LNER Class A3 No. 4472 Flying Scotsman
640px-The Flying Scotsman

Years built



Nigel Gresley
Doncaster Works, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Number Produced


Years in Operation


Fleet Numbers




Number Preserved


Number Scrapped


(l × w × h)



4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)

V - E - T - D

LNER Gresley Class A1/A3 Pacific No. 4472 (originally No. 1472) is a type of 4-6-2 "Pacific" steam locomotive built in 1923 for the London and North Eastern Railway.

It is one of the fastest steam locomotives in the world, and is one of the only to travel at a constant speed without stopping.


The locomotive was completed in 1923. It was originally built as a Class A1 steam locomotive, initially carrying the number 1472. But it eventually became one of the very first Class A3 Pacific's built by Sir Nigel Gresley. The locomotive earned its name after hauling the non-stop "Flying Scotsman" train.

It was employed on long-distance express trains on the LNER and its successors, British Railways Eastern and North-Eastern Regions. In its career, 4472 Flying Scotsman has covered more than 2,000,000 miles (3,200,000 km).

With modified Valve gear, this locomotive was one of five Gresley Pacifics selected to haul the prestigious non-stop "Flying Scotsman" train service from went from London to Edinburgh, hauling the inaugural train on May 1st, 1928. For this the locomotives ran with a new version of the large eight-wheel tender which held 9 tons of coal. This and the usual facility for water replenishment from the water trough system between the railway tracks enabled them to travel the 392 miles (631 km) from London to Edinburgh in eight hours non-stop. The tender included a corridor connection and tunnel through the water tank giving access to the locomotive cab from the train to permit replacement of the driver and fireman without stopping the train.

The Flying Scotsman is the only circumnavigational locomotive in the world. Having visited America, and Australia as well as living in the UK. In other words it's the only locomotive to have worked on three continents in it's service life.


The Flying Scotsman weighs 96.25 long tons and has an axle load of 22.5 long tons. A large superheater feeds 3 cylinders. The driving wheels are 80 inches (2.03 metres) in diameter, the leading wheels are 3 foot 2 inch (96.5 cm) in diameter, and the rear carrying wheels are 3 foot 8 inch (1.1 metres) in diameter. The boiler has a maximum of 220 psi and the locomotive can produce 29,385 lbf of tractive effort.

The tender holds 8 long tons of coal, and 5000 imperial gallons of water.


  • Flying Scotsman is the only non streamlined LNER Gresley Pacific in preservation.

In FictionEdit

  • In the Rev. W. Awdry's Railway Series, Flying Scotsman appears in the book "Enterprising Engines". In the book, he is revealed to be Gordon's brother. Henry soon grew jealous of his two tenders, thinking he was showing off. He later witnessed Henry pulling a failed Diesel. Flying Scotsman also appeared in the Thomas and Friends 2016 special "The Great Race", racing in the speed competition. He is voiced by Rufus Jones in the UK/US dub.
  • Flying Scotsman has also cameoed in the 2000 film 102 Dalmatians.

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