Flying Scotsman

The movie star

In April 1929, Flying Scotsman co-starred in the first sound feature film to be produced in this country. Aptly it was called ‘The Flying Scotsman’.

Directed by Castleton Knight the film was set on the Flying Scotsman train from London to Edinburgh. The thriller is chiefly remembered for its daring stunts performed aboard the moving train – Pauline Johnson literally walks along edge of the moving locomotive with no safety measures at all. There are certainly no stunt doubles or CGI here.

The film company shots the sequences round the Flying Scotsman over a 6 week filming schedule with crews using numerous camera positions both on the locomotive and on the adjacent track. The track used was the Hertfood loop.

Nigel Gresley saw the film and insisted that during the credits the audience were informed that ” …artistic licence had been taken during the making of the film“.  This was primarily due to the uncoupling of the coaches at speed during one sequence.

Filming of The Flying Scotsman movie 1929
The film crew working on the adjacent line while filming ‘The Flying Scotsman’. (William McAlpine collection)