The Flying Scotsman has topped a poll of the world’s best known trains and locomotives, with Australia’s Indian Pacific and The Ghan not too far behind it.
People across four continents were asked to name five trains or engines they had heard of and the famous green-and-black loco topped a league table that also included the Japanese bullet train, India’s Rajadhani Express and the fastest-ever steam locomotive, Mallard.
The National Railway Museum commissioned the worldwide survey, by YouGov, and released the result to coincide with the 81st anniversary of Flying Scotsman being the first locomotive to break the 100mph (160km/h) barrier.
The museum is gearing up for the engine’s return to the tracks early next year after a decade-long stg4.2 million ($A8.7 million) renovation.
It topped the poll just ahead of the the Rajadhani Express, the pride of the Indian railway network, the Orient Express and the Ghan, Australia’s pan-continental service.
Other entries included the real and the fictional.
Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express sneaked in at number 25 and Thomas the Tank Engine was at number 11.
And the pioneering Puffing Billy and Stephenson’s Rocket are at 17 and 14, respectively.
Doncaster-built Flying Scotsman reached 100mph on a London-to-Leeds run, driven by William Sparshatt, on November 30, 1934.
The final touches of its restoration are ongoing at the works of Riley & Son in Bury.
Its inaugural run, from London King’s Cross to York, is planned for February.
Museum director Paul Kirkman said: “Along with all our generous supporters for this complex project, we have all been looking forward to the day when Flying Scotsman is once again running on Britain’s tracks.
“Our survey, carried out across four global markets, backs up the claim that it is probably the most famous locomotive and express train service in the world.
The museum is planning a series of exhibitions and events to welcome Flying Scotsman back to steam.
The result of the online YouGov poll in the UK, United States, India and Australia was:
1. Flying Scotsman
2. Rajadhani Express
3. Orient Express
4. The Ghan
5. Shatabdi Express
7. Indian Pacific
9. Duronto Express
10. Bullet Train
11. Thomas the Tank Engine
12. Garib Rath
13. Chennai Express
14. Stephenson’s Rocket
16. Trans-Siberian Express
17. Puffing Billy
19. Union Pacific
20. Deccan Queen
21. The Blue Train
22. Palace on Wheels
23. Rocky Mountaineer
24. Brighton Belle
25. Hogwarts Express.