A LOCOMOTIVE attacked by German fighter planes during the Second World War is set to star at Swanage Railway’s first ever Spring Steam Gala.

The London and South Western T9 class No 30120 was hauling freight from Brockenhurst to Dorchester, in November 1942, when it was strafed by two Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me109s at Wool Station.

One of the cannon shells exploded on the footplate, leaving the driver with shrapnel wounds to his head. The fireman also suffered shrapnel wounds to his back and the pair were treated at the nearby military hospital at Bovington Camp.

The T9, which was stopped next to the Ship Inn pub, near Wool railway station, at the time of the attack was riddled with cannon holes following the attack.

More than 70 years later the locomotive remains the only surviving T9 in the world.

Swanage Railway general manager Richard Jones said: “Our Spring Steam Gala will be the last chance for the public to see, and ride behind, the unique Victorian T9 steam locomotive before it leaves the Swanage Railway.”

Mr Jones said: “Some trains will have two steam engines on the front and there will be an intensive three-train timetable, two trains stopping at all stations with the third train being an express from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden, not calling at Herston Halt and Harman’s Cross.

Special fares apply for the Spring Steam Gala, which is set for the weekend of April 5 & 6.

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