Posted 25th February 2016 | 10 Comments
Flying Scotsman trespassers block East Coast Main Line
BRITISH Transport Police officers were called to deal with trespassing railway enthusiasts who caused the Flying Scotsman to be stopped near the border of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire this morning.
The steam special was on its way from London King's Cross to Edinburgh, when trespassers were reported on or close to the main line between Sandy and St Neots.
The special was brought to a stand for a short time, until police could give the all clear. It is not known if any arrests were made.
The delay also obstructed following trains, and Virgin Trains East Coast issued a warning that some of its services were being affected.
Network Rail said services had now returned to normal.
In a related incident, at least one heritage operator has been forced to cancel charter trains which would have run on 12 and 19 March and also on 9 April, following the suspension of West Coast Railways, whose Safety Certificate for Network Rail infrastructure was revoked indefinitely by the Office of Rail and Road on 18 February after a series of hazardous incidents. These included a narrowly-missed collision on the Great Western Main Line near Swindon last March.
Vintage Trains has apologised to its customers, because like other companies in the sector it had been relying on West Coast Railways to provide heritage locomotives and rolling stock. In a letter circulated today, VT said: "We share in your deep disapointment and frustration which this situation has undoubtably caused. We hope that this will not deter you from travelling with Vintage Trains when we resume operations in the near future."
The company is now in negotiations with alternative operators, and described the early results as 'currently extremely encouraging'.
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