THE golden age of the railways returned when a steam locomotive rumbled into the county during a national tour.

The years melted away in a moment as the steam billowed from the chimney of the Flying Scotsman.

Hundreds of people welcomed the head-turning locomotive to the county and waved the elegant engine farewell as it departed for London.

The crowds spanned all generations and were an eclectic combination of train enthusiasts and curious locals.

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The locomotive, built in Doncaster, arrived into Worcester Shrub Hill at 11.50 on Saturday and departed at 16.31 as it began its return to London via Moreton-in-Marsh.

Fathers hoisted their children up onto their shoulders to afford them a better look at the rare spectacle and many people tried to capture the visit on mobile phones, cameras and tablets.

There was cheers and applause as the locomotive sent forth great plumes of steam which at times enveloped it completely.

The engine was built in 1923, and is widely recognised as the most famous steam locomotive in the world. It was the first to break the 100 miles-per-hour barrier.

The day trip, known as the ‘The Cotswold Venturer’ left London Paddington at around 7.40am before moving along the former Great Western Railway (GWR) main line.

The journey took passengers up the 1 in 94 gradient up to the summit at Sapperton Tunnel, coming down through the Golden Valley via Stroud to reach the Bristol line at Standish Junction.

After passing Gloucester the train travelled via the line between Cheltenham Spa and Abbotswood Junction before heading to Worcester.

After leaving the city, the train took the Cotswold line through to Oxford, passing through Evesham and Honeybourne.

Other stops included Moreton-in-Marsh, Charlbury and Oxford. From there the service rejoined its earlier route at Didcot before heading to Reading, Slough and London Paddington.

The engine returned to the rails in 2016 following a £4.5 million refurbishment by staff from the National Railway Museum.