Flying Scotsman centenary: National Rail issue safety message as it welcomes iconic locomotive to Portsmouth
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National Rail has issued a safety message to the public ahead of the Flying Scotsman travelling to Portsmouth. Members of the public are being reminded to stay safe and vigilant as parts of the South West Mainline will catch a glimpse of the iconic locomotive on Saturday (June 17).
Network Rail is urging train enthusiasts to remain safe as the train passes through Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, following reports of several people on the tracks trying to see the locomotive last year. They have advised that spectators should watch the Flying Scotsman from a safe location, to not trespass on the live tracks and take care when passing on any level crossings.
Network Rail is advising the public to:
- Stay behind the yellow line on the platforms at all times.
- Remain aware of their surroundings and stay away from the platform edge.
- Obey instructions given to them by rail staff, for their safety, as other trains will still be in operation.
Eric Woodward, Network Rail’s head of safety, health & environment on the Wessex route, said: “It’s great to be able to celebrate the centenary of the iconic Flying Scotsman and we’re pleased to be able to share the experience of this fabulous locomotive passing through our Wessex route.
“The safety of our passengers, staff and the public is always our number one priority so we are urging anyone intending to watch or capture Flying Scotsman travelling through our region to please stay safe and vigilant.
“In particular, please do not overcrowd level crossings or platforms and remember that trespassing on the railway is a criminal offence, please do follow any safety instructions from railway staff.”
Judith McNicol, director of the National Railway Museum, said: “We are delighted that Flying Scotsman, the world’s most famous steam locomotive, is able to operate a series of mainline steam tours to celebrate its centenary year. However, we urge everyone to make sure they view Flying Scotsman from a safe vantage point to ensure this is an enjoyable and safe experience for all.
“Please ensure that you follow all instructions from station staff and British Transport Police, and never trespass on the railway.”
Jane Lupson, South Western Railway’s safety and security director, said: “We know just how much everyone looks forward to seeing Flying Scotsman and we are very pleased to have our network taking part in its centenary celebrations.
“It’s important to celebrate the occasion and view Flying Scotsman safely however, so we are asking our customers and members of the public to remember the rules of the railway.
“If you are viewing the locomotive at our stations you must stay behind the yellow line at all times, listen to our station staff and never go near the track - which on the vast majority of our network is electrified 24 hours a day.”
Inspector Alex Yates, of British Transport Police, added: “Seeing Flying Scotsman is an exciting event on any occasion and even more so as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. Our priority is always the safety of everyone viewing and travelling on the train, and our officers will be out and about across the Wessex route.
“Please remember to use safe vantage points to view and take pictures of the train, stay clear of the line, and do not risk serious injury or death by trespassing on the tracks.
“It is important to remember that the railway is an extremely hazardous environment and those caught trespassing or obstructing trains can expect to be prosecuted. I’d ask anyone with any concerns to speak to an officer or text us on 61016.”