Costs are Flying up

First published in Letters by

SO the Flying Scotsman has racked up yet more colossal repair bills (The Press, January 7) because of newly discovered cylinder misalignment.

Coming from a marine engineering background, and well used to working on steam engines, I find it hard to understand how there could be nearly half-an-inch of misalignment on the engine’s centre-cylinder, which has only just been discovered.

Surely that amount of misalignment would have caused all kinds of trouble, long before it was discovered during the current overhaul?

Be that as it may, how come there is talk of a £500,000 repair bill for what will be quite a small item?

When the new A1 “Tornado” (virtually identical to Flying Scotsman) was built its final cost was £3m – for a complete locomotive.

It would be a shame if Flying Scotsman had to be put into the Railway Museum as a static item because its being repaired is costing such a huge amount of money.

However there must come a time when it no longer becomes viable to keep pouring money into this old engine and it will have to be, finally, retired.

Personally I think Mallard, as the fastest steam locomotive ever, is far more deserving of being steamed than Flying Scotsman.

Philip Roe, Roman Avenue South, Stamford Bridge, York.

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