On This Day 1934: The day loco broke a record

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman

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It was 82 years ago next week that a Doncaster-built locomotive roared into the record books and arguably cemented herself as the most famous steam engine of all time.

For it was on November 30, 1934 the loco known as the Flying Scotsman, built at the Plant Works eleven years previously, steamed into history by becoming the first locomotive to officially break the 100mph barrier.

The Flying Scotsman back in Doncaster (D3549MB)

The Flying Scotsman back in Doncaster (D3549MB)

The LNER Class A3 Pacific No. 4472 was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster to the design of Sir Nigel Gresley.

It was employed on long-distance express trains, notably the 10am London to Edinburgh Flying Scotsman train service after which it was named.

However, it was on an autumn day in 1934 that she made a name for herself.

Driven by Bill Sparshatt and running a light test train, 4472 became the first steam locomotive to be officially recorded at 100 mph and earned a place in the land speed record for railed vehicles - needless to say, the publicity-conscious LNER made much of the fact.

Railways - Flying Scotsman 2

Railways - Flying Scotsman 2

Retired from regular service in 1963, she returned in February after a £4.2 million overhaul, passing through Doncaster once more.

The Flying Scotsman, built in Doncaster, in its heyday. The National Railway Museum is now fundraising to put the engine in public ownership.

The Flying Scotsman, built in Doncaster, in its heyday. The National Railway Museum is now fundraising to put the engine in public ownership.

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