Shocking costs of Scotsman line disruption

The Flying Scotsman passing through Sandy Rail Station
The Flying Scotsman passing through Sandy Rail Station

Trespassers who stormed the railway line to see The Flying Scotsman making its inaugural trip from Kings Cross to York last month have cost Network Rail nearly £60,000.

All trains on the East Coast Main Line had to be stopped because onlookers were standing on the track waiting for the famous steam engine following its £4.2 million refit.

Delays totalled more than eight hours and 59 services were affected, which meant Network Rail had to foot the bill for compensation claims.

Behaviour by rail fans, including families with children, have been branded as “deeply worrying” by Emrys Warriner, head of route safety and environment at Network Rail.

Offenders face a fine of £1,000 but no-one has been charged after the incident.

Mr Warriner said: “While the turnout to see the Flying Scotsman showed the passion and support for steam engines, and indeed the railway itself, the images of people stood on the railway taking photographs was deeply worrying.

“I cannot stress how dangerous it is to go on to the railway without permission as well as being illegal.”

Inspector Bob Moody, of British Transport Police, said: “We understand people are excited about seeing the Flying Scotsman’s return but the railway is a hazardous environment and trespassers endanger their safety and that of others.

“The behaviour of some people during the Flying Scotsman’s inaugural journey from London to York was simply not acceptable.

“Large numbers of people trespassed on the tracks to view the service, which is not only extremely dangerous and resulted in the train’s journey being delayed, but it is an offence for which the offender faces being brought before the courts, a fine of £1,000 and a criminal record.

“We will be seeking to take action against trespassers on future journeys to ensure that these pass safely and free from disruption.”