DORSET will bid farewell to the Flying Scotsman on Friday.

The world-famous steam locomotive has been drawing visitors in their droves since its arrival in the county last month for a three-week visit.

It has caused excitement ever since it was spotted making its way to Swanage Railway where it hauled five seven-carriage trains a day from Swanage to Corfe Castle and Norden for five days at the end of last month.

Rail enthusiasts were then able to see the 97-tonne A3 class locomotive on display by ticket access only in the Goods Yard at Corfe Castle station for two weeks until Wednesday.

Tomorrow, Flying Scotsman will depart Swanage station for London at 7.13am before passing through Wareham at 7.49am, Poole at 8.02am, Bournemouth at 8.15am and Brockenhurst at 8.46am.

During its visit to Swanage Railway, the Flying Scotsman was reunited with a 1940s Devon Belle Pullman observation carriage for the first time in almost 50 years.

From 1969 until 1972, Flying Scotsman ran with the Devon Belle Car 14 in the USA during a tour of the country before the company running the tour went bankrupt. The Flying Scotsman returned to the UK while the Pullman observation carriage remained in the USA.

The Flying Scotsman cost £7,944 to build and was completed in 1923 by the London and North Eastern Railway.

During a test run in 1934, the Nigel Gresley-designed Flying Scotsman was the first steam locomotive in the UK to haul a train at 100 miles an hour.

Alan Pegler purchased the locomotive from British Railways for the scrap value of £3,000 in 1963 and Mr Pegler's daughter, Penny Vaudoyer, flew in from her home in Portugal to wave off the Flying Scotsman from Swanage station in a special service last month.

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