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, 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 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.
  • Flying Scotsman has also travelled in three different countries (the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia), making it the only locomotive in the world to have done so.

In FictionEdit

  • Flying Scotsman has appeared in The Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry, and in its television adaptation Thomas and Friends as a minor character.
  • Flying Scotsman also appeared in the 2000 film 102 Dalmatians.
  • The locomotive appeared in "World Class Trains - The Northern Belle" when the locomotive hauls the Northern Belle from "York" to "New Castle" and back.

Related SitesEdit