Talk:LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman

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Good articleLNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman has been listed as one of the Engineering and technology good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
November 4, 2012Good article nomineeListed
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on November 30, 2012, November 30, 2014, November 30, 2015, and November 30, 2023.

Plaque recording the 1989 record for longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive[edit]

Can anyone verify that Flying Scotsman has (or had) been fitted with a plaque to commemorate its record 422 mile non-stop run between Parkes and Broken Hill in Australia in 1989? (And cite a reference?) Zzrbiker (talk) 04:13, 22 December 2013 (UTC)[reply]

also, the fleet number would have been 4472 in 1988. But I don't know the year range. Dave Rave (talk) 07:09, 29 July 2016 (UTC)[reply]


A huge amount has recently been spent restoring it. It would be useful to know how much it originally cost, in both historic and equivalent modern pricing. Can someone oblige? Thanks Speculatrix (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:35, 7 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Speed Record[edit]

Before I undo the undo that undid my edit, a couple of points...

The article states as fact that the 4472 achieved 100 mph in 1934. It does not mention that this is still subject to debate - and it is widely considered by experts that the maximum speed was 98 mph. For instance O S Nock stated: C.J.Allen clocked two alternative quarter mile speeds of 97.3 mph, whereas the dynamometer car chart showed a marked but rather unnatural peak of exactly 100mph. Allen himself...quoted 98 mph in his log. Nock concluded there was as much doubt about 4472's speed as previous claimants to the record. The article should mention this issue.

What does "officially authenticated" mean? With Land Speed and Air Speed records that phrase makes sense eg "The rules for all official aviation records are defined by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which also ratifies any claims." But with 4472 there was no independent witness and no independent body to authenticate the claim. Suggest "officially authenticated" has no place in this article. --Pallata (talk) 19:06, 13 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Let’s not Forget the LNER locomotive Mallard at 129 mph, or the GWR City of Truro. Bazdrums (talk) 07:44, 30 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Main photo[edit]

Wouldn't it make sense to find a more appropriate photo for the info box? The photo used is from 2003 and shows Scotsman in a livery it never wore: According to the article, the double chimney, banjo dome and smoke deflectors were fitted in BR-times, thus it should be in BR-green, not LNER apple green, and it should wear the number 60103. There should be plenty of recent photographs since the overhaul addressing these issues. Alternatively, the article features historical photos or some decent pictures from 1989 which better match the 4472-number.--GrafLukas (talk) 10:06, 13 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

You say "a livery it never wore" - but clearly it did carry that livery, since there is photographic evidence. If your point is that it never carried that livery when in main line service (i.e. between 1923 and 1963), that may be true; but the locomotive has now lasted longer in preservation (55 years) than in main line service (40 years). The locomotive's owners surely have the right to paint it whatever colour they like. It's not the only such instance: LMS Fairburn 2-6-4T no. 42085 was painted Caledonian Railway blue for a period whilst preserved on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. See also WP:GREATWRONGS. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 11:04, 13 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Redrose64, you are missing the point. You are right: I meant "it never wore in active service". I am not suggesting anything listed under WP:GREATWRONGS. I am merely asking if it would not be more appropriate having another picture as main photo - e.g. something quite more recent. I do not object to other liveries being mentioned in the article and pictures to accompany it. I will try to upload a decent picture I took recently during a visit to Shildon/Locomotion to Commons showing the engine in its current livery and under steam. Perhaps that can be used, then. Any objections?--GrafLukas (talk) 12:43, 10 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I have taken the liberty of changing the picture now. Hope you like it that way.--GrafLukas (talk) 21:16, 10 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]


My husband rescued Flying Scotsman when Alan Pegler ran ut of money in America. My husband ran her, and cared for her for 23 years. When Tony Marchignton ran out of money, my husband arranged for the National Railway Museum to take her. I have not looked at Wikepedia before but did the other day to find a lot of inaccuracies. I corrected these inaccuracies and have been the subject of some considerable abuse from people who do not understand that MY sources are simple facts as known by me from conversations with both Alan Pegler and, more importantly, my husband. Quite what these people expect a wife to offer as "sources" other than that whichI did state, I cannot imagine. As my husband died earlier tis year and cannot correct inaccuracies himself, I think it reasonable that his wife sould do so. I am aware now, thanks to someone who lives in Atlanta and cannot possibly know the facts either about my husband or his relationship with the engines he owned! that there is also a considerable amoount of inaccuracy on Wikepedia about my husband himself, not just his ownership of Scotsman. My entries are ALL verifiable should anyone wish to spseak to me or to read the only book that has yet been written about Sir William McAlpine's engines and carriages. I have neither the time nor right now the stamina to go through the pages yet again and re-correct other people's inaccuracies if I think that those who do NOT know the truth are simply going to remove my accurate corrections. Lady McAlpine (Boris is a Labrador) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Borismcalpine (talkcontribs) 00:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

@Borismcalpine: First, how do we know that you are who you claim to be? Are you the real Lady McAlpine, or a dog? Or somebody else who is pretending? Second, and more importantly, we have certain core policies, including: verifiability, no original research, and neutrality, all of which need to be observed carefully. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:12, 28 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Relying on personal knowledge is a problem as the reader can't verify it. There has to be a citation to a published source. But the book mentioned by Lady McAlpine does exist -- Sir William McAlpine: A Tale of Locomotives, Carriages and Conservation, by John Chacksfield, The Oakwood Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0853616884. It has a picture of Flying Scotsman on the cover. Amazon say it's currently unavailable. According to the contents note on Amazon, pages 45-55 cover Sir William's acquisition of Scotsman, and pages 81-85 cover the loco's tours abroad under his stewardship. If Lady McAlpine, or anyone else with access to a copy, could correct any inaccuracies in the article with page-number citations to Chacksfield, and add the book to the bibliography, that would presumably work. Khamba Tendal (talk) 17:50, 31 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]
ISBN 978-0853616887 Andy Dingley (talk) 18:31, 31 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Debate over restoration section[edit]

It seems to me this section is a little out of place in the article. There appears to be no debate at all in this section; just some facts on what happened with the LNER black livery. Could this be removed for redundancy or extend to include views there may have been about the restoration? Nathan A RF (talk) 14:50, 4 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I want the engine to be repainted into LNER Apple Green livery.[edit]

I want Flying Scotsman to be repainted into its original LNER Apple Green Livery, its original No. 4472 painted on in gold leaf, and the letters LNER on its tender. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:C7E:4285:3C00:C9C0:E73C:54DD:E188 (talk) 13:28, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I suspect, based on your question, that you found one of our over 6.4 million articles and thought we were affiliated in some way with that subject. Please note that you are at Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and this page is for discussion on how to improve the LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman article. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:35, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Diesel 4472 side by side with Steam 4472[edit]

There is a picture of two locomotives numbered 4472 standing side by side at Sydney Central railway station.----MountVic127 (talk) 07:01, 14 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]

MountVic127: Are you going to link to the picture? It's probably not necessary to include in this article. Rcsprinter123 (dialogue) 18:28, 14 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I remember seeing the picture, probably in Railway Digest magazine, but I do knot know where it is. That is why a mentioned it in the talk page, to prompt help from someone else who does know. It is a very unusual picture. ----MountVic127 (talk) 07:08, 18 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Requested move 3 October 2023[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: not moved. (closed by non-admin page mover) Vpab15 (talk) 17:51, 11 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]

– The loco is clearly the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Move the disambiguation page, which was moved without discussion, back to Flying Scotsman (disambiguation). Polyamorph (talk) 06:00, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Addendum: If there is some convention why this page must be named with the LNER class and number then Flying Scotsman should redirect here and the dab moved back to Flying Scotsman (disambiguation). Polyamorph (talk) 08:05, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
One of the problems of putting the number in the article title is that it keeps changing according to the whim of the owner(s). It is currently 60103, but it is quite possible it could change again next time she gets a repaint. Murgatroyd49 (talk) 11:08, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Good point. All the more reason to move to Flying Scotsman, its WP:COMMMONNAME. Polyamorph (talk) 11:22, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
One of the problems of putting the number in the article title is that it keeps changing This is why we allow redirects. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 17:20, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Leave as is. This article is about a specific locomotive, for which we normally title the article by company, class and number, plus name if applicable. See Category:Preserved London and North Eastern Railway steam locomotives. Also, the title Flying Scotsman is ambiguous, an equal (if not greater) claimant to the title could be the train service between London and Edinburgh, which began some years before the locomotive was named after it; and moreover, is still running. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 17:20, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose move No, the loco isn't a clear primary topic. There's also the train and of the two, that has clear historical precedence. So disambiguation is needed, and none of these are clearly enough primary to take that place. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I would argue that the vast majority of users searching for flying scotsman will be looking for the loco, not the train service. A simple Google search all top hits are for the engine, not the train service. The service clearly has historical significance but in terms of primary topic it's the locomotive. Polyamorph (talk) 17:41, 3 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose move. As a lifetime cyclist and fan of the sport, Graeme Obree remains etched in my mind as my primary topic for the term. They even made a film about him, which was titled The Flying Scotsman, not Obree or Graeme Obree. I'd never heard of the locomotive or train, but I'm an American who is not a railroad historian. – wbm1058 (talk) 14:27, 7 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    WP:PRIMARYTOPIC isn't interested in what your personal primary topic is, but what is the prevailing primary topic in sources. Would you care to comment on the prevailing topic in available sources? Polyamorph (talk) 06:43, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure. Logically, all sources covering the topic of bicycle racing consider him to be the primary topic. wbm1058 (talk) 13:42, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    I am talking about searching the term "Flying Scotsman" or "The Flying Scotsman". You will find all those at the top of search engine results refer to the locomotive, because it's the most likely relevant example of the term. Do you have any evidence that I'm in fact wrong and the vast majority of sources relating to that term actually deal with the bicycle racer? Please read WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Polyamorph (talk) 14:26, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment for those unfamiliar with the topic, it's worth noting, as stated in the article, that the Flying Scotsman is known to be "The world's most famous steam locomotive". I would very much appreciate more comments on the prevailing WP:PRIMARYTOPIC as evidenced in the sources, and less of particular editor's personal preferences/favourites. [1][2][3]
    Tom Thumb (locomotive) is the "world's most famous", in the United States. I pulled that up from personal memory; hadn't heard of LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman before this RM. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:42, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Your personal memory is not a reliable source. It really isn't relevant if you have heard of it or not per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Polyamorph (talk) 14:26, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    OK, Google tells me it's an express passenger train service operating between Edinburgh and London, powered by an iconic steam engine, which was recently in the news when the Flying Scotsman locomotive crashed into "another train" (apparently not "another locomotive"). But I'm a little confused. The Flying Scotsman train is powered by British Rail Class 800 and British Rail Class 801 – those don't look like iconic steam engines to me. After further review, I agree that the primary topic is the locomotive(s) and train(s) –– perhaps the separate articles on each should be summarized into a WP:broad-concept article covering both in order to mitigate any confusion. Obree's nickname was probably derived from the steam engine. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:08, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • Pageviews for August 2023, give consistently higher page views for LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman cf. Flying Scotsman (train). In August 2023, incoming clicks were 12.5k for LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman cf. 7.3k for Flying Scotsman (train). It's also interesting to note a much larger number of outgoing views from Flying Scotsman (train) to LNER Class A3 4472 Flying Scotsman than the other way around. This confirms my assertion that users are most likely to be interested and searching for the locomotive and therefore is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. I'm open to any alternative evidence based arguments, but I would urge the closing admin or page mover not to give any weight to anecdotal comments. Polyamorph (talk) 14:44, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Pageviews are just anecdotal evidence. How can you be certain that readers searching for the "locomotive" are searching for the steam engine and not the engines that power the modern high-speed electric train shuttling business people between Edinburgh and London? How can you be certain that readers searching for the "train" are not searching for the tourist train powered by the steam locomotive and accidentally landing on the electric-powered train? wbm1058 (talk) 15:23, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    You don't make an article that averages 15,000 monthly views primary over another that averages 10,000 monthly views. "highly likely—much more likely than any other single topic, and more likely than all the other topics combined" translates to at least double, if not triple or quadruple, the views. Not just 50% more views. Obree still averages 6600 views/month. The film about him averages 2300 views/month. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:43, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Your steam engine doesn't even get half of the total page views of five possible targets. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:52, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    It's not my steam engine. Page views are not anecdotal, they may not be fullproof but they're indicative of overall trends. As I clearly stated, I was comparing two specific articles and the loco was consistently higher than the train, usually 1/3 more pageviews but with regular spikes with more than double the number of views. It's only really the engine and train the that are of any real relevance here for WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, the others rarely get more than a few thousand views a month. Polyamorph (talk) 16:48, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  • I would support a move to a title like Flying Scotsman (locomotive); LNER Class A3 4472 is far too long and in-the-weeds for casual readers. But I weakly oppose moving this over the dab; it's the most likely target for the term but it's not more likely than all the others put together. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:49, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ Malpass, Dare & Jenkins 1992, p. 97.
  2. ^ Clifford, David (1997). The World's Most Famous Steam Locomotive: Flying Scotsman. Finial Publishing. ISBN 978-1-900-46702-5.
  3. ^ "Flying Scotsman steams to head of world's most famous trains list". The Telegraph. 7 April 2017.
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Aviemore accident[edit]

For info, the RAIB have opened a full investigation into the accident. Mjroots (talk) 13:15, 16 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]