Flying Scotsman at Doncaster Railport: Excitement builds as historic locomotive becomes first steam engine to visit freight sidings since 2013
The locomotive, built at nearby Doncaster Plant Works in 1923, will spend Remembrance weekend at the freight terminal as part of its centenary tour schedule.
The event has sold out, but tickets were free and large crowds are expected to line the road and footbridge over the Railport to try and catch a glimpse of the visitor.
Doncaster was not originally included on owners the National Railway Museum’s 2023 itinerary for the locomotive despite its strong links with the city, before Mayor Ros Jones lobbied its management for a stop-off. She also managed to persuade the NRM to allow the engine to call at Doncaster Station on its way back to York in the summer – the first time it had made a halt there since the 1980s.
Freightliner, the company which manages the Railport close to the city centre, has agreed to host the locomotive as the site has easy access to the East Coast Main Line and the engine can be displayed without disrupting regular rail traffic.
It is thought to be the first time a steam engine has been in residence at the Railport, which opened 30 years ago, since 2013, when it hosted the Mallard as part of the St Leger celebrations.
The Mallard was built at the same site on Doncaster Carr by LNER in 1938, and the event a decade ago also involved a VIP dinner with the A4 Pacific locomotive in the erecting shop where it was first launched at the Plant.
During its operational heyday, the Scotsman regularly called at Doncaster while hauling services between London and Edinburgh – passing the Plant Works where it was manufactured, then one of the city’s biggest employers.
Yorkshire Post photographer Bruce Rollinson went to the Railport for an exclusive press unveiling of the Scotsman on Friday. It has spent most of the autumn on display at the National Railway Museum, and is due to haul more charter excursions before the end of the year.