Rare photos tell the fascinating untold story of the Flying Scotsman’s incredible tour of America

4 Min Read

Rare photographs tell the fascinating untold story of the Flying Scotsman’s incredible tour of America and Canada in 1970 (which got underway once a ‘cowcatcher’ had been fitted)

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It’s full steam ahead for a dose of nostalgia.

A new book, using a fascinating collection of previously unpublished photos, tells the story of the Flying Scotsman’s 1970 tour of America and Canada.

The tome, Flying Scotsman In America – The 1970 Tour (Amberley Publishing), has been put together by Richard Hinchcliffe, who was the 13-year-old son of tour manager and railway heritage pioneer George Hinchcliffe, and Bill Wagner, at that time a 21-year-old train-chasing college student from Illinois.

Amberley Publishing says: ‘These two unlikely characters were part of the tour. Their intense experience from the summer of 1970 is still very much a part of their lives.

‘Now, over 50 years later, they come together again using Wagner’s magnificent photographs and Hinchcliffe’s inside story to bring you their extraordinary record of how the world’s most famous steam locomotive captured American hearts.’

Scroll down to see images of the world-famous LNER locomotive on its odyssey from Texas to Wisconsin and into Canada.

This image - taken in Santa Fe, Texas - shows the ┬┐Americanisation┬┐ that was required for the locomotive to tour the country, explaining the authors - a headlight, a bell, and a bright red pilot (cowcatcher)

This image – taken in Santa Fe, Texas – shows the ‘Americanization’ that was required for the locomotive to tour the country, explaining the authors – a headlight, a bell, and a bright red pilot (cowcatcher)

A picture taken from the authors' car as they chased the train through south-western Illinois.  They wrote: 'In America the railroads came before roads and so roads followed the railroad track to find the best lie of the land between A and B. It made chasing trains a popular pursuit to this day'

A picture taken from the authors’ car as they chased the train through south-western Illinois. They wrote: ‘In America the railroads came before roads and so roads followed the railroad track to find the best lie of the land between A and B. It made chasing trains a popular pursuit to this day’

As twilight settles in, the Flying Scotsman returns the train to Chicago's North Western Station

As twilight settles in, the Flying Scotsman returns the train to Chicago’s North Western Station

The Flying Scotsman, pictured from a chartered light aircraft, is almost lost in the vast farmlands of northern Wisconsin

The Flying Scotsman, pictured from a chartered light aircraft, is almost lost in the vast farmlands of northern Wisconsin

The Flying Scotsman visited Waco, Texas, but some of its wheels had to be removed for repairs

The Flying Scotsman visited Waco, Texas, but some of its wheels had to be removed for repairs

A track car follows directly behind the train from Temple to Waco

A track car follows directly behind the train from Temple to Waco

Flying Scotsman leaves Texas behind, crossing the Red River into Oklahoma north of Denison

Flying Scotsman leaves Texas behind, crossing the Red River into Oklahoma north of Denison

En route from Ashland, Wisconsin, to Chicago, the Flying Scotsman meets a modern-day service near Green Bay

En route from Ashland, Wisconsin, to Chicago, the Flying Scotsman meets a modern-day service near Green Bay

The Flying Scotsman is pictured here between a Penn Central New York to Pittsburgh service and a freight train

The Flying Scotsman is pictured here between a Penn Central New York to Pittsburgh service and a freight train

Eastbound for Ottawa, a distant Flying Scotsman meets a westbound CN ┬┐Turbotrain┬┐ on the Toronto┬┐Montreal corridor, the authors explain, adding: 'The "Turbotrains" were 100mph experimental gas turbines that were being tested in both the US and Canada.  With the Flying Scotsman sometimes operating at 75mph here, it's possible that the closing speed for this meeting is neared 175mph'

Eastbound for Ottawa, a distant Flying Scotsman meets a westbound CN ‘Turbotrain’ on the TorontoÔÇôMontreal corridor, the authors explain, adding: ‘The “Turbotrains” were 100mph experimental gas turbines that were being tested in both the US and Canada. With the Flying Scotsman sometimes operating at 75mph here, it’s possible that the closing speed for this meeting is neared 175mph’

Face to face in Green Bay city with Union Pacific No.  4017 Big Boys.  'Flying Scotsman looks like a toy in contrast,' the book says

Face to face in Green Bay city with Union Pacific No. 4017 Big Boys. ‘Flying Scotsman looks like a toy in contrast,’ the book says

Flying Scotsman, Savannah & Atlanta No.  750 and Southern Railway No.  4501 all under steam at a ┬┐Steam-O-Rama┬┐ in Anniston, Alabama, which featured, the authors reveal, an impromptu whistle-blowing competition among the locomotives

Flying Scotsman, Savannah & Atlanta No. 750 and Southern Railway No. 4501 all under steam at a ‘Steam-O-Rama’ in Anniston, Alabama, which featured, the authors reveal, an impromptu whistle-blowing competition among the locomotives

An improvised loading dock for coal was built at Sante Fe in Texas

An improvised loading dock for coal was built at Sante Fe in Texas

Flying Scotsman crosses the Sangamon River as she nears a midday stop in Decatur, Illinois

Flying Scotsman crosses the Sangamon River as she nears a midday stop in Decatur, Illinois

Flying Scotsman in America - The 1970 Tour, by Richard Hinchcliffe and Bill Wagner, is out now (£15.99, Amberley Publishing)

Flying Scotsman in America – The 1970 Tour, by Richard Hinchcliffe and Bill Wagner, is out now (┬ú15.99, Amberley Publishing)

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