There will be a real treat for train enthusiasts in Melton when the iconic Flying Scotsman visits the town’s station after being restored at a cost of £4.2 million.
The steam locomotive, which was built in 1923, will leave London Victoria station on June 4 next year en route for York on one of a number of journeys commissioned by heritage rail operator, the Railway Touring Company.
It will pick up passengers in St Albans, Luton, Bedford, Kettering and Melton along the way, with staff serving optional refreshments including coffee and pastries, afternoon tea, a full English breakfast or a four-course dinner.
Jim Lowe, head of operations at the York-based National Railway Museum, which owns the Flying Scotsman, said, “Along with all our generous supporters for this complex project, we have all been looking forward to the day when Flying Scotsman is once again running on Britain’s tracks and can be enjoyed by the thousands of people who will ride behind it and catch a glimpse as it travels past.”
The Flying Scotsman is probably the world’s most famous train and got its name from the the London to Edinburgh rail service it operated so effectively.
In 1928, it was given a new type of tender with a corridor, which meant that a new crew could take over without stopping the train, allowing it to haul the first ever non-stop London to Edinburgh service and reducing the journey time to eight hours. Six years later, it became the first locomotive to clock speeds of 100mph.
British Rail retired the Flying Scotsman in 1963 when steam trains were becoming outdated but 52 years later it has been restored following a fundraising campaign.