhibition made the locomotive famous and Flying Scotsman appeared at a number of publicity events for the LNER. In 1928, due to a new type of tender, it was able to haul the first non-stop London to Edinburgh service, reducing the journey time to just 8 hours.
Flying Scotsman has achieved two records during its time. In the November of 1934 the locomotive was the first in the UK to reach speeds of 100 mph and in the August of 1989 it travelled 422 miles (679 kilometers) non-stop, which is the longest run by a steam locomotive recorded.
Over the years Scotsman has travelled from Britain to America to Australia, effectively sailing the world! After a crisis of ownership in the early 2000’s, the locomotive was in danger of being lost. Luckily a campaign headed by the National Railway Museum supported by thousands of people saved it, confirming the locomotive’s status as a national treasure. After undergoing an extensive restoration the Scotsman was ready for its inaugural run of the UK in 2016.
On Saturday 6th October Flying Scotsman will be making not just one, but two journeys to Cornwall. The initial run is from Plymouth to Cornwall’s most westerly town Penzance, and due to the extra demand, Steam Dreams have added an additional journey from Plymouth to the fishing port of Par, on Cornwall’s South Coast.
The trains leaving Plymouth on both runs will be double-headed by 60103 Flying Scotsman and B1 Mayflower. The trip will be diesel hauled on the return journey.
The Plymouth-Penzance journey sets off from Plymouth at 9.00 and arrives in Penzance for 11.00. It will then have a break of 2 hours before setting off 13.00 and returning to Plymouth by 15.00.
The Plymouth-Par journey departs Plymouth at 17.00 and returns at 19.15, with just a quick 15 minute stop at Par to change locos.
The Plymouth-Penzance journey is sold out, however there are still tickets available for Plymouth-Par.
If you can’t ride the train, but would like to see the world-famous locomotive in action, read on for a list of towns that Flying Scotsman will pass through.
Beginning in Plymouth the train double-headed by Flying Scotsman and Mayflower will cross Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Saltash Bridge (or Royal Albert Bridge). It will then pass straight through popular destinations such as Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel, Par, St Austell, Truro, Redruth and Hayle, finally ending in Penzance.
This journey will follow the same route as above, but stop at Par and return to Plymouth.