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Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 05:53 GMT 06:53 UK
Flying Scotsman returns north
Flying Scotsman
The Flying Scotsman has been restored
The world famous locomotive The Flying Scotsman is to return to Scotland for the first time in 20 years.

The 77-year-old locomotive, which has been restored at a cost of over 1m, will pull the Royal Scotsman train on a round trip from London to Inverness.

The train will provide luxury accommodation for customers willing to pay 3,300 for a one-way journey, taking in York, Edinburgh and Perth en-route.

The locomotive, with its distinctive apple-green livery, was built in Doncaster in 1923 at a cost of 7,944.

Flying Scotsman's owner
Dr Marchington: Gave train a new lease of life
In 1928 it made the first non-stop express run from London to Edinburgh and in 1934 became the first engine to achieve an authenticated speed of 100 mph.

After being withdrawn in 1963, it toured America for four years and is now owned by Dr Tony Marchington, a pharmaceuticals entrepreneur from Oxford.

For the 1,200 mile trip from London to Inverness and back, The Flying Scotsman will consume 54,000 lbs of coal and 48,000 gallons of water.

Passengers going north will leave St Pancras on 17 October, arriving in Inverness two days later. The return trip will run from 20-22 October.

John Ormiston, of travel company Holland & Holland, said the journey would be the longest of its kind undertaken in Britain for decades.

'Hotel on wheels'

He said: "Nobody has pulled a train for six days with a steam engine and gone so far in Britain for at least 30 years, probably 40."

He said the Royal Scotsman train, like the Orient Express, was designed for people to live on and could accommodate 36 people.

He added: "It's a brilliantly appointed train with plenty of staff. It's just like a five star hotel with wheels."

To commemorate the journey, Scottish artist Peter Munro has been commissioned to paint two oils which will echo paintings done in 1895 by artist George Earl.

Earl's paintings, called Going North and Coming South, and which now hang in the National Railway Museum in York, depict the hustle and bustle as a train leaves London for the Scottish shooting season and a similar train returns from Perth at the close.

The new paintings will feature the Flying Scotsman locomotive, the Royal Scotsman train and the passengers. Each traveller will be presented with a print.

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06 Jan 99 | UK
Steaming into the future
04 Jul 99 | UK
Scotsman back on track
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