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100 years of the Flying Scotsman chronicled in new book ahead of Norfolk visit

PUBLISHED: 14:21 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:21 22 September 2020

Mid Norfolk Railway volunteer Ian McDonald has written a book about Flying Scotsman, which is due to visit the county in 2021. Picture: Supplied by Ian McDonald

Mid Norfolk Railway volunteer Ian McDonald has written a book about Flying Scotsman, which is due to visit the county in 2021. Picture: Supplied by Ian McDonald

Archant

It is possibly the most famous steam engine in the world, and it is heading to Norfolk.

Mid Norfolk Railway volunteer Ian McDonald has written a book about Flying Scotsman, which is due to visit the county in 2021. Picture: Supplied by Ian McDonaldMid Norfolk Railway volunteer Ian McDonald has written a book about Flying Scotsman, which is due to visit the county in 2021. Picture: Supplied by Ian McDonald

Now a volunteer at the Mid Norfolk Railway has produced a 44-page book about Flying Scotsman ahead of its visit to the Dereham-based attraction in October 2021.

Ian McDonald, 69, has written Flying Scotsman - approaching 100! in celebration of the locomotive, which was built in 1923 to serve the East Coast Main Line from London to Edinburgh.

Mr McDonald, from Wymondham, said: “The book tells the life history of the locomotive in words but mainly in pictures.

“We, on the railway, are very excited at the prospect of such a famous locomotive visiting a country branch line in Norfolk. “Many people who are not railway enthusiasts have heard of Flying Scotsman and may have only seen it in the National Railway Museum.

Crowds gathered on Koblenz Avenue as the Flying Scotsman could be seen in sidings at the Norwich Rail Station in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCrowds gathered on Koblenz Avenue as the Flying Scotsman could be seen in sidings at the Norwich Rail Station in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Now we hope they will have the opportunity to see it up close and personal and, possibly, travel behind it.”

Mr McDonald has volunteered with the Mid Norfolk Railway for seven years as a personal track safety trainer, steam cleaner, diesel second man and now, photographer.

He said the importance of the famous steam engine was hard to overstate.

Mr McDonald said: “The Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive to authentically achieve 100mph and is the only surviving member of Si Nigel Gresley’s A3 Class of Pacific locomotives.

“I have seen it many times and have been personally involved with the locomotive when it was shedded at Southall where I was a support crew member.”

The visit was originally due to take place this October, but the locomotive’s 2020 programme was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The No.60103 locomotive will appear at the Dereham-based heritage railway for 10 days - both on display and hauling passenger trains along the 11-mile (17.7km) line to Wymondham.

Mr McDonald said he hoped to sell the book at the railway’s Dereham and Wymondham stations, and they could also be bought by contacting him by email at w55003@hotmail.co.uk for £3 collected or £5 by post. Mr McDonald said: “£1 from each copy sold is going to support the MNR in these troubled times.”

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