Network rail issue Flying Scotsman warning

60103 Flying Scotsman
Credit: Ben Jenden

Network Rail is urging fans of Flying Scotsman to enjoy it from a safe distance when it travels from Crewe to Cumbria via Manchester this summer.

The steam engine will travel on the West Coast main line from Crewe to Carnforth on 20 July. It is also on display at Locomotion at Shildon from the 26th July 2019 to 12th August 2019.

However, Network Rail is issuing a repeated safety warning after dangerous and illegal behaviour on the railway during recent Flying Scotsman visits elsewhere in the country.

Members of the public have also been using selfie sticks while trying to take photographs putting them at risk of electrocution from overhead electric cables which power trains with 25,000 volts.

Significant disruption is caused right across the rail network resulting in delays for tens of thousands of passengers.

Network Rail, British Transport Police and train operating companies will have extra staff at stations on July 20 and August 3.

Police will also employ special tactics to catch lawbreakers. Officers will be on board the train and cameras on the front of Flying Scotsman to film anyone trespassing.

Trespass on the railway is a criminal offence with up to a £1000 fine. Train obstruction is punishable by up to two years in prison. Those prosecuted for dangerous or unauthorised drone use face a fine of up to £2,500.


What did the officials say?

David Golding, acting route managing director, said:

“It’s great that people want to come and see Flying Scotsman but it’s vital for them to stay safe. The railway is an extremely dangerous environment if people misuse it. It’s full of both obvious and hidden dangers, which carry risks of catastrophic injuries or even death.

“It is never acceptable to go onto the track for any reason. Flying Scotsman is not the only train running on the railway – other trains will be travelling at speeds of up to 125mph. Come and enjoy the spectacle of this iconic train, but please do that from a safe place.”

Inspector Becky Warren, from British Transport Police, said:

“Seeing the Flying Scotsman is an exciting event for many people and we want everyone to be able to have a great day out.

“Our priority is the safety of everyone viewing and travelling on the train, and our officers will be along the route and at stations to ensure everyone can enjoy the event without putting themselves or others in danger.

“Please remember to use safe vantage points to view and take pictures of the train, stay clear of the line, and do not risk serious injury or death by trespassing on the tracks.

“It is important to remember that the railway is an extremely hazardous environment and those caught trespassing or obstructing trains can expect to be prosecuted.”

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  1. People are not train enthusiasts so that why do not no about safety and they want to do is spoil it for other people who are train enthusiasts so catch the people trespassing and send them to prison and fine them

    • I beg to differ Shaun. I recently reported someone for setting up a video camcorder right next to the track on a Clanline trip and they were from a very well known video company! Needless to say the BTP confiscated the equipment. Trespassers arent always just members of the public.

  2. In today’s society the difference between a steam train enthusiast and a casual spectator is simply down to the size of their lens. A steam train enthusiast will not put themself in harm’s way with their 500mm lens, but someone with a mobile phone on a selfie stick just might. Unfortunately only prosecution will be education for some.

  3. This is why there should be a banning order on any spectators who don’t obey or haven’t applied to the railway safety when the Flying Scotsman passes through Staffordshire & other counties on the WCML.


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