The iconic locomotive, The Flying Scotsman, did its last run for British Rail in January 1963, before the engine became the property of Doncaster businessman and railway enthusiast Alan Pegler for a sum of £3,000.
Mr Pegler effectively ‘saved’ the A3 class locomotive from becoming scrap and subsequently managed to secure an agreement for it to still run on the main line for a set number of years.
The engine was restored to its former glory at great cost, and re-acquired the LNER (London and North Eastern Railway) green livery.
For several years The Flying Scotsman was celebrated as it pulled a variety of trains across the country.
It was then launched in the States by Pegler in 1970 on a promotional tour of Buy British and covered 15,400 miles in all, many of which were travelled with Pegler himself in the driving seat. The railroad charges were steep and he was payng the bills.
By 1972 the locomotive’s owner had spent up and was bankrupt. Later, in 1973, Pegler persuaded another strong steam enthusiast, William McAlpine, to buy and ship the engine back to Britain.
The Flying Scotsman had been the first locomotive of the new London and North Eastern Railway when it was completed early in 1923.
It later became famous in the British Empire Exhibition, and was also known as the first locomotive in the UK to clock up 100mph in 1934, and the only steam train to run the 393 miles from London to Edinburgh without stopping.
It was back in 1952 that Alan Pegler had journeyed to Wales to view the crumbling Ffestiniog Mountain Railway, with a friend. He ended up buying the railway that is now seen as one of Britain’s most successful tourist attractions.
The late Mr Pegler was made an OBE in 2006, at the age of 86.