Flying Scotsman’s trip to Ipswich delayed until November by axle fault
- Credit: PA
Steam railway fans will have to wait three weeks longer to see Flying Scotsman steaming to Ipswich.
The world’s best-known steam locomotive was due to travel to the town on Saturday at the head of a special train from Norwich – but one of its axles was found to be running hot on its way to the region from its base in York.
The fault cannot be repaired in time for it to haul the special trains at the weekend – but organisers Steam Dreams have re-arranged the trips for Saturday, November 11.
Tickets will be valid for the new date, and all passengers will be sent details of the new arrangements.
A spokeswoman for Steam Dreams said: “We share the public’s disappointment that Flying Scotsman is unable to run this weekend, but some problems are unfortunately always possible when operating an engine of any type and age on the railway network. We hope all our passengers will be able to join us on the new date.”
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Flying Scotsman’s home is the National Railway Museum at York, and the problem emerged on Wednesday as it travelled from there towards Ely from where it was due to haul an afternoon train to Norwich and back.
The axle problem was spotted at Peterborough – and the engine then limped to the Nene Valley Railway which is based in the city and has engineering facilities to service and maintain the largest steam locomotives in the country.
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Experts from the National Railway Museum and specialist engineers Riley and Co are confident they will be able to use the Nene Valley’s facilities to repair the engine and have it back in operation for November.
The news is probably the best that people could have hoped for – there had been a suggestion that Saturday’s train would run with a different steam locomotive at the head, but no other engine has the allure of Flying Scotsman and most passengers will be happy to wait three weeks for the chance to ride behind such an icon of the rails.
It will be the first visit to Ipswich by Flying Scotsman since the late 1960s – it made two visits to the town in 1967 and 1969 shortly before it headed off to America for an ill-fated expedition that bankrupted its owner Alan Pegler and almost led to the locomotive being sold off for scrap metal before it was rescued by millionaire Sir William McAlpine.