SCHOOL children in the Wellington area are being offered the chance to ride behind the world’s most famous locomotive.

West Somerset Railway is inviting schools to bring groups of children to ride behind the Flying Scotsman when it comes to Somerset. Letters will be going to primary and first schools in the area to offer places to groups of children on trains on September 5.

Children will ride on the first of the Flying Scotsman trains on a 40-mile round trip, one way behind the Flying Scotsman and one way behind another named visiting locomotive.

Each school will have to pay a £50 administration charge and all tickets will be free. The visit is for pupils studying at Key Stage 2 (aged seven to 11) to use for History, Geography or other work in the National Curriculum.

The Flying Scotsman was the first locomotive to officially break through the 100mph barrier.

The engine will be in Somerset hauling trains from September 5-12. Each day it will take two non-stop passenger trains from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and back – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.All tickets have to be booked in advance and limited numbers will be available. Passengers can book for all the trains – apart from the first two school trains – on the West Somerset Railway website.

West Somerset Railway general manager Paul Conibeare said: “The visit of the Flying Scotsman is a big part of this year’s calendar and we want the local community to share in our excitement.”

This is its first visit to the West Country in over 20 years.