The Flying Scotsman


Flying Scotsman-3
The Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman

“The world’s most famous steam engine” visited the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, April 2017. I  shot this using the Canon 5Dmk4 and made occassional use of 4K video to obtain still images, effectively using the 4K as a fast burst of stills. The resulting image is a pretty good 8MP jpeg. I used a Gitzo Carbon fibre monopod to hold the camera steady, but for video, a steady cam or tripod are recommended.

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Still from 4k video

The Flying scotsman has two world records.

  1. The first train to exceed 100mph on November 30th 1934
  2. The longest non-stop steam run of 422 miles set in 1989

It was designed to travel the 393 miles from London to Edinburgh non-stop, which meant that it needed a unique tender design. The distance and time involved meant it needed much more water than would normally be carried and also a change of crew. The tender then was unique in having a corridor through it – and being much longer than usual.


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The corridor through the extended tender

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The “Bluebell” is am enthusiast run “heritage railway” in Sussex, England. In was opened in 1960 as a 5 mile stretch of the Lewes to East Grinstead railway, which had been closed. Until March 2013 there was no link to the mainline railway, but after permission was granted in 1985 a multi-million pound project finally delivered an extension to East Grinstead station. This made it possible for the large locomotives to travel down on the mainline to the Bluebell. The Flying Scotsman is based in York.

from their website

“The railway is operated by “Bluebell Railway plc”, which is majority owned by the volunteer membership through the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, and this membership also provides the dedicated volunteer labour which enables the line to continue running. Any financial surplus made from running the trains is ploughed straight back into preservation work. The only “dividend” members receive is the immense satisfaction of seeing “their” railway provide a day’s entertainment for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year”

Licensing Images 

These images are available for licensing 



Travel on the Flying Scotsman in 2018

2018 Timetable


Read more about the Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman website

Smithsonian article


Bluebell Railway


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