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Flying Scotsman: Ceremony held for Sir William McAlpine

Flying Scotsman
Image caption Flying Scotsman powered up the country from London

The world famous Flying Scotsman locomotive has made a memorial journey up to York in honour of a former owner.

It steamed up the East Coast Main Line from London Kings Cross to attend a ceremony for Sir William McAlpine at the National Railway Museum.

The businessman, who died in March, purchased the steam engine in 1973 and brought it back to the UK from the US.

A Class 90 electric locomotive was unveiled bearing Sir William’s name, with Flying Scotsman by its side.

Image copyright Simon Dewhurst/National Railway Museum
Image caption Crowds gathered on the platforms of York station for a glimpse of the famous locomotive
Image copyright Danny Lawson/PA
Image caption It stood beside a Class 90 electric locomotive, which was renamed ‘Sir William McAlpine’

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people filled the platform at York railway station to welcome the locomotive back to the city.

During the ‘Scotsman Salute’ journey it also passed Doncaster, where it was built in 1923.

Sir William transported Flying Scotsman back to the UK “after its adventures in the USA ran out of steam”, the National Railway Museum said.

“Over the ensuing 23 years of Sir William’s ownership, Flying Scotman was restored twice and enjoyed a successful trip to Australia, making it the first steam locomotive to circumnavigate the globe,” a museum spokesman added.

Image copyright Simon Dewhurst/National Railway Museum
Image caption Lady Judy McAlpine, Sir William’s widow, attended the ceremony in York

To commemorate the businessman’s life and work, the Class 90 locomotive was renamed on the museum’s Great Hall turntable.

Lady Judy McAlpine, his widow, said: “He was in love with her, and he always regretted selling her, and so today is so special.

“I just wish he was here.”

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