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By Andrew McLean on

The many guises of Flying Scotsman

One famous locomotive, many different get-ups—how should Flying Scotsman look?

Of all the locomotives in the National Collection, Flying Scotsman excites the most comment. For many she is the “most famous locomotive in the world” and should be resplendent in London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) apple green paint with the iconic number 4472. The question of what colour to present her in and what number she should carry is, therefore, a deeply emotive one and the National Railway Museum’s recent announcement that the locomotive will return in her final British Railways guise (as far as practicable) has prompted much debate.

For all of Flying Scotsman’s fame and celebrity there seems to be an equal amount of misunderstanding and myth. Some of the fame of the locomotive is due partly to it being confused with the famous London-Edinburgh Flying Scotsman train from which the engine took its name its name. By the 1920s the LNER were marketing the Flying Scotsman service as “The Most Famous Train in the World” and it may not be entirely co-incidental that the locomotive of the same name came to be known as “The Most Famous Locomotive in the World” in the 1960s, for the line between locomotive and train has often been blurred.

Flying Scotsman in 1924
Flying Scotsman in 1924 the difference - Flying Scotsman now as an A3 thirty years later in 1957
….spot the difference – Flying Scotsman now as an A3 thirty years later in 1957

Arguably, it is Alan Pegler’s restoration of Flying Scotsman to single chimney form, LNER colours and the number 4472 in 1963 that has perhaps most deeply ingrained the image of the locomotive on the national consciousness. But not was all as it seemed. Pegler himself said that to restore the engine to her original condition was “out of the question” so he settled for a compromise appearance of what he called “a typical LNER A3 of the 1930s”. However, Flying Scotsman, built as an example of the A1 class in 1923, was only converted to the more powerful A3 form in 1947 by which time she had lost her iconic 4472 number and was then numbered 103 (with a short period as number 502 in between). Therefore, Flying Scotsman was not an A3 in the 1930s and never ran for the LNER in that form with the number 4472.

Moreover, it wasn’t until 1954, well into the British Railways era, that the locomotive itself took on the full A3 shape: this was because the engine was converted to left hand drive at that time which necessitated the vacuum exhaust ejector pipe and the reversing rod to be placed on the left hand side of the locomotive rather than the right. This change made a noticeable difference to the locomotive’s appearance as did the replacement of the rounded steam collector dome with the more elongated “banjo dome” (so called because it resembled the shape of a banjo).

For many this is the classic appearance of Flying Scotsman from circa 1932. Although there is a belief amongst many that this is the appearance to which the locomotive was restored in the 1960s Flying Scotsman was last seen in this form in 1936.
For many this is the classic appearance of Flying Scotsman from circa 1932. Although there is a belief amongst many that this is the appearance to which the locomotive was restored in the 1960s Flying Scotsman was last seen in this form in 1936.

With Alan Pegler retaining left hand drive the locomotive, although numbered 4472 and in LNER colours, showed noticeable differences in appearance from its classic LNER look (when it was still an A1). Indeed, there would be some debate about what is its classic LNER appearance: when it first appeared in 1923 it was numbered 1472 with a much smaller tender emblazoned with the letters “L&NER”. Soon afterwards, to allow, the engine to access routes north of Newcastle the cab, dome and chimney were cut down in size and she was renumbered 4472. In 1928, to facilitate non-stop running, a new tender was added – high sided with a connecting corridor – so again the appearance changed. In 1936 Flying Scotsman lost her corridor tender as the A1s and A3s were then handing over operation of the non-stop services to the new A4 class.

Once converted to an A3 in 1947 (confusingly after a spell as an A10) Flying Scotsman was – after a period in wartime black – back in apple green but shorn of corridor tender and her 4472 number. With rail nationalisation in 1948 British Railways originally ran her in apple green and the number E103 but in 1949 she was repainted in BR Express Blue and carried the new number of 60103. In 1954, she was converted to left hand drive and painted in BR green (often called “Brunswick Green”). In 1959 her single chimney was converted to the double Kylchap style chimney that had been so successful on her A4 cousins such as world speed record holder Mallard. Due to the soft blast from the double chimney causing smoke to drift into the driver’s eye line the final significant change was made when the German style smoke deflectors were added to the engine early in 1961 and at the same time the smoke box design was altered too with the top handrail being split to accommodate a dropped lamp bracket.

When Alan Pegler converted the loco back into single chimney form in February 1963 she conducted her test runs still in BR green and numbered 60103. But by this stage she had acquired a corridor tender again – originally from an A1/A3 sister engine Harvester but latterly running with A4 60034 Lord Farringdon. Another myth of Flying Scotsman is that she never ran with a corridor tender in BR green across BR metals – those two runs in February 1963, albeit in private ownership, demonstrate that was not the case.

January 1963 – when Flying Scotsman returns she will look, as far as possible, like this.
January 1963 – when Flying Scotsman returns she will look, as far as possible, like this.

There is a whole other story about changes in appearance during private ownership: red backed painted nameplates, green cylinder covers, double tenders, LNER coats of arms cab side, cowcatchers, bells, different identities for the film Agatha (1978), the A3 boiler being replaced with an A4 example, and the locomotive appearing in a hybrid BR-LNER form with smoke deflectors and double chimney. In her lifetime Flying Scotsman has had three classes (A1, A10 and A3), four colours, six numbers, nine different tenders and at least fifteen different boilers. So while the locomotive will return to steam in an appearance as close as possible to how she looked in January 1963 who knows whether this most chameleon of engines will once again undergo a change of appearance in future.

Read more about Flying Scotsman history and the latest restoration updates.

85 comments on “The many guises of Flying Scotsman

  1. The colour photo with the BR blue coach (former King’s Cross suburban coach) shows the train hauled by class 9F no. 92220
    Evening Star NOT Flying Scotsman. The photo was taken when 92220 was working on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

    1. no, the designer was Herbert Nigel Gresley.

      the loco’s initial design was finalized in 1922.

      Gresley got knighted much later in 1936.

          1. Tautology?

            If something is fact, then, by definition, it must be correct. So your sentence suffers in its syntax.

  2. I used to go train spotting in the 1940’s. If memory serves me right, the colour was not the BR green they have used today. Also, why was it considered necessary to change the number? And, again, I do not remember those “wings” on the front of the boiler cylinder. I wonder what Sir Nigel Gresley woulds have to say about it if he was here to day?

    1. The original colour was LNER green. The change of number was part of the British Rail numbering scheme. The wings are smoke deflectors. The Flying Scotsman has gone through so many changes that the closest livery to it’s current design would be British Rail green. Once in a while the livery does change. Some time ago it was painted in wartime black.

      1. I sandblasted and primed this icon during it’s restoration in 2006. TR Williamsons in Ripon supplied the original LNER Apple Green and they kindly donated exactly the same paint for it’s livery. Some bright spark then decided to paint it wartime black.
        In my opinion, It should be the original colour.

    2. I remember in the early 2000s when flying scotsman was apple green with a double chimney and smoke deflectors

  3. A very interesting blog and opened up my eyes to the history of the locomotive, I have a few pictures somewhere of the Scotsman when it made a call into Dunfermline Upper Station in the early 60’s and was fortunate to get a look on the footplate . It was 4472 then I am sure , but I was but a mere young lad at the time, if I find the pictures I will forward to you.

    1. It didn’t get to Dunfermline upper station, but did visit the nearby engine shed. It was serviced there after doing the last non stop run from Kings Cross to Waverley on May 1st 1968, and again after hauling a railtour to Inverkeithing on May 25th the same year

    2. Can you please tell me if The Flying Scotsman ran on the Keighley line in the
      1930’s? My grandfather worked at Keighley station as a guard and there was very bad fog one night. He went out to look for the train but did not return and they found his body in pieces on the track the next day. I was told it was The Flying Scotsman but someone once told me it never ran on that line. I remember seeing a newspaper clipping when I was a child about it. It would have been around 1934 as my mum was only a baby.
      Thank you

  4. Thanks for your comments. Flying Scotsman was painted in wartime black in 1943 and was restored to apple green livery after the war had finished. Gresley died in 1941 and his successor Edward Thompson renumbered the LNER locomotives and Flying Scotsman became number 103 (after a short spell as 502). On nationalisation Flying Scotsman carried the number E103 for a while before becoming 60103 (the number she carried until her last run for BR in January 1963). Under BR ownership Flying Scotsman’s colour changed firstly to express passenger blue and then to BR green (sometimes called Brunswick Green). Gresley had trialled double chimneys on his A3 class before the war and BR seeing the advantage these brought in terms of efficiency fitted them to all of the A3 class. As these caused smoke to drift into the eye line of the driver deflectors were fitted to Flying Scotsman and her sister locomotives. We can only guess what Gresley would have made of his A3 class with double chimney and deflectors but we do know that he saw the advantages of the class having a double chimney. He also recognised that fitting these meant that some form of smoke deflection was required and he experimented with a double chimney and different types of deflectors on a sister locomotive of Flying Scotsman before his death. It is not often realised but given that Flying Scotsman was only converted from an A1 into an A3 six years after Gresley’s death he never actually saw Flying Scotsman as an A3. I hope this answers your questions.

  5. Flying Scotsman obviously had a change of smokebox door as I have a photo of it in Kings Cross shed January 1962 with a complete handrail above the hinge bracket and the numberplate above that. A case of the original not being replace in its last overhaul before preservation.

  6. It has been very interesting reading all the comments and history.I have just returned from North Yorkshire,having spent a week looking at this wonderful locomotive along with thousands of others.I have been more enlightened by what I have read but for myself,I would love to see 4472 Flying Scotsman in Apple Green,which I am sure a lot of fans would also love.Thankfully we have lots of archive of this locomotive and who knows,one day we may see it in Apple Green!

    1. I totally agree. This repainting of these famous A3 and A4 locos in BR shades with BR numbers is a great disappointment.

  7. I am going to see FS at nrm for a photo shoot.
    Very disappointing to hear it will not be taking on 4472 the only number I have ever known.
    All models and journals use 4472.

  8. When I was a kid we use to climb the railway embankments and put the old pennies on the line and wait until the next steam train passed, my mum use to go beserk ! Often we would jump up onto the bridge parapet and hang on as the train passed, engulfed in hot steam and coal smoke. I would get home and my mum used to ask me if I had been playing near to the trains, but of course she knew I had cos I smelt of sulphur !! Happy days, train spotting and being a normal boy.

  9. In the last photo – Jan 1963, does anyone know what the two panels are for that protrude at the front. High up on both the left and right side.

    1. They are smoke deflectors, By deflecting the slipstream upwards as it passes over the loco, it helps lift the exhaust steam ans stops it obscuring the driver;s forward vision. This became more a problem with the A3s once they were fitted with a double chimney, which resulted in a softer exhaust.

      1. Can someone please educate me a non knower of steam engine design as to why some steam engines had the smoke deflectors fitted and some didn’t, again please excuse my lack of knowledge but the pictures and write up say that the flying scotsman had 2 chimneys at one time but all I could see was just the one at the front. Many thanks in advance for help

  10. I’ve seen the Scotsman recently, but very upset about the colour and running number. It’s like over painting a track suit on the Mona Lisa.
    The loco should have been restored “as close as practically possible” to her guise when she was manufactured, not to a point in history after a vandal had taken a can of the most revolting paint I have ever seen and covered her in it.
    So disappointed I’m choked. And please, lose the smoke deflectors.

    1. Didn’t you actually read the accompanying text? The ‘Flying Scotsman’ we see now is a completely different locomotive from the one built in 1923. In order to return it “as close as practically possible to her guise when she was manufactured”, as you suggest, it would have been necessary to completely rebuild the locomotive, removing fundamental and historical modifications which were made when it was converted to an A3. It would probably have been easier and more cost-effective to make a new one from scratch. The original version didn’t carry the number 4472, so that part of your statement is flawed. While most people recognise the ‘apple green’ 4472 version of this locomotive from the 1960s and 70s, it never actually ran like that historically. As an A3 it was never that colour. Alan Pegler had it painted that colour in private ownership as an homage to the loco he remembered seeing as a child. You can do things like that when you own your own steam locomotive. Perhaps you should buy one then you can paint it whatever colour you like. The current BR restoration is actually the only one of its many guises which is authentic. Whether you like it or not, that is how the locomotive looked when in service. If anything, painting the current locomotive apple green and putting the number 4427 on it is like “painting a track suit on the Mona Lisa”.

      1. “It probably would have been easier…” good wise words, hence Jupiter. I love both these locos, one because it is an unbroken attachment with the past and the other because it is a faithful recreation of the past. And Jupiter shows what being English is all about. Who would imagine a bunch of crazy nostalgic nerds would actually do such a thing?

      2. For all those saying that the FS should have been this or that, John Roberts’ comment sums it all up. The mic was dropped. Thank you, John Roberts.

  11. we think that flying Scotsman should be put back to her l n e r apple green livery and carry the number 4472 once again and you will actually find that flying Scotsman in her l n e r with number 4472 will attract a lot more attention in our eyes and all her fans eyes and the people who drove and fired this locomotive and restored it too please bring bacl her l n e r apple green livery and her 4472

  12. please bring back flying scotsmans l n e r apple green livery and number 4472 as we that the locomotive looks a whole lot better in her apple green livery with 4472 on her please bring back the apple green livery as this is how flying Scotsman will always be remembered and loved and cherished by lots and lots of people

  13. 11th March (my birthday) appears a time or two in connection with this !
    Apple Green and 4472 is essential The least NRM can do at the moment is open surveys – on line and in the museum offering ‘us’ options and let us choose colour & number (etc.) although pointless as it’ll be obvious everyone will go for 4472 and Apple Green. The double chimney and smoke detectors (LOL) _deflectors_ would be better reverted although I can tolerate them. The choice of restoring to 1963 has been a wrong one – and it should be appeared to be restored to its LNER livery as it was at its height of fame – although I do like the white tyres – I guess on green wheels!

    As for alleged confusion with the train what was/is the name of the train:
    Flying Scotsman (same as loco) or
    The Flying Scotsman – as seen on carried name plates ?

    Subtle but clear difference.

  14. Come NRM wake up and put the Flying Scotsman back to LNER 4472 and not this awful BR livery. Who in NRM thought that one up ????

  15. It is very,very nice to see FS in Brunswick Green after many years of Apple Green. And also with the German Witte deflectors – without these, the engine takes on an ‘unbalanced’ look – don’t forget they are there for important smoke clearing properties. I, and an awful lot of other people the same age and older than me remember this livery in the 50’s and 60’s at places like Grantham. Let us enjoy our memories before it is returned to Apple Green (which is historically incorrect for a double chimneyed engine with deflectors!).

    1. NOT Brunswick green….. That was the green used by the GWR. British Railways Express Locomotive Green is in fact: British Standards:BS224 “Deep Bronze Green” also known as: “Land Rover Deep Bronze Green LR001” with orange and black lining.

      The confusion in the naming of these colours is a result of a model railway magazine editor incorrectly describing BR Green as being Brunswick Green. This happened some time in the early 1950’s and seemds to have subsequently stuck in the minds of enthusiasts, having been incorrectly requoted a number of times in varoius books and publicsations since then.

        1. You are correct sir. Apple green is not the colour of the Flying Scotsman as an A1 or A3. Grass Green is the correct term and colour used. People who get things wrong can be excused however, organisations which are responsible for the preservation of things are not allowed to get this wrong. The term ‘Apple Green’ is a misunderstanding of the correct colour name and has become ‘common knowledge’ for quite some time. This knowledge is false and misleading. I live in Sydney, Australia and we have a similar problem here with our ex-trams. Sydney’s trams were always known and called ‘Types’ i.e. the ‘O’ type tram or the ‘P’ type tram. Certain members of our tramway museum have called our trams ‘Class’, which is totally incorrect. Now, as a result of this misinformation going viral, all publications and posters etc of our trams show them to be ‘class’…and it is totally incorrect. Even WIKI has our trams listed as ‘Class’.

  16. I would love to see her in Apple Green livery and numbered 4472. I don’t care that the smoke deflectors and other changes were later BR-era additions. I grew up as a child in the 70s and will always think of LNER 4472 in Apple Green and not BR 60103 in Brunswick Green as the iconic “Flying Scotsman”. Please consider doing this NRM! The BR-era numbering and livery just doesn’t work!

  17. Like so many others – I think the wrong colour has been chosen, and the ghastly smoke deflectors ruin the look 🙁

    1. I’m with you. Those smoke deflectors are ugly. If they wanted smoke deflectors, why didn’t they choose a design similar to the A1 Peppercorn class or the Coronation Class. The deflectors on her now make her look like a European locomotive.

      1. Given the number of guises, why not an optimum specification? Gresley disliked smoke-deflectors. His original A1 achieved scale and form in near-perfect harmony. The double chimney which goes with the Kylala/Chapelon exhaust is out of proportion and all smoke deflectors are unsightly. The exhaust may be more efficient but so what? If it became an A3 in LNER days, what’s wrong with grass/apple green and 4472? Also, it was named to plug a passenger service and used for the 100mph attempt probably for the same reason. It was not the star of the class. That was LNER 2750 “Papyrus” named after the 1923 winner of the Derby. It was withdrawn the same year as FS and scrapped.

  18. My dear ladies & gentlemen,,, a simple point has been overlooked,,, and that is ,,, all should be thankful that the Flying Scotsman still actually exists today,,, and not been scrapped and therefore lost forever ..
    As for what colour & running number the Flying Scotsman should be dressed in,,, I can only put it to you all
    as this,,, would one be clothed in the same clothing every single day,,,, ta ta for now,,,
    Enjoy the days of your lives

    1. I so agree with you michael, but in my opinion i still think it should be restored as close as possible to its original form and not being mislead. We all know the Flying Scotsman for what it is and thats a true iconic locomotive.

  19. My Grandfather had the privilege of driving The Flying Scotsman on two separate occasions, in both colours… green being his preferred as he didn’t support Rangers????

  20. I remember the excitement that buzzed among my friends and I when we would cross Fowler’s Park, Wolverhampton, heading for the sheds. We often saw engines that would not normally be seen in our neck of the woods. I have no idea what they were doing there, perhaps running maintenance or something, but it was a buzz to ‘scratch them off the list’ in our ‘I-spy railway locomotives’ or some such book. I only once saw Flying Scotsman ‘in the flesh’, it was when traveling in my Dad’s truck coming back from London and it flew past us, we were on the A5, (our truck was an Atkinson 8 wheeler which screamed along at 29mph – FLAT OUT!) I think we were in the Daventry/Rugby area. I was but a very young lad at the time. Happy days.
    I agree with earlier posts – Flying Scotsman feels right in Apple Green and numbered 4472. A lot of people would love to see it ‘back as they remember it’ – never mind right or fanciful, give the fans what they want, myth and legend!

    1. The information and photographs were very interesting.
      I really enjoyed reading all the comments as well.
      Thank you very much , it was all very informative.

  21. To me the question to resolve is: is the loco to be a preserved relic of the past, or is it still a living, breathing entity? If it is the latter, then don’t worry about what the configuration was in 1948 or 1963 or blah, blah, blah. Choose whatever colour, number etc is preferred now and that will be its true configuration for the next chapter.

  22. I’ve got used to the renovated FC – perhaps many more will get used to it, and the demand for 4472 and LNER green will fade away,,,? I’ve just bought a lovely oil painting based on the January 1963 picture (60103, BR green, double chimney, smoke deflectors, leaving Kings Cross).

  23. I have a question about livery please, in particular, 4472’s wheels…when did she lose the polished rims? From what I can see she never had fully lined wheels while an LNER loco..would I be correct in thinking that she gained the black and white lining onlt when Pegler took her into private ownership? did she have polished rims up to this point or did she have green rims with perhaps white lining but no black around the rim, only on the axle end with black and white line? I’ve seen photo’s that show polished rims in the mid 30’s, however a late 30’s looks like it may have painted rims…no black though…it’s impossible to see in the photo whether it had a fine white line around the rim..
    Can any one help please and if so give the source….

    kind regards


  24. I commute by train every day so I’m not a huge rail enthusiast. I accept begrudgingly it’s here to stay. BUT look, I do go soft when watching tv documentaries on the Flying Scotsman. Yes we should keep the old girl going in whatever incarnation it’s best served in. The important thing is the DNA behind the name plate. So long as it officially carries the Flying Scotsman name plate its DNA is protected for ever. Just like different hair styles, tattoos, face-lifts etc., our look may be different, but DNA cannot be changed. It is simple as that. let the Flying Scotsman live on to wow us again and again – however that may be. Keep and love your pictures/prints of it’s magnificent past as they surely are never to be repeated. You may argue on this basis, that they are more important to preserve than the desire to have it rebuilt in whatever period you find more appropriate. Personally, I prefer its 1924 apple green 4472 appearance. But I love it’s story far more.

  25. I recently traveled to England to trace some of my lineage, and found that the Flying Scotsman was going to be making runs northeast of Manchester, so I had to see it. My dad took me out of school to see it, when it was touring the U.S. forty years ago, because it was so famous. When I saw it a few months ago, it brought tears to my eyes. It was the living, breathing work of art, that I remembered (except the new number- I remember it as 4472). You have something very special, cherish the the FS, no matter the number. ????

  26. OK, here’s a question for all those who want the locomotive ‘returned’ to a livery that it never actually wore in service. If the RAF Museum purchased a Spitfire from a private owner who had been displaying it in a civilian ‘fantasy’ livery for ten years (yes, this happens), what colour would you expect it to be painted after restoration? I bet everyone would say it should be camouflaged. It’s a Spitfire, obviously. But since it was built it’s been modified extensively, so what livery should you choose? The livery it first wore? If you painted a Battle of Britain livery on a Mk.IX that had been converted from a Mk.V, every aircraft historian and aircraft spotter would ridicule you, as the aircraft is fundamentally and obviously different in appearance. The only realistic option would be to choose a livery appropriate to the configuration of the aircraft – probably the last Service livery it wore. And nobody would ever criticise that decision. Where is the difference?

    The Flying Scotsman was never ‘apple green’ as an A3. It never carried the number 4472 as an A3. A private owner painted it ‘apple green’ because he liked it that way, but even he admitted that it was historically inaccurate. Personal preference is not a reason to overwrite history.

    I applaud the museum’s decision to restore the locomotive to its BR configuration. It is the only historically accurate option. The reversion to a single chimney, deletion of the smoke deflectors and ‘apple green’ livery was a personal whim and not representative of the locomotive at any time during its long service life. When somebody builds a Gresley A1 locomotive of their own, then they can paint it whatever colour they like – and perhaps they could choose the Doncaster work’s interpretation of LNER Locomotive Green.

    1. Which bit of history is proper and which is not? Private ownership and a non service livery are part of the FS fame and it’s story. It’s ability to stir mass appeal and tour the world is important to the stream narrative.
      If you discovered the decommissioned FS in a scrap yard today, different choices would be made. As they will in another 50 years.. but the story would be different if LNER 4472 never happened. For a start enthusiasm for public subscription would be less..

    2. I’m writing this sitting next to Flying Scotsman in light steam at Corfe Castle while she is on her highly successful tour on the Swanage Railway.

      While I appreciate the reasoning, I can’t help thinking how much better she would look in iconic LNER Apple Green and without the Witte Smoke Deflectors.

      It would make her so much more recognisable to the casual observer and particularly all those children of all ages with a Hornby Flying Scotsman. it would alsobe a fitting tribute to Alan Peglar.

    3. That is not actually true, Flying Scotsman became an A3 one year before BR was formed and it was very much still in its apple green livery and even remained in it sometime after nationalisation while it was still in service, they just replaced the letters LNER on the tender with BRITISH RAILWAYS; “In March 1948, though retaining LNER apple green livery, but with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ painted on its tender.” – Sharpe, Brian, Flying Scotsman A Legend Reborn (Lincolnshire: Mortons Media Group Ltd, 2016)
      This is by the by though, Flying Scotsman is more than just a museum piece, more than just and example of an A3 Pacific, she is the most famous locomotive in the world and her feats didn’t stop when she was taken out of service. She continued to break records while in private ownership and she travelled internationally and her international following grew while in private ownership. So why wouldn’t it be “historically accurate” when she WAS in this livery and had the number 4472 as an A3, it was just simply while she was in private ownership, were she continued to work and break records, and by this point she has spent more time working in private ownership than in public service… so why should those accomplishments and feats not be recognised when they are still stand out points in her history? All her achievements happened while in the Apple Green livery, BOTH while in service and in private ownership, that must be acknowledged. When you think of Flying Scotsman, I doubt anyone pictures a BR brunswick green locomotive, why would they? It was the lowest, most unremarkable point in her career. BR nearly scrapped her and when she was saved, they didn’t want her on the network, so again why would anyone want her in the livery of the company that treated her so poorly? I find it insulting to Gresley, the LNER and enthusiasts of FLYING SCOTSMAN (not just A3 pacifics) to keep her out of the Livery that she is known for, for the sake of being “historically accurate”. The NRM’s usual aim is to commemorate locomotives from their time in public service, but Flying Scotsman is not a “usual” case, she has spent more time in private ownership as an Apple Green Gresley A3 Pacific with the No.4472, where she continued to add to her legend, THAT part of her history cannot be dismissed and is certainly more worthy of being commemorated than her time under the ownership of BR.

  27. I have a ‘Flying Scotsman’ name plate which has gold letters on a green background. Can anyone suggest where, when or why this colour combination was used.

    1. She had ‘gold’ (polished brass) accents and a red cow catcher whilst she was touring America.

    2. I thought that the only remaining part of the original FS locomotive were the nameplates! Now I doubt even that.
      All preserved locomotives ( and any other old mechanical device) has to haveparts replaced over its ‘lifespan’ so maybe some of the frames, cladding, wheels may still at least in part date back to when it was first constructed at Doncaster. Maybe, like GWR locos, original parts were stamped with the loco number, but nowadays many of these will be running around with parts from other locos no longer in existance.
      The thing is that the Flying Scotsman locomotive has been upgraded over its existance and painted depending on the ownership at the time.

  28. Please try to get this right.
    Flying Scotsman is an engine or locomotive.
    The Flying Scotsman is a train made up of an engine and carriages, or more recently, engine/carriage sets.

  29. Well done NRM. It’s good to see how the loco looked in service, I liked it in black too. You have done very well showing the different liveries I know what work this takes and cost. We have similar problems at SYTM just with buses and lorries. We have a Doncaster bus that visitors think is a London bus as it is red, we need to educate people not just placate them. David.

  30. I know that BR green, No. 60103, is the most accurate paint and number for the locomotive’s current build, but everyone (or at least, nearly everyone) recognises Flying Scotsman in LNER Apple Green, 4472. it is the most iconic livery for the engine, (probably helped by the models using that livery) so if Alan Pegler could paint her in LNER colours, because people know those colours, why can’t the NRM?

  31. can any one help, i am making a 7mm kit of flying scotsman in BR green with double chimney and banjo dome and german deflecters, my question is was the boiler bands lined at this stage as some models show yes yet some pics inc NRM ones shows no. inc no when it ran at the Bluebell Railway, many thanks

  32. Without kit building skills myself, I am delighted at the arrival of the 7mm Heljan rtr A3 model, but which version to run? My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Plymouth behind a beautiful Apple Green loco No. 4472 – complete with banjo dome, double chimney and smoke deflectors! Running through my BR Western/South Western scene, my loco will need to represent the preserved one so the engineer in me says it will need to be BR liveried, but the green we remember was a lovely colour and we have the photos to prove it!

  33. I think Flying Scotsman should always return to the LNER Apple Green livery. The high points of her legendary life were in these colours, when in the LNER she was a symbol and broke records. When she toured the States under Pegler and Australia under McAlpine it was all in her LNER colours, when you think of Flying Scotsman thats the image you have of her, not the BR livery. And why would you? Her time under BR was probably the lowest and unremarkable time of her career, furthermore BR nearly scrapped her and when she was saved they did everything they could to get her off their rails. Which is why it is bizarre to me the NRM restored her in the BR livery, I know museums are all about “authenticity”, but this is a special case, they keep pointing out there is not much of the original Scotsman left, so she is essentially a replica of the original… why would you replicate the lowest point in her career as opposed the highest? I think she needs to be restored to her TRUE colours anything else seems somewhat insulting to me, to Gresley, the LNER, to Flying Scotsman herself AND to those who love her.

  34. It’s unfortunate how many souls care more about what color and number the loco wears more than the fact that is a fully restored and active steam engine locomotive. She has traveled tens of thousands of miles and counting. I am one of the few that is in awe of her survival and the engineering challenges she has endured, and to this day, have yet to have been in her presence. Much respect to NRM for appreciating a proper restoration.

  35. I remember playing football against Skipton LMS sometime in the mid 1970’s when FS came through Skipton, I think en route for the Settle-Carlisle. As the pitch was next to the station, when FS left the station, the referee stopped the game and we all watched it go by.

  36. As a trainspotter since the 1950s, I’m not to bothered about the exact shade of green, or ever the 60103 number, which is as I remember it.
    What I can’t abide is the German blinkers (smoke deflectors). What was wrong with the original LNER design?

    1. Smoke then obscures the driver’s view, and not being able to see 3 feet in front of you isn’t really something you want to have happen when hurtling down the line at 100 mph. As for why the various deflectors Humorist had weren’t applied, they weren’t in the BR days for Scotsman.

  37. Dear nrm,please restore flying scotsman to its original apple green livery for the 100th birthday of flying scotsman.

  38. The Flying Scotsman engine in three different colours like apple green war time black and now dark green

  39. When 4472 arrived Edinburgh in the sixties,a band called the sabres,which I was the drummer composed an instrumental called 4472 some of the and are still alive I have photos of us set up next to the engine at Waverly station.

  40. You never see or hear about the drivers,so here is one such person name is Eric Edwards known to his work mates as text why? He started at King’s Cross was there all his working life,heworked his way up over many years as,stocker ,drivers mate then to driver for many years,then went back to orher types of locos ect, until he retired,we still have photos of him with some family members on the plate.

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