Trainspotters left disappointed as Flying Scotsman passes through North East on UK tour

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.
The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

The world famous Flying Scotsman locomotive passed through the North East today on its tour of Britain - but lots of trainspotters were left disappointed.

The timings of its visit were withheld in a bid to keep people off railway tracks, after the train's inaugural run in February after a decade-long refit was marred by trespassers.

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

Taxpayer-funded Network Rail (NR) was forced to pay out almost £60,000 in compensation when 59 train services were delayed by people encroaching on the track to get as close as possible to train as it travelled from London to York .

All trains on the East Coast Main Line were temporarily stopped, causing a combined total of more than eight hours of delays.

NR managing director Phil Hufton called on enthusiasts making plans to see Flying Scotsman as it visits various parts of England and Scotland over the next few months to stay safe.

"While the turnout to see Flying Scotsman so far has shown the passion and support for steam engines, and indeed the railway itself, the images of people stood on the railway taking photographs were deeply concerning and a breach of our safe operations," he said.

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

"I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to go onto the railway without any formal training and without permission, as well as being illegal.

"I am urging those who plan to enjoy seeing Flying Scotsman in the coming days to do so from a safe position and do not go onto the railway under any circumstances."

The National Railway Museum (NRM) in York bought the locomotive for £2.3million in 2004 before work got under way on its restoration in 2006.

Jim Lowe, head of operations at the museum, said: "It is vital that spectators do not venture onto the railway, particularly when it is on the mainline, as a full timetable of regular services will be running.

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

The Flying Scotsman passes a rapeseed field near Durham, as part of its UK tour.

"In order to avoid overcrowding and incidents of trespass neither ourselves nor our partners will be publishing recommended viewing points, or the timetable of when the train will be passing through specific locations."

The decision has angered a number of members of the public who were keen to catch a glimpse of Flying Scotsman.

Andrew Burnie posted on the NRM's Facebook page: "Really sad that the timings for these runs seem to have been hidden.

"Was looking forwards to seeing the Scotsman in Edinburgh this weekend, but because of the idiots who took to the tracks I now can't find the times it will be departing from and arriving to Waverley as they have been taken down to avoid a repeat. The daft minority spoiling things once again."

* Did you get any pictures of the Flying Scotsman? We'd love to see them.