The National Railway Museum has signed a six-year contract with engineering firm Riley & Son (E) Ltd to continue operating and maintaining Flying Scotsman for the next six years.
The confirmation comes two months after the NRM announced that the firm was the “preferred supplier to operate and maintain” the Gresley ‘A3’ (see Down Main, SR475) - although at the time, the museum was negotiating the final contract, the details of which had not been finalised.
Now the contract has been signed, Ian Riley will run No. 60103 until 2024 and, in addition to day-to-day operation and maintenance, the contract includes a comprehensive overhaul in 2022, as well as plans to mark ‘Scotsman’s’ centenary in 2023.
Mr Riley said: “I am very pleased that we have been appointed to maintain and operate Flying Scotsman for the next six years, which will enable us to develop a long-term plan for the care and management of this world-renowned engine.
“The success is down to the skills, experience and hard work of the whole team who have spent many hours working on the locomotive from restoration to the present day. Flying Scotsman is definitely a special engine and the chance to work with such a well-loved locomotive again is a real privilege.”
The NRM has also revealed preliminary details of Flying Scotsman’s schedule for 2018 which, in addition to a number of main line railtours across the country, includes a return visit to the East Lancashire Railway in July and August/September.
Also, as a thank you for hosting the ‘A3’ in late October 2017 when it required repairs to its middle driving wheelset, the Gresley ‘Pacific’ will make a working visit to the Nene Valley Railway later this year. Further details will be released shortly.
For more information about Flying Scotsman’s whereabouts during 2018, visit: www.flyingscotsman.org.uk/events/scotsman-on-the-tracks.