Three heritage railway companies; The Bluebell Railway; Keighley and Worth Valley; and West Somerset Railway are today announced as hosting 60103 Flying Scotsman in 2017.
After weeks of judging, the heritage railways selected were informed on Friday 18th November after a selection process undertaken by the National Railway Museum in partnership with Riley & Son (E) Ltd.
Paul Kirkman, National Railway Museum Director, said: “It was a tough decision with a consistently high quality of bids submitted from a wide range of Heritage Railway companies. After a successful tour in 2016, we weren’t surprised with how many bids we received to host Scotsman. We hope the public who will journey to view or travel on the locomotive will join us in welcome Flying Scotsman to these historic railways.”
Colin Green, Co-Director at Riley & Son (E) Ltd, added: “The judging panel were inundated with bids to host Flying Scotsman but the chosen three impressed us in the bidding process. After working with the locomotive last year, we understand the popularity and attention that Scotsman brings to the rails, something that we saw earlier this year and hope to continue to see in 2017.”
Matthew Stroh, Chairman of Keighley and Worth Valley Railway said; “We are incredibly excited about Flying Scotsman visiting the Worth Valley, especially before our 150th celebrations of our branch line.”
Paul Conibeare, General Manager at West Somerset Railway, added: “We’re proud to have been selected as one of only three heritage railways to host Flying Scotsman in 2017 and are looking forward to promoting a successful and safe event.”
Finally, The Bluebell Railway’s Chairman, Dick Fearn, said: “The Bluebell Railway is delighted to have secured the services of Flying Scotsman for a special week of operations. Since opening the line to East Grinstead in 2013, the appearance of Scotsman will give thousands of people from London and the south east a chance to enjoy this renowned locomotive in the delightful surroundings of the Sussex countryside.”
Further information on dates and times will be announced by the heritage railway companies and details on how to purchase tickets will be provided on their websites at a later date.
Flying Scotsman is currently at the National Railway Museum in York undergoing its winter maintenance. Further announcements on its return to the rails in 2017 will be made in the near future. Please note that tickets for Flying Scotsman are available from each heritage railway website, not the National Railway Museum website.