Julian Bray writes: Well you've never seen a welcome like it, the platforms at Peterborough were jammed pack, with everyone hoping for a glimpse. It raced through some stations at speed, but paying homage to Peterboroughs classic steam railway heritage, the Flying Scotsman stopped for a short while.
The train drivers changed over, and Mr Choo Choo himself, former MP Michael Portillo wearing full slap (make up) and a jacket that would stop anything at 100 yards, stuck his head out of the window clearly attempting to catch any passing camera pointed his way... wrong side of the carriage Michael.
You would have though the Mayor would have been out to greet her, but sadly no sign, just a red faced Virgin Trains station official trying to do the impossible, getting us all to stand behind a 21st Century yellow line, a good two feet from the edge of the platform.
I seem to remember a 6 inch whitewash line on the edge of platform, and only very few of us fell off...
The train packed full of media and those who had paid handsomely for the VIP service to York and its final resting place the York Railway Museum, (although the Flying Scotsman will have frequent main line outings (excursions), and is due to start a nationwide tour) but the VIPs' seemed to spend most of the time on their 21st Century mobile phones and firmly glued to their seats.
Its taken ten years and a few million pounds to make this iconic locomotive look good.
And for me, it was some 60 years ago as a small boy I travelled on the Flying Scotsman (first class...) from Euston to Glasgow with my grandparents ( they being Stewarts) , it took some 7 1/2 hours.
All I can remember is lots of ice cream from the dining car, and being chased by the Guard for repeatedly standing on the concertina link between the two carriages, with one foot in each carriage and the floor moving underneath you....magic... 21st Century Health and Safety would have had a fit.
The smell of oil mixed with steam, is something you'll never forget, nor coal grit in your eye, but standing next to the footplate, the blast of the steam whistle was much louder than I remembered.
Sad to think railway preservationists had to battle for decades to allow steam engines to run again on the main line. Even sadder to think thousands of these engineering masterpieces were scrapped, but a few hundred were saved as one scrap merchant in Barry was too busy chopping up coal wagons discarded by welsh coal mines, and didn't get around to scrapping his allocation of these magnificent relics from our recent past. They just sat forlornly lined up, nose to tail, slowly rusting away.