The Flying Scotsman steam locomotive on the East Lancashire Railway in 2018 (Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Named in 1924, it holds the world record for a non-stop run by a steam locomotive, set in 1989 with a 442-mile trip.
The locomotive usually makes a number of appearances on the nation’s railway tracks throughout the year, although in 2022, it has made significantly fewer trips.
That’s because earlier in the year, the steam engine was withdrawn from service. Since May, work has been underway behind closed doors at a workshop in Lancaster, specialist teams forking on a major mechanical overhaul focusing on the Scotsman’s boiler.
With that work complete, the famous engine is back out on the tracks, and is making a few upcoming appearances in 2022 ahead of its centenary year.
Next year marks 100 years since the Scotsman, dubbed a national treasure and hailed as a feat of railway engineering, first left Doncaster Works in February 1923.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
Is the Flying Scotsman at King’s Cross Station?
On 15 and 16 October, to celebrate the 170th anniversary of King’s Cross Station, the world-famous steam locomotive will be in town.
A platform ticket will give visitors a 10-minute window of time on the station’s platform 8 to be among the first to get up and personal with the newly refurbished engine.
You’ll also be able to take a photo with the iconic nameplate before receiving a collectible platform ticket to commemorate the experience.
Platform tickets are limited, and must be reserved ahead of time. More information can be found on the National Railway Museum’s website.
Where can I see the Flying Scotsman in 2023?
For the year-long celebrations, visitors will be able to see the Flying Scotsman at the NRM in York and Locomotion in Shildon in 2023.
The locomotive will still be making various excursions during the year though, including trips to the East Lancashire Railway and Keighly and Worth Valley Railway.
What else is happening?
A new book has also been written by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman.
Morpurgo, one of the country’s best-known authors, said he grew up on steam trains, and well remembers their sounds, smells and the rhythm on school journeys and holidays.
When Foreman asked him to write a story about the “greatest, most iconic” of them all, he said, he just sat down at once and did it.
“All the memories came flooding back,” he said. “I loved writing my story, but now all I want to do is fulfil a lifelong dream, to get up on the footplate of Flying Scotsman and drive it, and be at last the engine driver I wanted to be.
“With me up there driving, we would be in Edinburgh faster than you could say, Flying Scotsman.”
National Railway Museum director Judith McNicol said the book, Flying Scotsman and the Best Birthday Ever, is a “beautifully-written” companion to key moments in its history.