RAILWAY enthusiasts young and old will be able to travel on a seaside service pulled by the legendary Flying Scotsman this summer.

Tickets went on sale today for six weeks of summer trips hauled by the 81-year-old Doncaster-built Pacific, which is newly housed in York's National Railway Museum, after it was saved for the nation.

From July 20 to August 31, there will be two daily return trips between York and Scarborough on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Passengers will have a choice of three types of journey: a lunchtime excursion, an evening Sundowner Special, or a full day excursion. Journeys can also be started in Scarborough.

Andrew Scott, head of the museum, said: "The summer steam specials will be the first opportunity for Flying Scotsman supporters, fans and people from all over the UK and overseas to ride behind the museum's newest attraction.

"The lunchtime departure is ideal as part of a family day out, offers two hours free in Scarborough and still leaves enough time for a visit to the NRM.

"The Sundowner will appeal to visitors staying overnight in York who will have the opportunity to experience the romance of steam and the majesty of Flying Scotsman set against the backdrop of the setting sun."

He added: "We expect demand for tickets to ride behind the legendary locomotive to be very high and are advising that tickets are purchased in advance."

Flying Scotsman arrived late to open the nine-day RailFest celebrations at the museum, due to a technical fault which rendered it immobile.

But experts are now working on the historic locomotive in the NRM's workshop.

Jim Rees, rail vehicle collections manager at the museum, said: "Now that we have Flying Scotsman in our workshop we can take the time to give it a good service, a little bit of the TLC it deserves and prepare it ready for its glorious summer tours."

Travellers will have the option of two different types of meal hampers - a Lunch Hamper or a Scotsman Supper - a three-course light meal and a quarter bottle of wine in a Flying Scotsman branded box.

A return trip including the meal costs £35 for adults and £20 for children, or without a meal, £25 for adults and £13 for a child. A single ticket costs £17 for adults and £10 for children. Tickets can be booked in person at the museum during normal opening hours (10am to 6pm, seven days a week), online at www.nrm.org.uk, or through Ticketmaster on 0870 145 1198.

Updated: 13:01 Tuesday, June 15, 2004