Flying Scotsman to visit Scotland next year after sell-out trips
The Flying Scotsman locomotive is expected to return to Scotland next year while ScotRail will run steam trains on the Borders Railway this summer, The Scotsman has learned.
The news comes days after the world’s most famous engine attracted thousands of spectators as it travelled through the Borders and Fife on Sunday.
Organisers of the sold-out trips said they were already planning further Scottish excursions for 2017.
These may comprise a repeat of Sunday’s runs on the Borders Railway and round the Fife Circle via the Forth Bridge.
Steam Dreams chairman Marcus Robertson said: “We are hoping to bring Flying Scotsman back to Edinburgh and run trips from Edinburgh in May or June.
“We would like to take it to Inverness, but that might be too difficult.”
The restored locomotive’s first visit north of the Border for 16 years sold out within hours of tickets going on sale in February.
Meanwhile, ScotRail is hoping to repeat the success of its own sold-out steam runs on the Borders Railway last year by arranging Sunday trips in August and September. The excursions have been timed to coincide with the Edinburgh festivals, with its vast potential market of visitors to the capital.
The services will be run only on Sundays to avoid the need to cancel regular ScotRail trains on the largely single-track line, as they operate less frequently that day.
A ScotRail spokeswoman confirmed: “Steam trains will be running every Sunday afternoon and evening during August and September.
“Existing timetabled services will not be affected in any way by steam services.”
The Campaign for Borders Rail was delighted at the news.
Chairman Allan McLean said: “We would welcome more excursion trains, including involving Flying Scotsman, which would highlight the importance of international tourism to Midlothian and the Scottish Borders.
“ScotRail’s plans are also very welcome because it is very important that regular services are not disrupted.”