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Fife trainspotters banned from platform over Flying Scotsman safety fears

Flying Scotsman.
Flying Scotsman.

Trainspotters will be banned from a Fife station amid fears they will swamp the platform and trespass onto the tracks to catch a glimpse of the Flying Scotsman.

ScotRail Alliance and British Transport Police have issued a stark safety warning to enthusiasts ahead of the newly-refurbished engine’s visit to the region on Sunday.

Previous tours of the north of England have already seen over-eager fans sneak onto tracks and overcrowd station platforms, with services on the East Coast Main Line having to be suspended.

With the clamour expected to be just as raucous north of the border, police have taken the unusual step of limiting access to North Queensferry station, the only Fife stop.

Alex Sharkey, ScotRail Alliance area director for the east of Scotland, said: “It is extremely dangerous and illegal for the public to trespass on the railway.

“During the trips to the Borders and Fife we will continue to operate a full passenger service with hundreds of other trains running on these lines throughout the time Flying Scotsman is in Scotland.

“Those who plan to enjoy seeing the steam engine in the coming days must do so from a safe position and must not enter the operational railway under any circumstances.

“For safety reasons, we will also be limiting access to some of our stations and platforms while the train is passing through to make sure regular travellers can still use the railway and to manage the risk of overcrowding.”

The Flying Scotsman has undergone a 10-year refurbishment by the National Railway Museum at a cost of £4 million.

 

Inspector Ricky McCartney, of British Transport Police, warned trespassing on the line to catch a glimpse of the engine was “extremely dangerous” and a serious offence.

He added: “We will take action against those caught trespassing and you could end up with a criminal record and facing a fine of up to £1,000.

“We understand that the return of Flying Scotsman is an exciting event.

“However, we want you to view the iconic steam train safely, and there are lots of safe places to see it and take photographs.

“Please do not be tempted to stray on to the railway and risk your safety and trespassing is also likely to delay the train.

“Stations along the route will be extremely busy, so listen to the staff who are there to assist you.”

The public must not stand near the edge of the platforms as trains pass through or obstruct them with bags or tripods.

All passengers should observe the instructions of station staff.

Photographers are reminded it is an offence to fly drones within 50 metres of operational railway lines and cannot be flown directly above the railway at any point.

Platform restrictions in the Borders, Edinburgh and Fife include:

  • Waverley: Station staff will closely manage platforms and viewing locations on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. Dwell times at the station are fairly short, so the public should not travel to Waverley expecting to get close to the engine.
  • Tweedbank: Flying Scotsman will be at Tweedbank for approximately four hours on Sunday. The station will still be in use and, to keep everyone safe, staff will be controlling access to platforms.
  • Dalmeny and North Queensferry: On Sunday evening, only passengers intending to travel will be allowed access to the platforms at North Queensferry and Dalmeny stations and footbridges in these locations must be kept clear at all times.

 

 

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