Monday, January 23, 2012

The Flying Scotsman:
U.S and Canada Tour
(1969 - 1970)
and 50th Anniversary (1973)

From 1969 to 1972, Flying Scotsman, one of the most famous steam locomotives in the world, toured the United States and Canada. This post shows souvenir covers of the tour as well as other covers highlighting events in the locomotive's history.

[This is a much expanded version of an earlier post]

History of Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotsman locomotive was built by the London North Eastern Railway at Doncaster works (Yorkshire) in 1923 and became famous by setting several records. In 1928, she hauled the first non-stop train from London to Edinburgh, the longest non-stop run in the world at that time. In 1934 the Flying Scotsman reached a speed of 100 mph on a trip between Leeds and London.

Flying Scotsman continued to be in service until 1963 when she was bought from British Railways by Mr. A. E. Pegler, a private investor who restored her. From 1969 to 1970, the locomotive toured the United States and Canada. The locomotive was sold in 1973 and continued to run for many years.

1969 London North Eastern Railway Society Summer Tour

August 31, 1969, York
Carried aboard Flying Scotsman, London to York cachet

United States and Canada Tour (1969- 1970)

The Flying Scotsman was shipped to North America from Liverpool on September 19, 1969 and toured the United States and Canada until October 1970. The Flying Scotsman remained in storage in North America until her return to Liverpool on February 13, 1973.

Departure Liverpool

Liverpool, September 19, 1969

Phase I : U.S. 1969

Tour Opening : Boston

Boston. October 13, 1969


Hartford, October 13, 1969

New York

October 17, 1969


Philadelphia, October 21, 1969


Baltimore, October 24, 1969


Washington, October 27, 1969


Atlanta, October 31, 1969

Atlanta to Dallas



Dallas, November 7, 1969

Fort Worth

Fort Worth, November 9, 1969

Houston, Tour Closing

Houston, November 14, 1969

Phase II : U.S. and Canada 1970

Slaton, Texas to Green Bay Wisconsin (June-July 1970)





Green Bay

Green Bay Wisconsin, July 26, 1970

August 13, 1970

1970 Canada Tour



Toronto, September 3, 1970

Canadian National Exhibition post office handstamp


Ottawa, September 10, 1970


September 27, 1970

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, October 3, 1970


Niagara Falls, N.Y., cancellation,

North American Storage : October 1970 - February 1973

The Flying Scotsman remained in North America until February 1973 due to financial difficulties.
She returned to England aboard the "California Star" which docked at Liverpool on February 13, 1973, in time to participate in 50th anniversary celebrations.

Return to Liverpool 1973

Liverpool, February, 12, 1973

50th Anniversary
: May 1973

Doncaster, May 2, 1973

50th anniversary souvenir cancellation

1988 to the Present Day

In October 1988 the locomotive arrived in Australia to take part in that country's bicentenary celebrations. During its 18 month stay in Australia, Flying Scotsman travelled more than 45,000 miles. On August 8 1989, Flying Scotsman set another record, travelling 442 miles non-stop, the longest such run by a steam locomotive ever recorded.

In 2004, the National Railway Museum (NRM) purchased Flying Scotsman, and is carrying out a full overhaul of the locomotive.