As we anticipate the arrival of spring, Mancs also have something else to get excited about as The Flying Scotsman will be paying Greater Manchester a visit. Celebrating 100 years since she entered service, the iconic locomotive will be passing through the region this March as part of the festivities.
The record-breaking engine, which feature on final batch of stamps with Queen Elizabeth II, first entered service way back in 1923, later restored to become the world’s most famous steam engine. While its home is usually at the National Railway Museum in York, we’ll soon be able to see it with our own eyes when it pulls into the East Lancashire Railway next month, making for a great day trip.
The Flying Scotsman holds the record for hauling the first ever non-stop London to Edinburgh service in 1928. It was the first locomotive to reach 100mph in 1934 and the first steam engine to travel all around the world (with visits to the USA and Australia).
With its unmissable Brunswick Green livery will carve through the Lancashire countryside, making several journeys to the Irwell Valley as part of the 100 year celebrations. You can ride on board the Flying Scotsman stopping at the Greater Manchester stations of Bury, Heywood and Ramsbottom as well as the Rossendale town of Rawtenstall, between March 11 and 19, with five daily journeys.
Plus, fans will also be able to see the magnificent LNER Class A3 60103 up close when the locomotive is static at Bury station on March 9, with tours taking place every 30 minutes between 10am and 4pm with up to 10 people per tour. Static tours of Heywood station have now sold out.
Tickets for a ride on board are £36 for adults and £22.50 for children, which includes a round trip between Bury and Rawtenstall and back to Bury, plus unlimited travel on all other services on your chosen date full length of the line between Heywood, Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall, and free entry into the Bury Transport Museum.
For a more luxurious experience, you can also book a dinner on the Flying Scotsman, where you’ll be whisked off to your luxury reserved seats with plush furnishings, crisp table linen and polished wooden panelling – all combined to convey the glamorous, first class dining experience from days gone by. Guests will be served a four-course dining experience while cruising through the Irwell Valley. Tickets for this Black Tie experience cost £130 per person, which includes prosecco and canapé reception plus a welcome from the Caledonian Pipe Band.
For more information about the Flying Scotsman visiting Greater Manchester head to the East Lancashire Railway website here.