Friday 26 May 2017
Flying Scotsman fans urged to stay safe during trips from London to Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire
Fans of the famous Flying Scotsman are being urged to keep off the tracks and enjoy a safe day out when the locomotive tours the south and west next week.
Flying Scotsman will be journeying from Salisbury, through Hampshire and on to London Paddington on 31 May.
Network Rail, the British Transport Police and other industry partners are warning those who are planning to view the train of the dangers of straying onto the tracks. Alongside the ever-present risk of being hit by a train, rail lines in the south west are powered by an electrified ‘third rail’ running parallel to the tracks. This is always switched on and carries enough electricity to kill a person.
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “Seeing Flying Scotsman passing through our spectacular countryside is a terrific opportunity, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to stay safe at all times. Never wander on to or near the tracks.
“As well as being illegal, it is incredibly dangerous if you haven’t had the correct training because you will be at risk of being hit by a train or electrocuted. I urge anyone who is planning on enjoying seeing Flying Scotsman to do so from a safe position.”
Sgt Phil Horne at the British Transport Police, said: “The Flying Scotsman tour is a very exciting event for many people and we want everyone who is looking forward to seeing the spectacular steam engine to have a great day out and stay safe.
“Our officers will be patrolling along the route and at stations to ensure everyone can enjoy the event without putting themselves or others in danger. So far on the Flying Scotsman tour there has been some disruption, with various incidents of trespass along the line.
“It is incredibly disappointing that despite repeated warnings, people chose to risk their lives and the lives of others by going onto the railway tracks to view the Flying Scotsman. We understand that people are excited, but the railway is a hazardous environment and trespassers endanger their safety and that of others.
“The disruption caused to trains as a result of the trespass over the weekend meant that many people were affected by the actions of the trespassers.
“As the Flying Scotsman continues its journey, we would like to remind everyone once again that trespassing can kill. It is simply not worth the risk.
“If you are planning to go and see the Flying Scotsman; please plan ahead, use safe vantage points to view and take pictures of the train, stay clear of the line and do not risk your safety and that of others by trespassing on the tracks. Please respect local landowners by obtaining permission before going onto any private land.
“It is vital that spectators do not venture onto the railway as a full timetable of regular services will also be running – these can travel at 125mph and are often silent.
“Please be aware stations and platforms may be very busy – station staff will be able to assist so please listen to them if they are giving you information.
“Let’s make this a truly memorable occasion for everyone to enjoy safely.”
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.