The most famous steam locomotive of all, the Flying Scotsman, is set to return after undergoing a £4.2 million refurbishment.
Rail enthusiasts will soon get their hands on tickets to a range of exhibitions to welcome the return of the much-loved green and black Doncaster-built engine, which has been away from public view for almost a decade.
The loco is due back at the National Railway Museum in York next year and plans are already advanced for its inaugural run from London Kings Cross to Yorkshire in February.
A host of events have been organised to celebrate the return of the locomotive and The Flying Scotsman service, after which the engine was named.
These events will include Stunts, Speed and Style, which will enable visitors to get on board the cabs of four of the locomotives that hauled The Flying Scotsman service, including the one bearing its name.
Another, called Service with Style, will use three carriages of the kind that travelled The Flying Scotsman route. It will feature archive news footage to allow visitors to experience “a story of speed, innovation, fame and luxury in a sensory way.”
Tickets for the Service with Style exhibition - which will run from March 25 to May 8 - are available from Friday, along with tickets to special photography events so enthusiasts can have some private time with the locomotive away from the crowds.
NRM public events Manager Kate Hunter said: “If stepping on board Flying Scotsman’s cab isn’t enough, visitors can board the Flying Scotsman train and fully immerse themselves in the glamour and allure of the world’s longest-established express train throughout the ages with our ground-breaking ticketed exhibition or for those who want to photograph our star attraction without the crowds there are a range of photography events.”
The museum announced further details of its Flying Scotsman 2016 programme as the locomotive enters the closing phases of its painstaking refurbishment in the workshop of Riley & Son’s in Bury.
Flying Scotsman was built in Doncaster in 1923 and soon became the star locomotive of the British railway system, pulling the first train to break the 100mph barrier in 1934 and ending up synonymous with the cocktail bar image of the service it was named after.
The National Railway Museum bought Flying Scotsman for £2.3 million in 2004 and work began on it in 2006.
Museum Director Paul Kirkman said: “We are also thrilled to offer a unique opportunity to experience the essence of Flying Scotsman, the most famous locomotive and express train service in the world, first-hand at our museum, through a series of innovative and colourful exhibitions and events.”