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Report into soaring restoration costs of Flying Scotsman
THE cost of restoring the world-famous Flying Scotsman has more than trebled from initial predictions, a report has revealed.
Restoration work on the iconic steam locomotive began in January 2006, nearly two years after the National Railway Museum in York bought the engine in a sealed-bid auction.
But work has been beset by delays and rising costs. Repairs were initially predicted to last one year and cost about £750,000. But a report commissioned by the museum has revealed the cost has risen to about £2.7m - more than three times the original budget - and is still not complete.
The report into the delay was carried out by a specialist in heritage rail engineering and a professor of engineering.
It described the restoration of the historic engine as one of the most complex engineering projects of its type ever undertaken. It said its restorers strived to retain as much of the original locomotive as possible and many parts had to be individually made.
It found that the Flying Scotsman had run intermittently until December 2005 and the condition when it was purchased was “poor”.
The report said: “It had a large number of owners, several of which failed financially. It had been heavily used and maintenance standards had been neglected.”
The report concluded that a detailed investigation should have been carried out when it was purchased in April 2004, which would have shown its state was much worse than believed and that it had serious structural faults. Then a more realistic budget and timeframe could have been set.
Now the National Railway Museum has appointed railway engineering consultancy firm, First Class Partnerships, to provide independent advice on completing the final stage of the restoration project.
The museum has said it cannot yet announce a date for the Flying Scotman’s return to steam for the time being.
The museum’s outgoing director, Steve Davies, said: “I welcome the report along with its findings and recommendations.
“The National Railway Museum remains absolutely committed to the restoration of this iconic locomotive and to seeing it running once again on the British mainline.
“Paul Kirkman, who joins as acting director on November 5, will use the recommendations to guide the final stages of the restoration.”
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