THE iconic Flying Scotsman is being prepared to return to the railway.

Pictured undergoing work to restore the much-loved steam engine to her former glory, the project, costing £4.2million, is being carried out by specialist steam and diesel engineers at Bury-based Riley and Son Ltd.

Work is on track for the hotly anticipated ‘Scotsman in Steam Preview’ event on January 9, 10, 16 and 17 at East Lancashire Railway’s Bolton Street station, which will be the train’s first public appearances in 10 years.

The 1920s Flying Scotsman, which is commonly regarded as the world’s most famous engine due to its celebrity status and record-breaking achievements, has undergone a decade-long restoration.

Visitors to the railway can enjoy a trip behind Flying Scotsman and enjoy a six course dinner and traditional Sunday afternoon lunch.

Andy Morris, General Manager at the East Lancashire Railway said: “We have developed a range of visitor experiences for our ‘Scotsman in Steam Preview’ event to appeal to different visitor interests, from a ride behind the famous engine to an exclusive dining evening and even a behind the scenes photography course.

“Flying Scotsman is an important part of our railway heritage and is widely known as ‘the people’s engine’.

“We have done our utmost to reflect this ethos by keeping a return journey behind the locomotive at our standard freedom of the line ticket price to make this special event accessible and attractive to all.”

Test runs will take place during January along the ELR and the Railway Touring Company’s Manchester-Carlisle route. The first mainline test run will be from Manchester to Carlisle on January 23 and huge crowds are expected along sections of the route.

In 2004, the National Railway Museum bought Flying Scotsman for £2.3million.

For more information and to book tickets for the ‘Scotsman in Steam Preview’ call 0161 764 7790.