Following the financial collapse of Flying Scotsman plc in November 2003, 4472 Flying Scotsman was put up for auction by property consultants GVA Grimley, prompting fears that the iconic locomotive would be sold overseas, never to run on British rails again.
Placing a value on the iconic locomotive was considered to be “rather akin to valuing the crown jewels”, but with two International buyers being interested in purchasing Flying Scotsman, a “Save Our Scotsman” campaign to save her for the nation was launched by the National Railway Museum. With a bid of £2.31 million, comprising £441,644 raised by public donations. £365,000 match funding from the Virgin Group and a £1.8 million grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the campaign succeeded and Flying Scotsman was incorporated into the National Collection in April 2004.
In LNER Apple Green livery and numbered as 4472, Flying Scotsman returned to York on May 29, 2004 to open the NRM's Railfest 2004. Cheered on by thousands of onlookers and with the City of York Pipe Band marching alongside, Flying Scotsman broke a banner across the track, whilst the collection of attending locomotives blew their whistles in welcome.
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