YP Comment: Flying Scotsman's landmark trip

THERE will be no finer sight today than Flying Scotsman steaming over the Ribblehead Viaduct to mark the reopening of the Settle-Carlisle railway '“ it will provide an illustration of both Yorkshire's engineering expertise and our stunning scenery that is famous the world over.

Yet this historic journey would simply not be possible without the ingenuity of those ‘orange army’ Network Rail experts who spent a year rerouting and rebuilding a section of the route at a particularly inaccessible location after a landslide precipitated by weeks of heavy rain dislodged half a million tonnes of earth, trees and track.

When Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy equates this to almost 100 cruise liners the size of the ill-fated Titanic, it puts into perspective the scale of the operation that was required to ensure the route’s safety. Equally it speaks volumes about this line’s special status that such an undertaking was made without quibble – a legacy of the successful campaign to keep the route open to power both the rural economy and Yorkshire’s tourism industry.