RAIL enthusiasts were able to see Flying Scotsman for one last time as it headed out of Dorset yesterday morning.

The much-loved steam locomotive was scheduled to leave Swanage railway station at 7.13am before passing Wareham and Poole.

People gathered on the platform at Bournemouth railway station where it had been due to pass through at 8.15am but ended up being later than planned after being held up by a stopping service.

Staff at the station helpfully moved spectators so they were able to get the best view of Flying Scotsman as it passed through backwards, tender first.

Flying Scotsman visited Swanage Railway for three weeks between March 22 and April 10.

For the first five days, it hauled five seven-carriage trains a day from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden.

People were then able to see the 97-tonne A3 class locomotive on display in the Goods Yard at Corfe Castle station for two weeks where visitors were able to enjoy the 60103 footplate experience. Both of the events were by ticket access only and it was the first time Swanage Railway had used E-ticketing.

During the special visit, Flying Scotsman was also reunited with the Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage – known as Car 41 – for the first time since 1969.

Swanage Railway business division director Mick Gould said that during the five days Flying Scotsman was operating, 8,624 passengers visited Swanage Railway for the event with 97 per cent “loading” over the five days. While more than 6,000 people saw Flying Scotsman on static display at Corfe Castle Station which had “exceeded expectations.”

Mr Gould said: “The Swanage Railway Board cannot thank you enough for the hard work and dedication shown by all the volunteers and staff, for without your dedication the event would never have happened. Some I know have worked tirelessly and beyond the call of duty burning the candle at both ends to plan and implement this event.”

Penny Vaudoyer, whose father Alan Pegler saved Flying Scotsman from scrap for £3,000, flew in from her home in Portugal to perform the honour with the train guard’s green flag during a special service at Swanage Railway Station.

Flying Scotsman is owned by the National Railway Museum in York.