It’s been a historical week-end on many levels associated with the return of the much loved Flying Scotsman. Whilst it’s understandable that all the headlines are about this beautiful locomotive I want to speak about and pay tribute to all those staff and volunteers on our heritage railway. As a recently elected chairman of this great heritage railway, it was very humbling to see and experience the monumental efforts that our people made in making the last few days such an outstanding success.
What the media and the public don’t see are all those dedicated people who provide all the infrastructure and support for our passengers and the public who came to watch and enjoy Scotsman but also to keep them safe. From my first visit to Barron Street at 7.30 on that cold Friday morning in the pouring rain; seeing the locomotive arriving at Bolton Street where it was last seen in 1993; welcoming diner passengers who were the first to ride behind Scotsman for the first time in 10 years through to our station staff handling huge crowds and where a lot of this work was carried out in appalling weather conditions.
This effort was typified on Saturday evening when I came to Bolton Street to meet n greet our diners. Scotsman at that stage was running over an hour late, with a packed platform. There I met Neil Roberts our Responsible Officer and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that he was completed soaked through. Neil and everyone connected with keeping the service running stuck with it in sorting out revised timetabling, organising a replacement locomotive in order to make sure all out ticket holders and diners enjoyed their ride on Scotsman.
As they say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.