Flying Scotsman fans urged to stay off railway tracks as iconic engine gets set for Yorkshire return
Rail enthusiasts have been warned to behave safely when the Flying Scotsman visits Yorkshire at the weekend.
Crowds are expected to gather to watch the famous Doncaster-built steam locomotive as it travels down the Midland Main Line and heads into the county on Saturday, the first of a series of visits to the region this summer.
Authorities have warned people to stay off the tracks however, following dangerous and illegal behaviour that has marred the engine’s tours in other parts of the country. Photographs shared online have showed crowds of people, including young children, trespassing on the tracks and stood in the path of oncoming trains.
Trespassers face being fined by to £1,000, while train obstruction can be punished with up to two years in prison.
Vicki Beadle, operations risk advisor for Network Rail, said: “We want people to have a fantastic time this weekend, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to keep safe at the same time.
“Trespassing on or near the tracks is incredibly dangerous, as well as being illegal and we work closely with British Transport Police to tackle this. There is never an excuse to trespass on the railway and this type of behaviour can have devastating life-changing and even fatal consequences.”
Chief Inspector Gareth Davies, from British Transport Police, added: “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.”
Drones have also caused problems. One was flown dangerously close to the railway as Flying Scotsman passed through Surrey in April, while in March 2016, a drone collided with the engine’s rear carriage on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Network Rail and British Transport Police said they will both have extra staff on duty this weekend.
Flying Scotsman will also be in the county on July 6, July 10, July 17, August 24 and September 7.