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Flying Scotsman repairs project was ‘unrealistic’
THE repair work for Flying Scotsman had an “unrealistic budget” and timescale from the outset a report has revealed.
An inquiry was commissioned by the National Railway Museum earlier this year in response to delays and rising costs in restoring the locomotive, which was purchased by the museum in April 2004.
A major overhaul began in January 2006 and was scheduled to last one year and cost about £750,000. But today, the cost of the overhaul has risen to about £2.7 million and it is still not complete.
The report, written by industry experts Bob Meanley, chief engineer at Vintage Trains, and Professor Roger Kemp, of Lancaster University, concludes that several issues added to the delays and costs.
It states: “These include the absence of a detailed investigation either when it was purchased in April 2004 or soon after. This would have highlighted that it was in a much worse state of repair than was believed and identified the serious structural defects that were only recently found.
“As a result, a restoration project that was always going to have been complex and taken many years was given an unrealistically short timeframe and budget at the outset.”
Steve Davies, director of the museum, said: “I welcome the report along with its findings and recommendations.
“The museum remains absolutely committed to the restoration of this iconic locomotive and to seeing it running once again on the British mainline.
“Paul Kirkman, who joins as acting director on November 5, will use the recommendations to guide the final stages of the restoration.”
The museum is not making any further announcements about any return to steam date for the locomotive, although it has confirmed it will not be this year.