The Flying Scotsman: meet the Lancashire engineer who restored this iconic £4m. steam engine

Colin Green, a director of Riley and Sons Locomotive Engineers near Bury, was in charge of the restoration of the iconic Flying Scotsman steam engine. (s)
Colin Green, a director of Riley and Sons Locomotive Engineers near Bury, was in charge of the restoration of the iconic Flying Scotsman steam engine. (s)
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The Lancashire engineer who restored the world’s most famous steam engine – the Flying Scotsman – is booked in for a whistle-stop excursion to Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre.

Colin Green, a director of Riley and Sons Locomotive Engineers near Bury, was in charge of the decade-long, £4million project to bring the iconic steam locomotive back to life.

A colossus of British engineering, the Flying Scotsman was purchased by the National Railway Museum for £2.3 million in 2004.

Clitheroe Civic Society chairman Steve Burke, who is co-hosting ‘The Flying Scotsman Rebuild’ with Ribble Valley Rail, said: “This will be a very rare opportunity to hear about that extensive restoration project, one of the most complex and lengthy overhauls of a steam engine ever undertaken.

“It took ten years to complete before The Flying Scotsman could run again.”

The Flying Scotsman returned to the main line to a huge public fanfare in February 2016, hauling a train from King’s Cross to York.

Mr Burke added: “When the Flying Scotsman steamed along the East Lancashire Railway soon after her restoration, many thousands of people came to see this much-loved locomotive.

“Since then The Flying Scotsman has travelled to all parts of Britain, including running over the Settle and Carlisle Line and coming through Clitheroe on excursion trains.

“This will be a great evening for all rail enthusiasts and for the many people who love The Flying Scotsman.”

During the major restoration, the work included an overhaul of the Scotsman’s boiler, the addition of a new smoke box and chassis.

Mr Green, Riley and Sons Co-Director, said: “It was a very emotional thing to see The Flying Scotsman moving and since then it has captured the nation’s imagination again.”

Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, the Pacific class A1 locomotive was originally built for the London and North Eastern Railway.

However, the locomotive soon became the star attraction, pulling the first train to break the 100mph barrier in 1934.

Following the main Flying Scotsman feature by Colin Green, there will be a presentation by Ribble Valley Rail founder members Peter Eastwood, Marjorie Birch and David Butterworth who played a major role in restoring rail transport to the town when the passenger line from Blackburn to Clitheroe was reopened in 1994.

They continue to campaign for the resumption of services from Clitheroe to Hellifield, linking the Ribble Valley line to Yorkshire.

Clitheroe Civic Society and Ribble Valley Rail presents The Flying Scotsman Rebuild and the Future for Ribble Valley Rail, April 3, 2019.

Tickets, 01200 421599 or www.thegrandvenue.co.uk