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Flying Scotsman to Visit Locomotion this Christmas

  • Flying Scotsman celebrates 100th birthday with visit to Locomotion in Shildon 
  • Last chance to see Flying Scotsman during centenary 
  • Free tickets on sale now  

Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham is set to host a special visit from world famous locomotive Flying Scotsman this Christmas to celebrate the locomotive's 100th birthday. 

Flying Scotsman will visit the museum from 16 December 2023 – 7 January 2024 and will give people their last chance to see Flying Scotsman in light steam for free in its centenary year. 

Built in Doncaster in 1923 for the newly-formed LNER, Flying Scotsman is considered by many to be the most famous locomotive in the world. Flying Scotsman was saved from the scrapheap and toured the USA and Australia before becoming part of the National Railway Museum's collection.   

As well as seeing Flying Scotsman, there will be a host of free family events and activities, including make and take craft sessions.  

The specially-commissioned short film Flying Scotsman: 100 Years, 100 Voices will also be screened as part of the event. This shows a range of stories from everyday people with a strong connection to the locomotive.

Visitors to Locomotion can also access Flying Scotsman's footplate where generations of drivers and firemen would have worked and will be able to see down the tender corridor. This was introduced by LNER in 1928 to enable fresh crew to travel between the support coach and the footplate without having to stop. 

Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, said: 

'We know from previous visits that Flying Scotsman has a unique appeal and I hope that families and railway enthusiasts from across the region will join us this Christmas to help celebrate Flying Scotsman’s very special birthday.'

As well as seeing Flying Scotsman, people can also see the museum's main hall, which houses more than 70 rail vehicles, and enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas, which will remain open for visitors.

Flying Scotsman's visit to Locomotion is sponsored by CrossCountry and the Flying Scotsman centenary programme has been generously supported by Hornby Hobbies (Lead Sponsor), and has also been made possible thanks to the National Heritage Memorial Fund and players of People's Postcode Lottery. 

The event is free to attend but (free) museum admission tickets must be booked prior to arrival and parking on site will be limited. For more information, visit the Locomotion website: https://www.locomotion.org.uk/whats-on/flying-scotsman-christmas

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For more information please contact:

Simon Baylis, PR & Press Manager, 01904 686 299, simon.baylis@railwaymuseum.org.uk

Brittany Noppe, Senior Press Officer, 01274 203356, brittany.noppe@railwaymuseum.org.uk

About Locomotion museum in Shildon

  • Locomotion offers visitors the chance to see highlights of the national collection of railway vehicles in Shildon – the world’s first railway town
  • Locomotion forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in York
  • Locomotion is a partnership between the Science Museum Group and Durham County Council, which is a major funder of the museum
  • The museum will host Flying Scotsman this year to celebrate the world-famous locomotive’s 100th birthday. Locomotion’s Centenary Festival will take place at Locomotion from 16 December – 2 January.
  • New Hall at Locomotion is scheduled to open in 2024 and will feature 50 rail vehicles from the national collection. Admission to Locomotion is free – visit www.locomotion.org.uk

About Flying Scotsman 

  • Flying Scotsman was built in Doncaster in February 1923, as an A1 class locomotive and converted to an A3 class in 1947. It was the first locomotive of the newly formed LNER (London and North Eastern Railway). 
  • Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and numbered 1472, the locomotive was not named 'Flying Scotsman' until the following year when it was picked to attend the British Empire Exhibition in London and renumbered 4472. 
  • The locomotive went on to operate in service until 1963 and later in preservation, which included tours of the USA, Canada and Australia
  • Today the locomotive is owned by the National Railway Museum in York and is operated and maintained by Riley & Son (E) Ltd, based in Heywood, Greater Manchester. 
  • To find out more visit www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/flying-scotsman.
  • Flying Scotsman last visited Locomotion in 2021 

About sponsors 

  • Hornby is a household name and is famous as the UK brand leader in the model railway hobby. The company's founder was Frank Hornby (1863–1936) who applied for a patent in 1901 to protect an invention he called 'Improvements in Toy or Educational Devices for Children and Young People'. Nobody then could have imagined how this product would influence the model railway hobby that we know today. Hornby has been manufacturing model railway products for over 100 years and is constantly growing and developing. For more information about Hornby, visit: https://uk.hornby.com/about-hornby
  • The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of our national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the UK.  NHMF receives annual grant-in-aid of £5 million from the UK government to help save some of our most-loved treasures such as paintings, natural heritage, maritime and industrial vessels, and historic houses, from being lost forever. Any funds remaining from NHMF's annual allocation at the end of the financial year remain available to NHMF to award grants to exceptional heritage treasures such as the Portrait of Mai (Omai), The Artist Rooms, Titian’s Diana and Acteon, the Honresfield Library, Tyntesfield Estate and Wentworth Woodhouse.
  • CrossCountry's network as a long-distance passenger train operator stretches from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff, calling at over 100 stations. Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of Britain's 10 largest cities and delivers 240 services every weekday, equating to over 42 million passenger journeys each year. For further information on CrossCountry services, visit www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk or visit one of our social media platforms via Twitter @crosscountryuk or Facebook at facebook.com/crosscountrytrains