AN ICONIC steam train made a visit to Gwent today.
The Flying Scotsman made two visits to the region, first on its way from Shrewsbury to Cardiff and then it picked up passengers at Newport Station on a tour to Bristol taking in views of the Severn bridges, Chepstow Castle, and 20 miles of the River Severn.
More than 100 people gathered at the station to catch a glimpse of the train including Neil Mcomish and his four-year-old son Flynn.
Mr Mcomish said: “Flynn really likes trains. We hadn’t seen the Flying Scotsman before so we were excited. He knows all about the Scotsman and other steam trains because his grandpa and uncle are massive train fans, so it has been passed down to him.
“It’s brilliant to see it in Newport, it’s such a good idea that it has been restored and doing tours of the country so lots of people get to see it in motion.”
Melvyn Thomas and his son-in-law Nigel came to see the steam train arrive and leave the station.
Mr Thomas said: “I used to be fireman on trains, it’s marvellous to see it. It’s an iconic engine. It’s lovely to see so many people, and these children have never seen anything like that before. I really enjoyed it.”
Many people got to catch a glimpse of the train as it travelled through Abergavenny, Little Mill Junction and Maindee Junction.
The Flying Scotsman was originally built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). It was ready for service on 24 February 1923 and was initially numbered 1472.
It was designed by Sir Nigel Gresley as part of the A1 class, the most powerful locomotives used by the railway at that time.
By 1924, when it was selected to appear at the British Empire Exhibition in London, the locomotive had been renumbered 4472 and been given the name ‘Flying Scotsman’ after the London to Edinburgh rail service which started daily at 10am in 1862.
In 1934, it was clocked at 100mph on a special test run, officially the first locomotive in the UK to have reached that speed.
At one time the train was stranded in the USA, but it was brought back to the UK in 1973. After a campaign spearheaded by National Railway Museum to save the locomotive it was confirmed as having national treasure status. The last phases of the £4.2m project to bring the world famous train back to life have now been completed.
There will also be a Severn Estuary Circular from Bristol on May 23. To find out more about the Flying Scotsman, go to flyingscotsman.org.uk or visit tour operator The Cathedrals Express at bit.ly/2prnMWj.