Safety warning ahead of Flying Scotsman’s visit to Melton

Flying Scotsman steaming through Grantham in February this year EMN-160523-174744001
Flying Scotsman steaming through Grantham in February this year EMN-160523-174744001
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World-famous steam train Flying Scotsman will be running through Melton next month - but its timetable and recommended viewing points aren’t being publicised because of safety fears.

The historic 1923-built locomotive is scheduled to visit Melton on Saturday, June 4, en route for York on one of a number of journeys commissioned by heritage rail operator the Railway Touring Company.

The company has recruited the steam legend to haul its ‘Yorkshireman’ train, which will collect passengers at Melton en route for York.

But The National Railway Museum, which owns the train, and Network Rail have said they will not issue timings for Flying Scotsman journeys.

Previous tours have been marred by trespassing incidents and overcrowding on station platforms.

On February 25, when Flying Scotsman made its inaugural London to York journey after a 10-year refit costing £4.2m, all trains on the East Coast mainline had to be stopped when people trespassed on the line, costing almost £60,000 in compensation to delayed passengers.

Jim Lowe, head of operations at the National Railway Museum, said: “While we understand interest in our celebrity loco Flying Scotsman will be extremely high, we urge those wishing to view it on its UK tour dates do so from a safe vantage point.

“It’s vital spectators don’t venture onto the railway, particularly when it’s on the mainline as a full timetable of regular services will be running. In order to avoid overcrowding and incidents of trespass neither ourselves nor our partners will be publishing recommended viewing points or the timetable of when the train will be passing through specific locations - this includes positioning moves.”

The British Transport Police has also warned that trespassing on the tracks to view the service is not only extremely dangerous but is also an offence for which the offender risks being brought before the courts, a fine of £1,000 and a criminal record.

Built in 1923, Flying Scotsman set two world records for steam traction, becoming the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated at reaching 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) on November 30, 1934, and then setting a record for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles (679 km) on August 8, 1989, while in Australia.