Home / Railway Gallery / Standard Gauge Heritage Railways / East Lancashire Railway / ELR 2018 / Flying Scotsman at Rawtenstall - 11th of March 2018 [49]

I had planned to be at the Dewsbury Bus Museum's Spring Transport event on Sunday 11th of March, but thanks to Network Rail deciding to close the Calder Valley line for engineering works that day, I instead decided to go and have a few hours at nearby Rawtenstall Station, where the Flying Scotsman was on static display for the weekend. Having seen the loco many times over the years I wasn't as fanatical about seeing it as many other people in the area seemed to be, but it's always nice to see a steam loco, especially one that has been restored as well as this one has. Someone did ask me if I didn't like the loco as I often have a habit of referring it to as the 'Flying Dustbin', but that is purely a bit of an in joke on my part and something of a pet name. I have to say that I think it is a magnificent loco, though I can't in all honesty say that I love it any more than any other steam engine, from the lowliest Tank engine to the biggest express hauler, as like many people who were around when the mainline steam era ended, I never thought I would ever see them out again in the way they are today, and I'm forever grateful to Dai Woodham and the many individuals and groups that rescued so many of them from being turned into scrap, or just the odd museum piece. What I don't like though is the hysteria that this loco seems to generate, particularly amongst the Social Media types, who seem to care more about having a selfie taken with it than anything else, and have little interest in heritage railways the rest of the time, and frequently insult us and call us 'Trainspotters' and 'Saddos'. Like many true rail enthusiasts I am horrified when I see such people trespassing on busy main lines just to get a shot of it on their camera phones, or behave in ways which at times seem to be bordering on the hysterical. I could have made a small fortune if I'd started charging all the people that thrust a camera phone in my hand and asked me to take a shot of them with the loco, though kind person that I am (when I'm not being a grumpy old git that is) I was more than happy to oblige. I have to say that this did amuse me somewhat though as I must be one of the few people on the planet that doesn't have a smart phone, and has no intention whatsoever of ever buying one of the insidious things! :-)

For those that weren't able to get there, you will get another chance at the end of March, as it will again be on static display, but at Bury this time and for five days instead of just two. With all the hoopla about this loco it is easy to forget that also running that day were 'Leander' on the Dining Train, and 'City of Wells' and Class 33 'Captain Bill' on the service trains, and as if that wasn't enough, Class 14 Teddy Bear 'Ernest' was also in the bay waiting to escort the Scotsman back to Bury and ensure that all the lineside and magazine photters didn't get a 'free' frontal shot of the famous steam loco! ;-)


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