Thousands of spectators are expected to line the route of the East Lancashire Railway to watch the world’s most famous locomotive, Flying Scotsman, under steam for the first time in more than a decade.
Bridges, fields, roads, car parks and stations along the route of the heritage railway will all make superb vantage points.
Top spots include Burrs Country Park, the Roche Viaduct and bridges between Edenfield and Irwell Vale.
The Scotsman, the first steam loco in the world to hit 100mph, will haul three carriages and kitchen cars along a route from the ELR Bury station on Bolton Street to Rawtenstall and Heywood tomorrow night.
A five-course meal for more than 130 passengers will be served, with the engine set to stop at as yet unspecified points along the route.
Tickets for the exclusive event sold out long ago, but on Saturday and in daylight, the first of four open days gets underway from 9am. Huge crowds are expected along the railway route.
The Scotsman, which has been refurbished in a painstaking £4.2m restoration project, will make a five trips on Saturday and on Sunday, and next Saturday and Sunday, January 16 and 17.
Platform tickets will be available to view the Scotsman at stations. It will cost £5 to access the Bolton Street station at Bury and £3 for Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall and Heywood.
The timetable is exactly the same on all four days.
The Scotsman won’t stop at Summerseat, Ramsbottom and Irwell Vale stations, although platform viewing tickets are still available for Ramsbottom.
The engine, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built in Doncaster for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) in 1923, will leave Bury at 9am on Saturday, arriving at Rawtenstall at 9.33am without stopping, according to media reports. -abdullah