All you need to know about the Flying Scotsman’s visit to Ely

The Flying Scotsman was due to travel from Ely to Norwich on October 18 but broke down in Peterborou

The Flying Scotsman was due to travel from Ely to Norwich on October 18 but broke down in Peterborough. - Credit: Archant

There are just hours to go until the world’s most famous steam locomotive - the Flying Scotsman - stops off in Ely.

The Flying Scotsman in Ely in 1969.

The Flying Scotsman in Ely in 1969. - Credit: Archant

The 94-year-old locomotive will depart from Ely at 5.30pm before steaming across the Fens and arriving in Norwich at approximately 7pm.

Thousands of people are expected to try to see it and take photographs as it travels down the main line – but this has prompted fears of trespassers getting on to the tracks after serious incidents last year.

Special viewing areas have been set up, but Greater Anglia, which operates the station, has said these will be for a small number of people, on a first come first served basis.

Hundreds turned out to welcome the Flying Scotsman to Ely in 1969 - and a similar sized crowd is exp

Hundreds turned out to welcome the Flying Scotsman to Ely in 1969 - and a similar sized crowd is expected this evening. - Credit: Archant

People looking to see the locomotive elsewhere are being told by Network Rail and the British Transport Police to stay off the tracks and the railway boundary.


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Inspector Stephen Webster, from British Transport Police, said: “I hope that those wanting to see this iconic train have a fantastic day.

“I will have extra British Transport Police patrols along the route and would like to remind people not to trespass on the railway as it is extremely dangerous and is also a criminal offence.

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“This includes standing on railway crossings and anywhere within the boundary fencing and I have instructed patrols to deal positively with any persons who break the law.”

Drone operators are also reminded hat flying within 50m of the railway is an offence and people have been warned against using selfie sticks due to the presence of overhead electricity cables.

The Flying Scotsman, built in 1923, has stopped off in Ely before.

The late Brian Lane of Ely captured the moment it arrived in the city in March 1969.

Historian Mike Petty said: “The locomotive may not have changed very much - but fashions have.”

5 things you didn’t know about the Flying Scotsman

• The Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Doncaster Works to a design of H.N. Gresley and initially numbered 1472.

• By 1924, when it was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the loco had been renumbered 4472 - and been given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’.

• In 1934 Flying Scotsman set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100mph.

• It also set a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on August 8, 1989 while in Australia.

• The Flying Scotsman retired from regular service in 1963 after covering 2,076,000 miles (3,341,000 km) but has since gained considerable fame in preservation.

Are you hoping to capture a glimpse of the Flying Scotsman this evening? Tweet your photographs to us using the hashtag #FlyingScot.

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