The most famous steam locomotive in the world “Flying Scotsman” arrived on the Swanage Railway for a historic tour with the record-breaking icon hauling trains for five days and being on public display for the public to tour its platform for nearly two weeks.
Close to celebrating its centenary, the 97 tonne Class A3 locomotive – completed in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) – arrived at Swanage station on the morning of Tuesday 18 October 2022 after a six-week train journey hours from London.
Property of the National Railway Museum in York, No. 60103 “Flying Scotsman” will be on the Swanage Railway until Monday 7th November 2022.
When tested in 1934, the Nigel Gresley-designed locomotive was the first steam locomotive in the UK to pull a train at 100 miles per hour.
“Flying Scotsman” will carry passenger trains between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Norden from Saturday 22 October 2022 to Wednesday 26 October 2022 inclusive.
Behind No. 60103 will be a historic Devon Belle Pullman observation car from the late 1940s – known as Car 14 – which dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers rescued from San Francisco in the United States in 2007 where it was a static bar.
It was between 1969 and 1972 that “Flying Scotsman” raced the Devon Belle Car 14 in the United States of America on a tour of the country to promote British exports. Unfortunately, the company organizing the tour went bankrupt with “Flying Scotsman”returned home but the Pullman observation cart remained in the United States.
No. 60103 will be on display at Swanage Station for pre-booked public viewings at the baseplate of ‘Flying Scotsman’ on Thursday and Friday October 20 and 21, 2022, as well as every day between Thursday October 27 and Sunday November 6, 2022 inclusive.
Swanage Railway Company chairman Bob Patterson said: ‘It’s wonderful to see’Flying Scotsman’ to Swanage because the iconic locomotive has a wonderful charisma – it’s a true icon, an impressive piece of 1920s railway engineering and the most famous steam locomotive in the world.
“We are very honored to have “Flying Scotsman” visit the Swanage Railway and it will be great to see No. 60103 carrying the unique Car 14 Devon Belle Pullman observation car as they ran in pairs on a tour of Canada and the United States for promoting British exports between 1969 and 1972,” added Bob, who is also a trustee of the Swanage Railway Trust and a volunteer station porter on the popular heritage line.
Standard class seats for a 1 hour round trip behind “Flying Scotsman” from Swanage to Norden and back is £39 pp while Premium Class seats, in a 1930s Southern Railway Maunsell heritage coach, are £55 pp.
Tickets to ride in the luxurious No. 14 Pullman ‘Devon Belle’ style car behind “Flying Scotsman” – for tasty pastries for breakfast, champagne and gourmet canapes or a refreshing afternoon tea – cost £99 pp.
Costing £7,944 to build, “Flying Scotsman” was named after the prestigious London-Edinburgh express train service which the locomotive helped to operate – the journey time being eight hours.
In 1924, “Flying Scotsman” appeared at the British Empire Exhibition in London and in 1963 British Railways withdrew the locomotive from service.
A patriotic entrepreneur, the late Alan Pegler, saved “Flying Scotsman” to be cut up for scrap when he bought No. 60103 from British Railways in 1963 for £3,000 with the political backing of then British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.
Purchased by the National Railway Museum in 2004, “Flying Scotsman” was restored through a ten-year £4.2 million project funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as donations from the public.
To know more about “Flying Scotsman”s visit go online for swanagerailway.co.uk. Information on the history and restoration of the locomotive is available through the National Railway Museum at flyingscotsman.org.uk