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The Scotsman’s Salute

Friday 11 January 2019

This tour is fully booked. Please call the office to join the waiting list.

Sir William McAlpine, 1936 – 2018

A very special train to celebrate the life of a truly great railway enthusiast and preservationist.

A hugely popular and well-known public figure, Sir William McAlpine was a lifelong supporter of railway heritage and preservation in the UK and he led many campaigns to preserve and restore historic railway buildings, locomotives and objects.

He began his career working in Hayes Depot in Middlesex which housed the McAlpine railway locomotive and wagon fleet and he maintained a significant railway collection at his private estate which included the mile long Fawley Hill Railway.

He established and chaired the influential Railway Heritage Trust, was Patron of the Swanage Railway Trust, President of the Transport Trust, Chairman of the Dart Valley Railway, Chairman of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway and either Chairman, Patron or President of a vast number of other preserved railways. He was also President of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society.

He will be best remembered for saving 4472 ‘Flying Scotsman’ for the nation preventing the famous locomotive from sale to an American consortium or possibly being sold for scrap. Sir William paid for the locomotive to be restored and brought back into main line operation and for this alone, the enthusiast fraternity owes him an enormous debt of gratitude.

Sir William was instrumental in introducing new generations to this magnificent icon of the steam age which included organising the locomotive’s record-breaking trip to Australia in 1988.

Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, and on the eve of his 83rd birthday, DB Cargo, Network Rail, LNER and the National Railway Museum will run a very special train from London King’s Cross to York hauled by Flying Scotsman.

A small number of seats will be reserved for VIP guests, but the remainder will be bookable by the public, exclusively though UK Railtours.

On arrival into York at 12.30, guests will be escorted to the adjacent National Railway Museum where a Class 90 electric locomotive will be named on the turntable of the Great Hall.

Visitors will then have time to explore the museum and the rest of this fine city at leisure before departure from York at around 17.00. With the newly named Sir William McAlpine in charge we return to London King’s Cross.

The charter is a collaboration between DB Cargo UK Ltd, the locomotive’s owners the National Railway Museum, Network Rail, LNER, Riley & Sons (E) and the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS).

Sir William was instrumental in preserving steam on the main line for future generations to enjoy.

Profits from this train will be used to create a one-year engineering trainee position to ensure Sir William’s legacy continues to live on.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

London King's Cross08.0020.00