Flying Scotsman: Famous locomotive comes home for first time in 40 years after protests
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The engine was built at the LNER’s famous works in Doncaster – known locally as the Plant – in 1923, and there was consternation it was missed off the original schedule of 100th anniversary events planned for this year.
Owners the National Railway Museum agreed to Doncaster Council’s request to arrange a visit by the locomotive, and amid a cloud of secrecy, it stopped at the station platforms on Friday afternoon.
The arrival of the train hauling several carriages was greeted by a large crowd of VIPs, enthusiasts and the media despite attempts to keep the halt under wraps.
The NRM was able to confirm it had not made a scheduled stop at Doncaster since the engine returned to regular service in 2016. Prior to that, it was off the rails from 2004 undergoing an overhaul. The last record of a call is in 1983, when it stopped at the station as part of a tour, and it was also on display at the Plant in the same year for the 60th anniversary celebrations.
It does regularly pass through Doncaster when in service on the East Coast Main Line, and today was bound for Edinburgh via York. It has also made maintenance stops to take on water in the vicinity of the station.
It is understood that the NRM and council remain in discussions over a further event involving the locomotive in Doncaster later this year.