Record-breaking ‘Flying Scotsman’ – the world’s most famous steam locomotive – has arrived on the Swanage Railway to be reunited with a rare Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage for the first time in almost 50 years.
And on Friday of this week, the daughter of the man who saved the iconic steam locomotive from the scrapyard is to wave off ‘Flying Scotsman’ from Swanage station when it hauls its first train at the start of a three-week visit to the Isle of Purbeck.
Penny Vaudoyer will be flying in from her home in Portugal to perform the honour with the train guard’s green flag on Swanage station at 10.05 am on Friday, 22 March, 2019.
It was Penny’s enterprising and charismatic father, the late Alan Pegler, who purchased ‘Flying Scotsman’ from British Railways for the scrap value of £3,000 in 1963.
During a test run in 1934, the Nigel Gresley-designed ‘Flying Scotsman’ was the first steam locomotive in the United Kingdom to haul a train at 100 miles an hour.
Swanage Railway business division director Mick Gould said: “It’s wonderful to see ‘Flying Scotsman’ safely arrived at Swanage – she is certainly the people’s locomotive and still has a very special place in the nation’s heart judging by the public reaction.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to have ‘Flying Scotsman’ visit the Swanage Railway and we’re very grateful to the National Railway Museum for enabling the historic visit to take place,” added Mr Gould, a volunteer signalman and train guard on the popular heritage line which has been rebuilt from nothing since 1976.
While visiting Swanage, the iconic 1920s A3 class express engine – owned by the National Railway Museum in York – will be reunited with a rare late 1940s Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage, known as Car 14, for the first time in almost 50 years.
Penny Vaudoyer said: “It will be a very moving moment for me to see the ‘Flying Scotsman’ and its Pullman observation carriage again because I have so many wonderful memories. That’s why I am so happy to be coming to Swanage to send off the first train of the day – it’s quite an honour that I am really looking forward to.”
The first five days, Friday, 22 March to Tuesday, 26 March, 2019, will see the locomotive haul trains between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Norden with Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage Car 14 being coupled behind ‘Flying Scotsman’. Seats for those trains have to be booked with the Swanage Railway in advance.
From Wednesday, 27 March, to Wednesday, 10 April, 2019, the iconic steam locomotive and the Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage Car 14 will be on static display at Corfe Castle station with ticket-only access to board No. 60103 and Car 14.
Thanks to Alan Pegler’s drive and determination, between 1969 and 1972 ‘Flying Scotsman’ ran with the Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage Car 14 in the United States of America during a tour of the country aimed at promoting British exports.
Completed in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway (L.N.E.R.), the 97-tonne No. 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ will be on the Swanage Railway for 20 days from Friday, 22 March to Wednesday, 10 April, 2019, inclusive.
Sadly, the company running the 1969 to 1972 British exports promotion trains tour went bankrupt with ‘Flying Scotsman’ being rescued and returned home in 1973, by William McAlpine, while the rare Pullman observation carriage Car 14 remained in the USA.
Dedicated Swanage Railway volunteers rescued the late 1940s Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage – known as Car 14 – from San Francisco during 2007 where it was being used as a company boardroom.
A delighted Mick Gould explained: “We look forward to welcoming Penny Vaudoyer to the Swanage Railway and sharing her wonderful memories of ‘Flying Scotsman’, the Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage Car 14 and her late father Alan Pegler to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.”
‘Flying Scotsman’ arrived on the Swanage Railway late on the afternoon of Tuesday, 19 March, 2019, after a two-day rail journey from the National Railway Museum in York.
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.
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