Issue Date: 30/11/2009
Issue Name: Flying Scotsman World Steam Record 75th Anniversary
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Flying Scotsman has always been a record breaker. In 1928, the Flying Scotsman made the first non-stop journey from London to Edinburgh. In 1989 she completed a tour of Australia and picked up another two records! The first was for the longest non-stop run by a steam engine - a staggering 422 miles. The second was when she became the first locomotive to circumnavigate the globe when travelling back to the UK via Cape Horn.
On 30th November 1934, Flying Scotsman powered her way into the history books by becoming the first locomotive to reach speeds of more than 100mph (officially recorded). 75 years on, Buckingham Covers has created a limited edition coin cover to celebrate the anniversary.. Endorsed by the National Railway Museum, this cover is part of our esteemed railway cover series and, like the The Flying Scotsman herself, it will stand the test of time!
Each cover has its own 1934 penny – a REAL one, not a replica. This is a little piece of history from the year she broke the speed record. It has not been easy sourcing these! Limited numbers have been signed by Sir William McAlpine.
Background and History
The holy grail of 100mph was the goal of both the railway companies running trains in the North of England: London Midland and Scottish (LMS) and London North Eastern Railway (LNER).
Both LNER and LMS wanted to prove their superiority by offering the fastest service - and they both wanted to break that 100mph speed first!
True, GWR's City class no. 3440, City of Truro had claimed to exceed 100mph in 1904 - but that was only a claim. There had been no second timekeeper to confirm, so the competitive railway companies just dismissed it.
"Things were different now" they thought, and rightly so. By 1934, locomotives attempting records had a dynamometer car attached, with all sorts of devices for measuring speeds.
It was during one of the speed runs that the now iconic 1923 Doncaster-built Flying Scotsman broke the speed record officially. This was while she was running between Leeds and London.
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Sir William McAlpine purchased The Flying Scotsman in 1973 and continued to maintain her privately for hauling special trains over BR lines and on private railways. Under his ownership, 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.
Sir William is the great grandson of Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Bt. founder of the world famous Sir Robert McAlpine, LTD construction company.