Flying Scotsman’s visit cancelled

The Flying Scotsman on its first test run
The Flying Scotsman on its first test run

A HISTORIC steam engine’s journey through the town has been cancelled.

The Flying Scotsman was due to pass through Wigan North Western twice on Saturday as it made a trip from Manchester through the Cumbrian Fells.

But a problem has been discovered with the brakes of the newly refurbished engine during recent test runs on the East Lancashire Railway.

The National Railway Museum, which owns The Flying Scotsman, confirmed that the brakes required some “fine tuning” before it was able to be tested on a mainline.

The Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express will still make the journey but it will not be hauled by the famous locomotive.

A spokesman for the NRM said: “We can confirm that Flying Scotsman will not be hauling the Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express this Saturday, January 23, due to some fine tuning work needed on the brakes which has recently been identified as a result of the test runs on the East Lancashire Railway.

“An alternative steam locomotive - a Black 5 - will be hauling this Saturday’s tour for the Railway Touring Company.

“Mainline test runs for Flying Scotsman won’t be this week however we expect them to be soon. We understand and share the public’s disappointment; however this is the nature of the testing and commissioning process. We will keep you updated.”

The Flying Scotsman completed its first public test run in a decade on January 8 to the delight of the thousands of people who gathered to watch it pass.

The run, which saw it move out of its shed in Bury and travel a short distance down the track to the heritage line’s Bolton Street station, marked the end of a £4.2m restoration project, which began in 2006, by Riley and Son Ltd.

The engine was due to take part in a special journey on Saturday that would have seen it set off from Manchester Victoria and 6.30am before collecting passengers at Wigan and Preston.

It would then head to Carlisle and over the Ribblehead viaduct before returning through Wigan in the evening.