Thousands of people from all over the country converged on Didcot over the weekend to get a glimpse of the world famous Flying Scotsman. 

Taking pride of place at Didcot Railway Centre, the record-breaking locomotive rode the rails, ferrying passengers in vintage carriages. 

The three day visit – which ends today – marked the first time Flying Scotsman has been in Didcot since 2005.

Among the crowds who flocked to see the engine were father and son John and Daniel Barker from Witney.

Mr Barker Snr, who has visited the centre before and was drawn back by the appearance of the Flying Scotsman, said: "You can really get the feel of living at the time the Scotsman was built.

"You are going back to how it used to be in the age of steam and how people used to travel.

"My son loved it, he loves all things trains, it is for all ages, not just older people."

Built in 1923, the engine was the first to hit 100mph and has travelled all over the world in its decades of service.

In 2006, it underwent a 10 year £4.2million restoration, overseen by the National Railway Museum in York. 

The locomotive was back on the rails last year and was welcomed in towns and cities across the county by adoring crowds as part of an inaugural run from London to its new permanent home in York.

On board over the weekend was Sir William McAlpine, a railways enthusiast and businessman who sailed the Scotsman back to England on a ship from San Francisco in 1973 and owned it for 23 years. 

He said: “A friend told me that she was in trouble in the United States. 

“There were many reasons not to do it but she’s a British icon and I’ve always loved the railways. I just wanted people to be able to see her. 

“She’s had a amazing career. Not many locomotives have got to go all around the world.

“It’s wonderful to be back on board. She now belongs to the people and looks good for another 40 years.”

Crowds waiting for their turn to take a ride were entertained with live music and a Spitfire flypast. 

All weekend a guest locomotive, GWR 0-6-0 saddletank 813, was also in action and on Sunday the 60009 Union of South Africa, a sister to Mallard, the fastest steam locomotive ever, joined the festivities. 

Councillor Reg Waite, the chairman of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “This is a tremendous occasion for Didcot. We are lucky to have the railway centre here, it is one of the finest in the country. 

“With so many new people moving to the area in the next couple of years, tourism is only going to get bigger and weekends like this are great for showing off what we have got.”

Prices on the gate for the final day of the Flying Scotsman’s visit to Didcot today are £25 for adults and £10 for children.