Flying Scotsman boosts Swanage economy as thousands visit

Fresh from a major overhaul, the iconic steam locomotive’s visit to Swanage Railway has attracted crowds of admirers including one very important guest.

Flying Scotsman, famous for being the first steam locomotive in the UK to haul a train at 100 miles an hour during a test run in 1934, is in Swanage until Sunday 6th November 2022.

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Flying Scotsman at Swanage Railway
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Peopl ewatching Flying Scotsman at Swanage Railway

A great view of Flying Scotsman from the Northbrook Bridge in Swanage

Saving Flying Scotsman from the scrap heap

As well as lots of school half term visitors, the daughter of Alan Pegler, the man who’s credited with saving the Flying Scotsman from the scrap heap in the 1960s also paid a visit.

Penny Pegler travelled to Swanage from her home in Portugal to be reunited with the Flying Scotsman that played an important role in her childhood. Visiting the railway on Saturday 22nd October 2022, she said:

“It was wonderful to wave off Flying Scotsman on the first train of the day from Swanage because the locomotive has such a special place in my heart.

“It’s great to see so many people coming to see and enjoy Flying Scotsman almost 60 years after my dear father saved her from going to a scrapyard.

“Flying Scotsman was a very important part of my life as a child. I was nine years old when my father came up to my room on a snowy night in January 1963, to say goodnight and told me, with a twinkle in his eye, that he had just bought a beautiful steam locomotive to save her from being cut up in a scrapyard.

“Over the next few years, my father and I went on many wonderful trips all over the UK with ‘Scotty’ as we called Flying Scotsman. She was lovely and a special part of my family life.

Penny Pegler travelling on Flying Scotsman on Swanage Railway
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Penny Pegler takes a trip in the Pullman Observatory Car pulled by Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman at Corfe on Swanage Railway
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Picture perfect – two icons in one shot

Almost 7,000 passengers and more than 200 school children

The loco has spent five days hauling trains along the Swanage branch line and is now on static display at Swanage station for people to visit its footplate until Sunday 6th November 2022.

Chair of Swanage Railway Company, which operates the trains for the Swanage Railway Trust, Bob Patterson said:

“We are absolutely delighted by the strong public response to the visit of the iconic Flying Scotsman to the Swanage Railway.

“We feel sure that the Isle of Purbeck economy has been given an important boost thanks to the influx of visitors coming to see and ride behind the most famous and iconic steam locomotive in the world.

“More than 200 primary and junior school children from the Isle of Purbeck were given the rare and exciting opportunity to visit the footplate of the iconic steam locomotive as part of the Swanage Railway’s educational work with local schools.

“During the five days of Flying Scotsman hauling trains from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden, almost 7,000 passengers were carried behind the iconic steam locomotive with many of the special trains being fully booked.

Bob Patterson SR chairman Swanage Railway
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Chair of Swanage Railway Company Bob Patterson also volunteered as a waiter in the Pullman Observatory Carriage

Flying Scotsman at Swanage Railway
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Everyone wanted to get a photo of the world famous locomotive

Swanage visit is part of Flying Scotsman’s centenary tour

The Nigel Gresley-designed locomotive was completed in 1923 and will celebrate her 100th anniversary in 2023.

The visit to Swanage is the first in a series of appearances around the UK as part of Flying Scotsman’s centenary tour.

Flying Scotsman Swanage driver Ian McDavid (R) fireman Chris Lemon
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Flying Scotsman Swanage driver Ian McDavid (right) with fireman Chris Lemon (left)

Flying Scotsman at Swanage Railway

In addition to the 7,000 passengers, hundreds watched from the lineside

“A privilege and an honour”

Bob added:

“It was incredible, and very gratifying, to see so many happy passengers fulfilling their dreams by enjoying a heritage train trip by the most famous and iconic steam locomotive in the world. Hundreds of people watched Flying Scotsman from the lineside during the five days that she was in action.

“It has been a privilege and an honour for the Swanage Railway to be allowed to host this wonderful locomotive – the Concorde of the 1920s and 1930s – and it has been a wonderful and very special time for our dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters after all their hard work and commitment during the year.”

Swanage Railway Station lit up for Steam and Lights trips
Swanage Railway Steam and Lights Service 2021 (

Christmas Steam and Lights is back for 2022

Christmas is coming…

Once the Flying Scotsman heads off to another part of the UK, there’s little time before preparation begins at Swanage Railway for the special Christmas Steam and Lights service which starts from Saturday 3rd December 2022.

First introduced to Swanage in 2020, the journey on the steam train covered with brightly coloured lights and passing through festively decorated stations has proved very popular. There’s also the option of champagne and canapes in the Pullman Observation Car.

From 26th November 2022 Christmas lunch trips are returning. It’s a three hour, steam hauled journey through the Purbeck countryside while enjoying a traditional festive lunch with all the trimmings.

Further information

  • More about Flying Scotsman and the Christmas services is on the Swanage Railway website

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