Tributes to 'Mr Railway' Leading light in restoring N.Wales route dies at 91.
TRIBUTES have been paid to a man whose boyhood love of trains led him to save both the Ffestiniog Railway and the Flying Scotsman. Alan Francis Pegler passed away in London on Sunday after a short illness. He was 91.
He remained president of the Ffestiniog Railway Company and the Ffestiniog Railway Society until his death and visited the railway during last autumn's Vintage Weekend.
Ffestiniog Railway general manager Paul Lewin said: "This great man will always be held in the highest of esteem in railway circles as he has done the impossible for railway preservation many times.
"It was Alan''s intervention in the 1950s that made the restoration of the Ffestiniog Railway a reality and he is owed a tremendous debt of gratitude for his unswerving belief the restoration of the FR could be achieved."
Writing on an online tribute website railway enthusiasts paid their own tribute to the man they called "Mr Railway".
Jaymz Griffiths wrote: "The father of preservation, gone but not forgotten: your legacy The Ffestiniog Picture: will live on at every heritage railway site. Thank you and rest in peace."
Hazel Fleming added: "One of the few real gentlemen I have ever met."
Mr Pegler was awarded the OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours list for his services to railway heritage after saving the derelict Ffestiniog Railway from 1954 onwards, and for preserving the famous Flying Scotsman engine in the UK for posterity. In the early 1950s Mr Pegler, who once lived on the Portmeirion estate of his friend Clough Williams Ellis, paid pounds 3,000 for the abandoned line. It took a further four years to gain full control, and 28 more - with the help of trustees, staff and volunteers - to restore the narrow gauge line and its engines to run from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog. In the late 1960s Mr Pegler used family business money to buy and run the Flying Scotsman for a decade, even taking it to America. In 2004, an appeal by the National Railway Museum raised pounds 2m to fully refurbish and run it in the UK.
Railway today ROBERT PARRY JONES A businessman, Mr Pegler had a breathtaking variety of jobs from station master and signaller''s assistant to bomber pilot and professional actor.
The Ffestiniog Railway today Picture: ROBERT PARRY JONES Alan Pegler OBE, the driving force behind the Ffestiniog Railway''s reopening, who has died aged 91