‘Scotsman’ the star attraction for KX’s 170th birthday

One hundred and seventy years of King’s Cross station were celebrated with the display of A3 steam locomotive Flying Scotsman on October 14-16.

The first day, reserved for media and guests, coincided with the exact anniversary of the opening of the original Great Northern Railway station. It was followed by two days of public display and access.

Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy CBE highlighted the unique public attraction of “the most popular locomotive in the world”, which was positioned throughout at the buffer stops on Platform 8.

“We can’t get in the way of the normal railway, but actually our own people like doing this,” he told RAIL. “A lot of the 170th anniversary stuff here has been done by the station staff. What could you not like about this?”

Hendy was joined in visiting the footplate of the National Railway Museum’s 99-year-old locomotive by NR Chief Executive Andrew Haines. And pre-recorded station announcements by MP-turned-travel presenter Michael Portillo proclaimed ‘Scotsman’s’ litany of speed and non-stop records, while a brass band accompanied frequent blasts on the locomotive’s shrill whistle.

“I think the whole thing has come a long way,” added Hendy. “Working on the railways is not just a job, it’s a vocation. And people do like it - and the fact that it has great history, iconic buildings and iconic trains is terrific.”

This isn’t the first time that Flying Scotsman has been used to promote the contemporary railway. Its London North Eastern Railway parentage made it especially useful in publicity terms to the 21st century train operating company of the same name.

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 31/10/2022 22:27

    The 99 year old, living rail legend LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman is a 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotive built for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works to a design of Nigel Gresley. It was employed on long-distance express East Coast Main Line trains by the LNER and its successors, British Railways Eastern and North-Eastern Regions, notably on the London to Edinburgh Flying Scotsman train service after which it was named. The locomotive set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated as reaching 100 miles per hour (161 km/h) on 30 November 1934, and then setting a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on 8 August 1989 while in Australia.. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 31/10/2022 22:35

    Retired from regular service in 1963 after covering 2.08 million miles, the A3 steam locomotive Flying Scotsman enjoyed considerable fame in preservation under the ownership of, successively, Alan Pegler, William McAlpine, Tony Marchington, and finally the National Railway Museum (NRM). As well as hauling railway enthusiast specials in the United Kingdom, the locomotive toured extensively in the United States and Canada from 1969 until 1973 and Australia in 1988 and 1989. Flying Scotsman has been described as the world's most famous steam locomotive and Hornby Railways [the renowned British model railways manufacturing company] used the historic engine as its Centenary Year edition logo. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 31/10/2022 23:06

    The majestic King's Cross railway station (also known as London King's Cross), is a square on the British Monopoly board. The other three stations in the game are Marylebone, Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street, and all four were LNER termini at the time the game was being designed for the British market in the mid-1930s. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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    • D - 29/11/2022 00:22

      Thank you for your extended commentary, it's always great to share in the knowledge of others.

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