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Flying Scotsman gets video cameras to catch rail enthusiasts on tracks

The National Railway Museum, which owns the locomotive, said safety is a ‘big priority’.

People gather to photograph the Flying Scotsman steam train as it passes by Corfe Castle on its way to Swanage (Ben Birchall/PA)
People gather to photograph the Flying Scotsman steam train as it passes by Corfe Castle on its way to Swanage (Ben Birchall/PA)

Video cameras have been fitted to world famous locomotive Flying Scotsman to catch trainspotters who trespass on tracks.

The measure was taken after a spate of incidents involving people climbing over trackside fences to get as close as possible to the steam engine.

Overeager rail enthusiasts are causing Flying Scotsman and other trains to slow down or even stop due to fears that a member of the public will be hit.

On Sunday, 56 regular passenger trains were delayed by trespassers as the locomotive travelled across the East Midlands.

British Transport Police (BTP) released a photograph of two people standing next to a 125mph line in Elford, Staffordshire and asked anyone who recognises them to come forward.

Simon Baylis, communications manager of the National Railway Museum, which owns Flying Scotsman, told the Press Association: “It’s a big priority for us to make sure things run safely.

“We’re not prepared to accept the risks we saw over the bank holiday weekend.

“One of the measures brought in is cameras. They can capture evidence which can be used for prosecutions.

“It’s partly a deterrent, but can be used for prosecuting people too.”

BTP officers are also being deployed on all mainline journeys by Flying Scotsman to make it easier to catch offenders.

CrossCountry train drivers have expressed concern about the dangers of people standing inside boundary fences.

One driver posted on Twitter: “Driving the train ahead of Flying Scotsman was probably the most stressful experience I have ever had to endure in nearly 10 years on the railway and not one I wish to repeat any time soon.

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Flying Scotsman crosses the Forth Bridge (Jane Barlow/PA)

“At one point there were no less than eight Cross Country trains at a stand (not moving) in areas where we’d ordinarily expect to be zipping by at 125mph because of people believing it’s okay to trespass on the railway.

“If a person trespassed at Heathrow and stood next to a runway to take pictures, the airport would be closed, the planes would be diverted and they would be arrested.

“If a person set up their tripod on a motorway, traffic would stop and the person would be arrested.”

PA

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