THE DAUGHTER of the man who saved the world’s most famous locomotive, the Flying Scotsman, from the scrapyard in the 1960s is asking the public to help Swanage Railway survive the effects of coronavirus.

Rebuilt since 1976, the popular five and a half mile heritage line between Norden, Corfe Castle, Harman’s Cross and Swanage carries more than 200,000 passengers a year and contributes more than £15 million to the local economy every year.

The ‘Save Our Service’ appeal hopes to plug the financial hole of the popular steam railway not running trains since mid-March.

Penny Pegler – the daughter of the man who saved ‘Flying Scotsman’ from being cut up for scrap in 1963 – is lending her support to the Swanage Railway’s appeal.

Penny said: “The Swanage Railway has been brought back to life over the years and exists today thanks to the enthusiasm, determination, financial support and hard work of those people who believed in the project and made it become a reality.

“For this great adventure to continue in these challenging times, the Swanage Railway needs our financial help. There is nothing quite like the sound and smell of a locomotive in steam hauling a train through Dorset’s lovely Isle of Purbeck.”

After being launched on March 25, the appeal now stands at more than £150,000 towards the target of £360,000.

Recalling the visit to see the Flying Scotsman on the Swanage Railway last year during its “historic” visit to the Isle of Purbeck, Penny said: “My eldest son accompanied me and what a memorable time we had.

“Apart from the beauty of the countryside, we were overwhelmed by the sight of thousands of happy enthusiastic people of all ages who turned out to see this elegant locomotive and her lucky passengers steaming gently down the track, or standing in the station alongside the Swanage Railway’s beautiful steam engines.”

Swanage Railway Trust chairman Gavin Johns said: “I am delighted that Penny Pegler is very graciously supporting the Swanage Railway’s ‘Save Our Service’ appeal to help the line survive in the wake of the economic effects of Coronavirus.

“I would like to thank Penny for her support as well as everyone who has made – and will make – a donation to the appeal during these extraordinary and challenging times.”

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