Number 60103 ended service with British Railways in January 1963 and was sold for preservation to Alan Pegler, who had it restored at Darlington Works as closely as possible to its LNER condition: the smoke deflectors were removed, the double chimney was replaced by a single chimney, and the tender was replaced by one of thecorridor type with which the locomotive had run between 1928 and 1936. It was also repainted into LNER livery, although the cylinder sides were painted green, whereas in LNER days they were always black. It then worked a number of rail tours, including a non-stop London–Edinburgh run in 1968 – the year steam traction officially ended on BR. In the meantime, the watering facilities for locomotives were disappearing, so in September 1966 Pegler purchased a second corridor tender, and adapted as an auxiliary water tank; retaining its through gangway, this was coupled behind the normal tender.
Pegler had a contract permitting him to run his locomotive on BR until 1972, but following overhaul in the winter of 1968–69 it went on a promotional tour to the USA, for which it was fitted with cowcatcher, bell, buckeye couplings, American-style whistle, air brakes and high-intensity headlamp. The trip was initially a success, but when Pegler's backers withdrew their support he began to lose money and was finally bankrupted in 1972.
Fears then arose for the engine's future, the speculation being that it could take up permanent residence in America or even be cut up. After Alan Bloom made a personal phone call to him in January 1973, William McAlpinestepped in and bought the locomotive for £25,000 direct from the finance company in San Francisco docks. After its return to the UK via the Panama Canal in February 1973, McAlpine paid for the locomotive's restoration atDerby Works. Trial runs took place on the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway in summer 1973, after which it was transferred to Steamtown (Carnforth), from where it steamed on various tours.In October 1988 the locomotive arrived in Australia to take part in that country's bicentenary celebrations and during the course of the next year it travelled more than 45,000 kilometres (28,000 mi) over Australian rails, including a transcontinental run from Sydney to Perth. It was a central attraction in the Aus Steam '88festival, double-heading with NSWGR locomotive 3801, and running alongside Victorian Railways R classlocomotives along the 300 km (190 mi)-long parallel Victorian broad gauge|broad and standard gauge tracks of the North East railway line, Victoria. The Flying Scotsman stayed in Victoria for two months before heading back to New South Wales. On 8 August 1989 Flying Scotsman set another record, travelling 442 miles (711 km) fromParkes to Broken Hill non-stop, the longest such run by a steam locomotive ever recorded. A plaque on the engine records the event.
Returned to the UK, by 1995 it was in pieces at Southall Railway Centre in West London, owned by a consortium that included McAlpine as well as music guru and well-known railway enthusiast Pete Waterman. Facing an uncertain future owing to the cost of restoration and refurbishment necessary to meet the stringent engineering standards required for main line operation, salvation came in 1996 when Dr Tony Marchington, already well known in the vintage movement, bought the locomotive, and had it restored over three years to running condition at a cost of £1 million, a restoration which is still recognised as the most extensive in the locomotive's history. Marchington's time with the Flying Scotsman was documented in on documentary, the Channel 4 programme A Steamy Affair: The Story of Flying Scotsman.
With Flying Scotsman's regular use both on the VSOE Pullman and with other events on the main line, in 2002, Marchington proposed a business plan, which included the construction of a "Flying Scotsman Village" in Edinburgh, to create revenue from associated branding. After floating on OFEX as Flying Scotsman plc in the same year, in 2003 Edinburgh City Council turned down the village plans, and in September 2003 Marchington was declared bankrupt. At the company's AGM in October 2003, CEO Peter Butler announced losses of £474,619, and with a £1.5 million overdraft at Barclays Bank, stated that the company only had enough cash to trade until April 2004. The company's shares were suspended from OFEX on 3 November 2003 after it had failed to declare interim results.With the locomotive effectively placed up for sale, after a high-profile national campaign it was bought in April 2004 by the National Railway Museum in York, and it is now part of the National Collection. After 12 months of interim running repairs, it ran for a while to raise funds for its forthcoming 10-year major boiler recertification.
In January 2006, Flying Scotsman entered the Museum's workshops for a major overhaul to return it to Gresley's original specification and in order to renew its boiler certificate; originally planned to be completed by mid 2010 if sufficient funds were raised, but late discovery of additional problems meant it would not be completed until late spring 2012. The bay in which the locomotive was being refurbished was on view to visitors to the NRM but the engine was rapidly dismantled to such an extent that the running plate was the only component recognisable to the casual observer. Early in 2009 it emerged that the overhaul would see the loco reunited with the last remaining genuine A3 boiler (acquired at the same time as the locomotive as a spare). The A4 boiler that the loco had used since the early 1980s was sold to Jeremy Hosking for potential use on his locomotive, LNER Class A4 4464 Bittern.
Debate over restorationEdit
Choice of livery is an emotive subject amongst some of those involved in the preservation of historic rolling stock, and Flying Scotsman has attracted more than its fair share as a result of 40 years continuous service, during which the locomotive underwent several changes to its livery.Alan Pegler's preferred option was evidently to return the locomotive as far as possible to the general appearance and distinctive colour it carried at the height of its fame in the 1930s. A later option was to re-install the doubleKylchap chimney and German smoke deflectors that it carried at the end of its career in the 1960s, which encouraged more complete combustion, a factor in dealing with smoke pollution and fires caused by spark throwing.
More recently, until its current overhaul it was running in a hybrid form, retaining the modernised exhaust arrangements while carrying the LNER 'Apple Green' livery of the 1930s. Some believe that the more famous LNER colour scheme should remain, while others take the view that, to be authentic, only BR livery should be used when the loco is carrying these later additions. The subject is further complicated by the fact that, while in BR livery, the locomotive never ran with its corridor tender.The National Railway Museum (NRM) announced on 15 February 2011, that Flying Scotsman will be painted in LNER Wartime Black livery when it undergoes its steam tests and commissioning runs. The letters 'NE' appear on the sides of the tender, along with the number '103' on one side of the cab and '502' on the other – the numbers it was given under the LNER's renumbering system. Flying Scotsman will be repainted in its familiar-look Apple Green livery in the summer, but remained in black for the NRM's Flying Scotsman Preview Weekend which took place on 28–30 May 2011. Furthermore, during the National Railway Museum's 'railfest' event on 2–10 June 2012, Flying Scotsman was in attendance, being kept in front of Mallard in a siding, still in its Wartime Black livery.