After more than 10 years away from the mainline, the world’s most famous locomotive, Flying Scotsman, which returned to action earlier this year, visited Salisbury twice this summer, hauling The Cathedrals Express.
The train arrived from London Paddington via Westbury.
Departing from Salisbury in the afternoon on Saturday 21 and Saturday 28 May, those lucky enough to have tickets for the sold out ‘Cream Tea’ tour trips, stepped aboard The Cathedrals Express, sat back and relaxed in its elegantly restored 1950’s and 60’s carriages and taking in the beautiful rolling countryside as Flying Scotsman whisks them towards the South Coast, arriving back in Salisbury early evening.
60103 Flying Scotsman has been described as the most famous steam locomotive in the world.
Built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works to a design of H.N. Gresley, it was employed on long-distance express trains on the LNER and its successors, British Railways Eastern and North-Eastern Regions, notably on the London to Edinburgh Flying Scotsman train service after which it was named.
The locomotive set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) on 30 November 1934, and then setting a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on 8 August 1989 while in Australia.
Retired from regular service in 1963 after covering 2,076,000 miles (3,341,000 km), Flying Scotsman gained considerable fame in preservation under the ownership of Alan Pegler, William McAlpine, Tony Marchington and finally the National Railway Museum (NRM). As well as hauling enthusiast specials in the United Kingdom, the locomotive toured extensively in the United States and Canada (from 1969 to 1973) and Australia (from 1988 to 1989).
The train passed through Savernake, Pewsey, Woodborough, Lavington, Heywood Road Junction, Westbury, Dilton Marsh, Warminster, Upton Lovell, Wylye, Wisford and Wilton.