Anoraks and bobbly hats at the ready!

Sometime today, mechanical heartthrob the ‘Flying Scotsman’ will be returning to Newcastle for the first time in over 10 years.

The world-famous locomotive will be pulling a charter train from its home at the National Railway Museum in York – where it has spent the last decade being meticulously overhauled by skilled workers – to Newcastle Central Station.

However, in true railway style, nobody – except the powers that be at Network Rail – has any idea when the Geordie trainspotters will get a glimpse of their mistress. You see, just to add to the surprise, Network Rail have decided to keep the train’s schedule under wraps, to deter any of those pesky trainspotters from holding it up. Back in February, the Scotsman’s maiden voyage from London to York was interrupted by irresponsible spotters near St Neots, Cambridgeshire, who intruded onto the railway lines to try and get the perfect photo, in spite of oncoming trains in the opposite direction. Anyone with even half a brain cell knows that it’s a bit silly to play on the railway lines; a photograph is never worth more than your life.

Setting two records across 3 continents, the ‘Flying Scotsman’ has charmed even the most passive train fans over the last 90 years. Few people are able to resist the tingling sensation one gets when stepping aboard the iconic train. Revolutionising long distance train travel, the ‘Flying Scotsman’ was normally seen hauling the LNER’s flagship service of the same name (yes, it’s confusing) from London to Edinburgh, a feat it achieved in an impressive eight hours. Its promotion at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924 and 1925 shot Scotsman to worldwide celebrity status, and the sheer beauty and mechanical prowess of the locomotive continues to delight people all across the world.

It seems ‘Flying Scotsman’ will always be the king of the rails, now preserved for the nation; it represents a heritage we can be justly proud of and continue to embrace today. Perhaps you’re already going to see her today, or maybe you’ve just found out (in which case you don’t have long…) but just remember, spot responsibly!