THE rail industry and the heritage sector joined forces to pay tribute to Sir William McAlpine, who many regard as one of the greatest figures – if not the greatest – of the preservation movement.
A special memorial trip, the ‘Scotsman’s Salute’ ran from King’s Cross to York on Friday, January 11, headed by none other than A3 Pacific No. 6013 Flying Scotsman, which Sir William rescued in 1973 after it was left stranded at the mercy of creditors.
The landmark trip was organised by locomotive owner the National Railway Museum in partnership with East Coast franchise operator LNER, train operator DB Cargo, Riley & Son (E) Ltd, which operates the A3 on behalf of the museum, ticket sales handler UK Railtours, and Sir William’s widow, Lady Judy McAlpine.
This was Flying Scotsman’s first trip of the year, with the 10-coach sell-out special comprising the Scottish Railway Preservation Society’s Mk.1 rake, carrying nearly 400 passengers.
The first coach was taken mainly by VIP guests, and the second contained many volunteers from the legendary Fawley Hill Railway, the private standard gauge line which Sir William developed in the grounds of his home near Henley-on-Thames.
Tickets were also eagerly snapped up by members of the public at £159 each. In Sir William’s memory, ticket sales will be used to fund an engineering training place for one young person, who will spend the year travelling around the country maintaining Flying Scotsman, and if they meet the standard at the end, will be offered a permanent role.
Read more and view more images in Issue 251 of HR – on sale now!