The Railway Touring Company’s tenth ‘Great Britain’ tour set off from King’s Cross in style at 7.38am on Saturday, April 29, behind LNER A3 Pacific No. 60103
Flying Scotsman. This was the A3’s first departure from the London terminus since its inaugural run after completion of its overhaul, on February 25, 2016 and fortunately the scenes of mass trespass by the public were not repeated on this occasion. A competent and fortunately uneventful run saw an arrival at York three minutes early for a planned engine change.
The rostered locomotive for the next leg to Edinburgh was LNER A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa. This engine had been running on the East Lancashire Railway the previous weekend, after completion of long-running repairs at Riley’s works, and had completed a successful main line test run on the Carnforth-Hellifield-Blackburn circuit on Wednesday, April 26, but further work was carried out and the A4 left Carnforth for York on the Friday. However the engine suffered from valve problems en route and it was clear that the A4 was not able to take up its ‘GBX’ duties as planned.
In any case the engine was rostered for the Edinburgh-Inverness and Inverness-Glasgow legs but had fallen foul of gauging problems north of Perth. It had already been decided that a ‘Black Five’ from Riley’s stable would have to stand in and No. 45212 had set off from Fort William where it was based for ‘Jacobite’ duties, along with No. 45407. Despite hopes that Scotsman could continue from York to Edinburgh, this was not possible and ‘GBX’ set off from York diesel-hauled.
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