Police to travel aboard Flying Scotsman during Fife trips to deter trespassing fans

The Flying Scotsman crossing the Bridge at Seafield Kirkcaldy. Pic: George McLuskie.
The Flying Scotsman crossing the Bridge at Seafield Kirkcaldy. Pic: George McLuskie.

The Flying Scotsman locomotive will be armed with cameras and police to deter fans from straying onto tracks during its trips to Fife next weekend.

British Transport Police officers will travel aboard trains being hauled by the world’s most famous engine when it travels through the Kingdom next Sunday (May 19) following incidents in England.

Flying Scotsman at Glenrothes Station. Pic: contributed.

Flying Scotsman at Glenrothes Station. Pic: contributed.

The two tours, which will see the carriages hauled by Flying Scotsman, will run from Linlithgow (morning train) and Dalmeny in South Queensferry and Inverkeithing (afternoon train) via the Forth Bridge and round the Fife Circle via Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, then through Dunfermline, Culross, Alloa and Stirling.

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The National Railway Museum, which owns the locomotive, urged rail fans to stay well away from the line when the trips, organised by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, take place.

Jim Lowe, head of operations, said: “In response to recent incidents of trespass, we are working with Network Rail and the British Transport Police (BTP) to fit cameras to Flying Scotsman at the earliest opportunity and all main line journeys from now on will have BTP officers on board.

“As Flying Scotsman continues its tour around the UK, we would like to remind people wishing to see the famous locomotive to do so safely.

“This means staying back from the platform edge, being aware of other trains that are operating, being considerate to other people and passengers and keeping well away from the railway track.”

He added: “Trespassing on the railways causes delays, endangers lives and is against the law – don’t ruin things for the majority of people who want to enjoy Flying Scotsman and stay safe.”

A spokesman for the British Transport Police said several people had illegally got onto the tracks near Burton on Trent and Tamworth in the East Midlands last Sunday in an attempt to get a closer look at Flying Scotsman.

He said this had caused significant disruption with 56 trains delayed by a total of 16 hours. Two enthusiasts had reportedly stood too close to the tracks where trains passed at 125mph.

Chief Inspector Gareth Davies said: “It is extremely disappointing that a small minority of rail enthusiasts put their lives in grave danger in an attempt to take photos of Flying Scotsman.

“Quite frankly, they should know better and we are today sending a strong message that this will not be tolerated.

“The railway is an extremely hazardous environment, trespassing could result in serious injury or even death.“To prevent further incidents, we’re stepping up our patrols when Flying Scotsman is out on the rail network.”

He added: “Those caught trespassing or obstructing trains can expect to be prosecuted.”