Some reports suggested that a ban has been put on the iconic engine from travelling between London and Grantham because of fears that people will trespass on the East Coast Mainline in a repeat of what happened when the Flying Scotsman made its maiden journey from London in February following its £4.3 million restoration.
Steam Dreams, a company which runs trips with the Flying Scotsman, told the Journal a trip from York to London on May 19 will still go ahead with the engine and future trips are also set to go ahead with the Flying Scotsman.
Ojn February 25, when the Flying Scotsman made its inaugural journey, 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.
The National Railway Museum, which owns the train, and Network Rail have said they will not issue timings for future Flying Scotsman journeys.
Jim Lowe, head of operations at the National Railway Museum, which purchased the locomotive for the nation in 2004, said: “While we understand interest in our celebrity loco Flying Scotsman will continue to be extremely high, we urge those wishing to view it on its UK tour dates do so from a safe vantage point.
“It is vital that spectators do not venture onto the railway, particularly when it is 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.
“We wish those who are taking journeys on trains hauled by the steam icon or going to see it at an event over the coming months an enjoyable experience.”
Phil Hufton, Network Rail managing director, England and Wales said: “While the turnout to see Flying Scotsman so far has shown the passion and support for steam engines, and indeed the railway itself, the images of people stood on the railway taking photographs were deeply concerning and a breach of our safe operations.
“I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to go onto the railway without any formal training and without permission, as well as being illegal. I am urging those who plan to enjoy seeing Flying Scotsman in the coming days to do so from a safe position and do not go onto the railway under any circumstances. I’d like to thank those who have observed safe practices during the Scotsman’s runs so far and ask others to follow that example.”
Chief inspector David Oram, of the British Transport Police, said: “We understand people are excited about seeing the Flying Scotsman’s return and want them to have a great day out.
“Our priority is the safety of the public and passengers viewing and travelling on the train. The railway is a hazardous environment and we would urge people to use safe vantage points to view and take pictures of the train, stay clear of the line and not be tempted to risk their lives and the lives of others by trespassing on the tracks.
“To ensure the safety of those wanting to see the Flying Scotsman we have been in extensive planning discussions with the rail industry. Our aim is that members of the public are able to enjoy these great events by understanding the dangers, being responsible, staying within the law and most importantly - keeping safe.
“Trespassing on the tracks to view the service is not only extremely dangerous and can result in the train’s journey being delayed, but it is an offence for which the offender risks being brought before the courts, a fine of £1,000 and a criminal record. Where people are found to be trespassing, we will take proportionate and necessary action against them.”