CROWDS gathered across Worcestershire to see, photograph and video the Flying Scotsman when the Worcester Christmas Express came to the county on Wednesday.
The iconic locomotive, which is celebrating its centenary this year, journeyed from Cambridge to Worcester Shrub Hill and back on the Railway Touring Company’s excursion.
En route it passed through Barnt Green, Bromsgrove and Droitwich and, at each station, crowds massed to catch a glimpse and make some memories via their pictures and films.
Our reporter Ashleigh Osborne captured the marvellous machine as it sped through Barnt Green.
A diesel locomotive was on the back of the train to enable it to pass through Bromsgrove without needing to stop for banking assistance on its return leg.
As it passed through, loads of people took to social media to comment on the train and its excellent engineering.
Lorna Parsonage said: “Is there or ever has been a better machine than this. Just brilliant.”
Jo Francis added: “So beautiful I’ve been on it.”
Others used a host of superlatives to describe the Flying Scotsman, including ‘fantastic’ and ‘wonderful’.
And Julie Yardley wrote: “It was a great day to see it.”
The Railway Touring Company’s Managing Director Kelly Osborne said: “We were pleased to be running the Worcester Christmas Express, which is our final steam hauled daytrip marking the very special centenary year for Flying Scotsman.
“We have run a series of trains throughout the year in different parts of the country to ensure that she visits as many areas as possible during her special celebration year.”
The popularity of the Flying Scotsman pulled in large crowds along its entire route, with Network Rail issuing a reminder beforehand to anyone going to see the train that they were responsible not only for their own safety, but the safety of other people around them, and nobody should be trespassing on the railway.
Other trains also traveled through the Barnt Green, Bromsgrove area Droitwich areas at the time the excursion is scheduled.
The Flying Scotsman locomotive was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster works in 1923 at a cost of £7,944. It commenced operating LNER services between London Kings Cross and Scotland on February 24, 1923.
Initially numbered 1472, it was renumbered to 4472 and named The Flying Scotsman in 1924, before receiving its current number 60103 in 1948.
The 97-tonne locomotive, now owned by the National railway Museum, was the first engine to officially reach 100mph in 1934, and is also the first locomotive to circumnavigate the globe having visited both the United States of America and Australia.