The Flying Scotsman

Born in 1862 as the Special Scotch Express, the Flying Scotsman is an express passenger train in the Great Britain. For more than 180 years this train has linked London King's Cross Station with destinations on the East Coast Main Line and Scotland.

Reproduction of 1960s British Rail poster from the NRM

Flying Scotsman in 1928 hauled by Class A1 locomotive

Departing daily at 10:00 at Great Northern Railway's London King's Cross and North British Railway's Edinburgh Waverly, the Special Scotch Express took only 10 and half hours in 1862 to complete the 393-mile (632 km) journey with only a half-hour lunch stop at York. This journey time was further improved in 1888 to 8 and half hours as a result of the Race to the North. In 1924, under the London and North Eastern Railway, the Special Scotch Express officially renamed the train Flying Scotsman, her unofficial name since the 1870s, the famous name it had been known since then.

The Flying Scotsman today is one among many 125-mph (201 km/h) high speed trains serving on the East Coast Main Line and is extended to Glasgow Central on Mondays to Saturdays. She is no longer the fastest train service between London and Scotland with additional calls at Peterborough, Darlington, and New Castle but her northbound departure time remains at 10:00 (this had been briefly changed to 10:30 in recent years). An East Coast operated InterCity 225 push-pull trainset nicknamed Mallard is usually used and her journey time is around 4 and half hours. The southbound train however had been revised to depart Glasgow Central at 11:50 and Edinburgh Waverly at 13:00.

Former Great North Eastern Railway's InterCity 225 trainset


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