DONCASTER’S famous Flying Scotsman is almost ready to make its track comeback.
The iconic steam locomotive, which dates from 1923, is nearing the end of a meticulous restoration at the National Railway Museum in York and will be undergoing steam tests next month.
But people seeing it back under steam for the first time since it had to be taken off the rails in 2006 could be in for a surprise.
Flying Scotsman’s appearance will be somewhat different to normal - for a temporary period it will be appearing in stark wartime livery of all black.
But by the time the engine is on display again this summer it will be given a fresh coat of the more famous apple green LNER paint.
Visitors to the railway museum will get their first chance to see the rebuilt Scotsman at a special preview weekend on May 28 to 30, when the loco will appear on the museum’s turntable in the black paint job.
Loco 4472, among the first A1 Pacifics designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster Plants Works, will appear in wartime LNER black for the first time in almost 70 years.
Steve Davies, director of the NRM, said: “When Flying Scotsman is completed this summer, she will of course be painted apple green. However, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to offer her fans a bit of variety by seeing her complete her steam tests and commissioning runs in wartime LNER black.
“The last time Scotsman was seen in this livery was in World War II and this will be the first time the 4472 or any other North Eastern Pacific has been seen in this livery during its preserved existence.”
While in black, the engine will also appear without smoke deflectors.
After the Bank Holiday preview weekend, Scotsman will be worked on behind the scenes by the workshop team to ensure it is ready for the upcoming steam tests and commissioning runs in June.
The appeal to keep the engine running was backed by the nation, with supporters handing over cash along with the National Heritage Memorial Fund to secure its future.
The NRM is also putting on nine days of Flying Scotsman themed activities at half term, with craft workshops, a discovery trail, daily talks and video footage.
Throughout August visitors will be able to access the cab while it is on display in the Great Hall.