'Flying Scotsman' nameplate to be auctioned

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A nameplate from the Flying Scotsman, seen in action on a visit to the famed "Bluebell railway" south of London in 2017, is to be sold at auction. The locomotive also carries a headboard on the front with its name, but the nameplate in question was located above the center driving wheel. The one shown here in that location is a replica.
Keith Fender

LONDON — An original nameplate from famed British steam locomotive Flying Scotsman is to be sold at a specialist rail memorabilia auction later this year, after a previous attempt to sell one of the nameplates was controversially cancelled seven years ago.

The loco — the world's first to achieve 100 mph in 1934,  and owned since 2004 by Britain's National Railway Museum in York — previously had several private owners after being sold by British Railways in 1963. The last of the private owners, Dr. Tony Marchington, spent more than $1 million of his own money overhauling the loco so it could operate on the mainline system from 1996 onward, but in a step that was not publicized at the time removed the original nameplates and sold them, replacing them with copies.

Fifteen years later, after Marchington’s death, one of these plates was put up for sale by leading auction house Bonhams, which caused much controversy as most people — including another former owner, the late Sir William McAlpine — had no idea the plates had been removed and sold.

The nameplate is expected to sell for over $35,000, although given the global fame of the locomotive it is entirely possible it will sell for much more. The current record for a British steam loco nameplate is $75,000, for the Golden Fleece nameplate from another former Pacific locomotive, built for service with the same London North Eastern company as Flying Scotsman.

GW Railwayana Auctions is handling the sale. More information on the Flying Scotsman nameplate, as well as other British (and some North American) material on offer, is available at the auction house website.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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