HUNDREDS of people lined the station platforms at Oxenholme in Kendal on Saturday to watch the historic Flying Scotsman steam through on a grand tour of Lancashire, Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.

The crowd waved and cheered and cameras clicked and flashed as the legendary engine roared through the station in just a few seconds.

Although painted black and not in its traditional green, the 1920s locomotive created a memorable impression on the watchers of all ages, who travelled from around the region to witness the rare event.

The locomotive was hauling the steam leg of heritage rail operator The Railway Touring Company’s Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express.

One of the spectators at Oxenholme was Cumbria county councillor Jim Bland who said: "I wanted to be here because the Flying Scotsman is such an historic locomotive. It's not been out for ten years so I was interested to see it run, even though it is painted black and not in its traditional green."

Amateur railway and aviation photographer Dave Robinson travelled from Chorley to see the legendary engine.

"If you were to ask any man, woman of child, they would say the Flying Scotsman is the most famous engine in the country. And those two words of its name are just so special. Just hearing them takes you back to the romantic railway era of the 1920s and 30s."

After leaving Oxenholme behind, the locomotive travelled on to Carlisle and then made a return journey to Blackburn via the Settle-Carlisle line.

Hundreds of people made their way to the Ribblehead Viaduct to watch and photograph the train crossing the iconic landmark, before it travelle don to Settle and then Hellifield. 

The Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive to reach 100mph in 1934. Today's run is the latest stage of its return to the railways following a decade long, £4.2m restoration project by the National Railway Museum.

Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail, the operator which manages Appleby station where the loco is due to take on water on the return and Blackburn station where it is due to stop for passengers to alight, added: “Flying Scotsman is one of the railway’s biggest and best known icons. It’s exciting to think it will be operating across our network and being seen and experienced by hundreds of fans and enthusiasts.”

Flying Scotsman is scheduled to haul a number of The Railway Touring Company’s steam day tours in 2016, including ‘The Hadrian’ from Leicester over the Settle and Carlisle Line on Saturday July 2.

The company's managing director, Nigel Dobbing, is delighted to have Flying Scotsman back in action.

“Flying Scotsman is the sole survivor of Sir Nigel Gresley’s A3 class of locomotives and famous the world over so we are very excited that our ‘Winter Cumbrian Mountain Express’ day tour was chosen for the mainline test,” he said.

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