Rolling, rolling, rolling: railway plays host to legendary Scotsman

THE world’s most famous steam engine is making a visit to Swanage.
Close to celebrating its centenary, the record-breaking Flying Scotsman will be at Swanage Railway for almost three weeks from next month.
Owned by the National Railway Museum in York, the 97-tonne A3 class locomotive – completed in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway – will be on the Purbeck heritage line for 19 days from Wednesday, October 19 until Sunday November 6.
During a test run in 1934, the Nigel Gresley-designed engine was the first steam locomotive in the United Kingdom to haul a train at 100 miles an hour.
Coupled behind No. 60103 Flying Scotsman will be a late 1940s Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage, known as Car 14, which dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers repatriated to the UK from the US city of San Francisco in 2007.
It was between 1969 and 1972 that the Flying Scotsman ran with the Devon Belle Car 14 in the US during a tour aimed at promoting British exports.
Sadly, the company running the tour went bankrupt, with the Flying Scotsman being returned home but the Pullman observation carriage remaining in the US.
Swanage Railway’s volunteer commercial director Marcus Alldrick said: “The trustees, directors, staff and dedicated volunteers of the Swanage Railway are delighted that the railway has been successful in its bid to again host Flying Scotsman.
“We are extremely grateful to the National Railway Museum for again giving Swanage Railway the opportunity to host such an historic event to operate and display the world-famous Flying Scotsman, which is such a charismatic icon and turns 100 years old on 24 February, 2023.
Mr Alldrick, a volunteer porter on the popular Purbeck heritage line, added: “It will be marvellous to admire No. 60103 hauling the unique Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage, operating as a pair once again.”
Fresh from a major engineering overhaul, Flying Scotsman will be hauling passenger trains from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden for five days – from Saturday October 22 to Wednesday October 26 inclusive – with ticket-only access to stations for the public.
The steam locomotive will be on static display at Swanage station on Thursday October 20 and Friday October 21, and again from Thursday October 27 to Sunday November 6 inclusive, with ticket-only access to visit the fascinating footplate of the iconic steam locomotive.
Swanage Railway Trust trustee and Swanage Railway Company chairman Robert Patterson explained: “With uniformed attendants serving champagne and canapés to passengers on board the Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage, Car 14 will be coupled directly behind Flying Scotsman when it hauls trains on the Swanage Railway.
“That will give Pullman passengers a rare chance to enjoy the delights of travelling in style behind, and watching, the world’s most famous steam locomotive as it travels through the beautiful Purbeck countryside and past the historic ruins of Corfe Castle.”
Mr Patterson, who is also a volunteer station porter with Swanage Railway, added: “Flying Scotsman visited the Swanage Railway in March 2019, and the reaction from the public was amazing and proved the iconic locomotive still has a special place in people’s hearts.”
Costing £7,944 to build, Flying Scotsman was named after the prestigious London to Edinburgh express train service that 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.
Purchased by the National Railway Museum in 2004, Flying Scotsman was restored thanks to a £4.2 million, ten-year project funded by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as from public donations.
To find out more about the Flying Scotsman’s visit, go online to Information about the locomotive’s history and restoration is available at
The Swanage Railway welcomes new volunteers, who should contact Swanage Railway volunteer recruitment and retention officer Jonathan Evans on 01929 408466 or email

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