THE iconic Flying Scotsman locomotive is close to a return to the railways, as work on a £4.2 million restoration project nears completion.
These new images show the painstaking work and effort being put in to restore the 1923-built LNER Class AC Pacific steam locomotive at Riley and Son Ltd. in Bury.
Test runs are due to be carried out in Januar, with an unveiling of the restored engine pencilled in for sometime in February.
From early 2016, the locomotive will tour the UK as a working museum exhibit, with an inaugural run between London Kings Cross and York, home of the National Railway Museum - which bought the locomotive for £2.3 million in 2004 - marking the completion of restoration work and the engine’s return to full steam.
Designed by Scot Sir Nigel Gresley, the Flying Scotsman was built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), and was the first locomotive to smash the 100mph speed barrier.
Repainted in Brunswick Green in 1948 when the railways were nationalised, the engine will be in its wartime livery of black for the January test runs.
The locomotive has been fitted with a new chassis, fire box and smoke box while the boiler has been completely renovated.
Jim Lowe, head of operations at the National Railway Museum, said the locomotive would be starting a ‘new chapter in its long and fascinating history’.