Excitement is building at the Watercress Line as it gears up to welcome the record-breaking Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world for the first time.
In February 2020, York’s National Railway Museum owned, exquisite 97-tonne A3 class locomotive will be visiting the heritage railway in Hampshire and allowing visitors to travel behind her on 14th and 29th February, and 1st, 7th and 8th March with additional Flying Scotsman experiences available at other times.
Watercress Line Director Simon Baggott said: “The entire Watercress Line team is delighted that our bid to host this national treasure has been successful and we are very grateful to the National Railway Museum for giving us the opportunity to host such a unique and historic event, to operate and display such a famous locomotive.
“It will be the first time Flying Scotsman has visited the Watercress Line and we’re sure rail enthusiasts and the public across Hampshire and further afield will be thrilled to have the opportunity to see her up close and in action.”
Costing £7,944 to build and completed in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), Flying Scotsman was named after the prestigious London to Edinburgh express train service which the locomotive helped to operate with a journey time of eight hours. In 1924, Flying Scotsman appeared at the British Empire Exhibition in London, in 1934 she became the first locomotive to reach 100mph and in 1963, British Railways withdrew the locomotive from service.
Purchased by the National Railway Museum in 2004, Flying Scotsman was restored thanks to a £4.2 million, ten year project funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as from public donations.
Tickets are priced at £40.00 on a running day.
Tickets are now available to purchase by visiting www.watercressline.co.uk/flyingscotsman
For more information about the locomotive’s history and restoration visit www.flyingscotsman.org.uk