PASSENGERS boarded the world’s most famous steam locomotive yesterday following its arrival at Swanage Railway.

The Flying Scotsman was reunited with a rare 1940s Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage for the first time in almost 50 years for the special service.

The daughter of the man who saved the iconic 1920s engine from the scrapyard waved it off from Swanage station at 10.05am. Penny Vaudoyer flew in from her home in Portugal to perform the honour with the train guard’s green flag.

It heralded the start of the Flying Scotsman’s three-week visit to Purbeck. The locomotive will haul trains between Swanage, Corfe Castle and Norden until Wednesday. There will be five round trips each day and, at the time of writing, seats were still available for services on Monday and Tuesday.

The Flying Scotsman will then spend two weeks on static display at Corfe Castle station from Wednesday. Tickets can be purchased to board the 60103 engine and the Devon Belle Pullman carriage, known as Car 14.

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.

It was Penny’s enterprising and charismatic father, the late Alan Pegler, who purchased the locomotive from British Railways for the scrap value of £3,000 in 1963. Thanks to his drive and determination, between 1969 and 1972 the 97-tonne engine ran with Car 14 during a tour of the USA aimed at promoting British exports.

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.”

Purchased by the National Railway Museum in 2004, the 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 public donations.