Flying Scotsman ‘facing extra £½m repair bill’

York Press: Flying Scotsman being renovated at the National Raiwlay Museum. Picture: Nick Fletcher Flying Scotsman being renovated at the National Raiwlay Museum. Picture: Nick Fletcher

THE National Railway Museum has reiterated its commitment to restoring Flying Scotsman following claims et another major flaw has been discovered in the iconic loco.

A rail magazine, Steam Railway, has reported the loco’s middle cylinder is misaligned by up to half an inch, and the York-based museum will have to pay a six figure sum – possibly as much as half a million pounds – to carry out repairs.

The magazine said the latest hitch was disclosed in a report submitted to the museum just before Christmas by the railway engineering consultancy firm, First Class Partnerships.

It said the problem meant any return to steam this year was now unlikely and also suggested museum trustees might now decide “enough is enough” and bring the restoration to a halt.

But this was strongly denied by a museum spokeswoman, who said: “The National Railway Museum remains absolutely committed to the restoration of this iconic locomotive and to seeing it running once again on the British mainline.”

She said First Class Partnerships had been appointed by the museum to provide independent advice on the most effective approach to completing the final stage of the restoration project, and its report was currently undergoing drafting.

She said First Class was focusing on a number of areas including an assessment of work undertaken to date and how the identified programme of works could best be delivered.

It was also assessing the draft programme and cost estimates for the remaining work, she said.

“We plan to publish the report after it is completed and we will update all media simultaneously at that point.

“This update will include information about any decisions that are made in relation to how and where any further work is undertaken, how any work will be funded and about any other actions that we will be undertaking in response to the final report.”

Flying Scotsman was bought by the museum in 2004.

A major overhaul began in January 2006 and was scheduled to last one year and cost about £750,000, but the cost of the work rose to about £2.7 million and it has still not been completed.

A report last year by industry expert Bob Meanley concluded the repair scheme had had an unrealistic budget and timescale from the outset.

Comments (11)

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10:04am Mon 7 Jan 13

sheps lad says...

I believe that Tornado cost £3 million to build from scratch!
I believe that Tornado cost £3 million to build from scratch! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

10:17am Mon 7 Jan 13

pedalling paul says...

Magazine rumours may prove to be just that....but if well founded, then one might enquire whether a middle cylinder should always remain where it was built, or whether it can become misaliged over the course of time. Also is it reasonable to expect a restorer/repairer to have checked for this possibility? We'll have to be guided by the experts.
Historic artefacts have an unfortunate knack of throwing up snags during restoration. The Cutty Sark cost £50m and caught fire during the restoration process.
If the NRM had a crystal ball, they may have done better with Scotsman.
I'm looking forward to seeing it back in steam, whenever.
Magazine rumours may prove to be just that....but if well founded, then one might enquire whether a middle cylinder should always remain where it was built, or whether it can become misaliged over the course of time. Also is it reasonable to expect a restorer/repairer to have checked for this possibility? We'll have to be guided by the experts. Historic artefacts have an unfortunate knack of throwing up snags during restoration. The Cutty Sark cost £50m and caught fire during the restoration process. If the NRM had a crystal ball, they may have done better with Scotsman. I'm looking forward to seeing it back in steam, whenever. pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

10:51am Mon 7 Jan 13

Osbaldwick Lad says...

I was talking to a man at the station at the time of the purchase who apparently knew a lot about the condition of the locomotive. He told me that they had no idea what they were getting and would find out in time.
I was talking to a man at the station at the time of the purchase who apparently knew a lot about the condition of the locomotive. He told me that they had no idea what they were getting and would find out in time. Osbaldwick Lad
  • Score: 0

11:15am Mon 7 Jan 13

yorkborn66 says...

The flying Scotsman holds the record for being the world's most expensive locomotive.
Great to see running, but is it not time to just keep it as a museum exhibit ?
The flying Scotsman holds the record for being the world's most expensive locomotive. Great to see running, but is it not time to just keep it as a museum exhibit ? yorkborn66
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Mon 7 Jan 13

jumbojet says...

What a shower of total incompetent people. The middle cylinder is misaligned 'up to half an inch'. What a major problem, like have these so called Engineers never worked on a Loco before, or a car, or a motor bike, or an aeroplane, have they never built anything, get this team of amateur fitters, if we can call them that, out of the building and get some knowledge into the workshop. Mr Branson will be aware, he put good money into the engine and will be less than pleased with this 'lot'.
What a shower of total incompetent people. The middle cylinder is misaligned 'up to half an inch'. What a major problem, like have these so called Engineers never worked on a Loco before, or a car, or a motor bike, or an aeroplane, have they never built anything, get this team of amateur fitters, if we can call them that, out of the building and get some knowledge into the workshop. Mr Branson will be aware, he put good money into the engine and will be less than pleased with this 'lot'. jumbojet
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Mon 7 Jan 13

sheps lad says...

jumbo, stick to your Airfix kits.
jumbo, stick to your Airfix kits. sheps lad
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Hoofarted says...

I'm afraid the free admission to the museum is looking in doubt again. I can't see the socialist principle of Free Museums and Art Galleries continuing under the Anti Nationalization Tory's. As we are already seeing from April this year, the bill created by them will force GP's to use private services away from the NHS Hospitals. So museums will be Pay As You View soon enough.
I'm afraid the free admission to the museum is looking in doubt again. I can't see the socialist principle of Free Museums and Art Galleries continuing under the Anti Nationalization Tory's. As we are already seeing from April this year, the bill created by them will force GP's to use private services away from the NHS Hospitals. So museums will be Pay As You View soon enough. Hoofarted
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Mon 7 Jan 13

jumbojet says...

Sheps lad, I love that comment, you are spot on, if you can put an Airfix kit together you should be able to fix a half inch out of line cylinder, a few washers and a bit more glue. Chug-a-lug.
Sheps lad, I love that comment, you are spot on, if you can put an Airfix kit together you should be able to fix a half inch out of line cylinder, a few washers and a bit more glue. Chug-a-lug. jumbojet
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Mon 7 Jan 13

Guy Fawkes says...

It {the consultants' report} said the problem meant any return to steam this year was now unlikely and also suggested museum trustees might now decide “enough is enough” and bring the restoration to a halt.


In other words, they have no idea what other faults will be revealed in the course of fixing the cylinder. It's essentially the same problem that the owner of a 15 year-old car with 200k miles on the clock has. If you decide to spend that £400 on a cambelt replacement, you run the risk that the mechanic will discover that the water pump is knackered as well, thus adding another £150 to the bill. So when does the time come to give up and get a new car?

A report last year by industry expert Bob Meanley concluded the repair scheme had had an unrealistic budget and timescale from the outset.


Which the museum people almost certainly knew full well at the outset. As the architect of the Sydney Opera House discovered, a megaproject stands a much better chance of success if you don't admit that it's a megaproject until so much money has already been spent that politically, you're past the point of no return and that pulling out is the worse of two evils.
[quote]It {the consultants' report} said the problem meant any return to steam this year was now unlikely and also suggested museum trustees might now decide “enough is enough” and bring the restoration to a halt.[/quote] In other words, they have no idea what other faults will be revealed in the course of fixing the cylinder. It's essentially the same problem that the owner of a 15 year-old car with 200k miles on the clock has. If you decide to spend that £400 on a cambelt replacement, you run the risk that the mechanic will discover that the water pump is knackered as well, thus adding another £150 to the bill. So when does the time come to give up and get a new car? [quote]A report last year by industry expert Bob Meanley concluded the repair scheme had had an unrealistic budget and timescale from the outset.[/quote] Which the museum people almost certainly knew full well at the outset. As the architect of the Sydney Opera House discovered, a megaproject stands a much better chance of success if you don't admit that it's a megaproject until so much money has already been spent that politically, you're past the point of no return and that pulling out is the worse of two evils. Guy Fawkes
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Mon 7 Jan 13

binsysmith says...

yorkborn66 wrote:
The flying Scotsman holds the record for being the world's most expensive locomotive.
Great to see running, but is it not time to just keep it as a museum exhibit ?
I'm sorry to say that I fully agree with this comment.i visit the museum regularly at lunch breaks to pass the time and whenever I go onto the workshop viewing platform,there doesn't appear to be much progress,in fact,you are lucky if you see anyone working on it at all.most days that I've visited,there appears to be more bits on the rack than previously.maybe it is time to bolt it back together,get Ian and his team from heritage painting to make it look pretty and lay it up,just like the nrm have done with the famous A4 loco,mallard.
[quote][p][bold]yorkborn66[/bold] wrote: The flying Scotsman holds the record for being the world's most expensive locomotive. Great to see running, but is it not time to just keep it as a museum exhibit ?[/p][/quote]I'm sorry to say that I fully agree with this comment.i visit the museum regularly at lunch breaks to pass the time and whenever I go onto the workshop viewing platform,there doesn't appear to be much progress,in fact,you are lucky if you see anyone working on it at all.most days that I've visited,there appears to be more bits on the rack than previously.maybe it is time to bolt it back together,get Ian and his team from heritage painting to make it look pretty and lay it up,just like the nrm have done with the famous A4 loco,mallard. binsysmith
  • Score: 0

3:21am Wed 9 Jan 13

the butler says...

What I cannot understand is that an elementary part of the machine had yet to be discovered as misaligned, at such a late stage in the overhaul. Did it not require a complete overhaul when it was bought, if so why was this basic problem not found until this late date?
Sloppy proceedures is all that this brings to light plus the projected cost; a little steep I would think.
What I cannot understand is that an elementary part of the machine had yet to be discovered as misaligned, at such a late stage in the overhaul. Did it not require a complete overhaul when it was bought, if so why was this basic problem not found until this late date? Sloppy proceedures is all that this brings to light plus the projected cost; a little steep I would think. the butler
  • Score: 0

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