Sir William McAlpine is well known for his love of steam trains and owns a large collection of vintage vehicles and steam engines. In 1973, he purchased The Flying Scotsman (illustrated in the Cuneo Painting on the cover he has signed) and continued to maintain her privately for hauling special trains over BR lines and on private railways. Under his ownership, The Flying Scotsman set a new world record for a non-stop run for steam by hauling a train for 422 miles from Parkes to Broken Hill in New South Wales.
In 1996, with great sadness, Sir William sold The Flying Scotsman to Dr Tony Marchington who took on the complex and very costly responsibility of restoring the locomotive and train back to the highest standard of operational condition.
Sir William is the great grandson of Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Bt. founder of the world famous Sir Robert McAlpine, LTD construction company.