A 13-year-old train enthusiast from Staithes was over the moon to travel aboard the world's most famous steam locomotive.
Thousands lined the route, eager to catch a glimpse of Flying Scotsman as it sped majestically through the English countryside yesterday. Leaving London King’s Cross for York, it was filled with specially-invited guests for its inaugural run.
Zak Parlby and his grandfather was among the guests on board the Flying Scotsman as it travelled from London to York.
The youngster first became interested in Flying Scotsman after being taken to see the locomotive when it was in York. Zak did a sponsored swim hoping to raise £10 towards the restoration, but ended up raising £600.
As the locomotive headed north, reaching speeds of 75mph, the crowds grew in number, waving and cheering in a manner normally reserved for royalty.
On a couple of occasions, though, the train had to be halted when a few over-enthusiastic people strayed too close to the tracks, which put the arrival time in York back by more than 40 minutes.
The locomotive, which was built in Doncaster in 1923, found global fame in 1934 when it became the first steam engine in Britain to be officially timed travelling at more than 100mph. Last year, it topped a poll of the world’s best-known trains and locomotives after a global survey by YouGov, where people in four continents were asked to name five trains or engines.
But its restoration has been mired in controversy and blighted by delays, and a specialist firm was called in after managers at the National Railway Museum in York admitted their in-house team was not equipped to carry out the vital repairs. The cost of the painstaking project escalated to £4.2m - nearly double the initial estimate.