Flying Scotsman’s trip from Ely to Norwich cancelled because of fears spectators will get too close to tracks
- Credit: PA
A visit to the region by the Flying Scotsman has been cancelled, following safety concerns that spectators might try to get too close to the railway tracks.
The legendary locomotive was due to run a special excursion train – which was already sold out – from Ely to Norwich and back next month.
However, the trip has been called off, amid fears of a repeat of the scenes from February this year, when about 60 people endangered their lives by getting close to the tracks as the engine steamed through St Neots, in Cambridgeshire.
Its journey was halted for about 15 minutes, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds due to knock-on delays for other trains.
Although the Flying Scotsman will continue to run on other routes, organisers say there are too many stretches of the track between Ely and Norwich which could allow spectators to get too close.
You may also want to watch:
Marcus Robertson, chairman of event organisers Steam Dream, said he was devastated for enthusiasts but was adamant it was the right thing to do.
'Everyone involved with this does it because it's fun and for the love of it,' he said. 'But we've also got to preserve our British heritage, and we do that by making sure we protect the good reputation of our steam engines.
- 1 Revealed: The most expensive towns to buy a home in Norfolk
- 2 What might happen to former Debenhams store in city centre?
- 3 Family's anger at sentencing of driver who killed 'kind and caring' nan
- 4 Couple fined £400 for digging up 8,000 Norfolk bluebells
- 5 Two Norfolk hotels named among the best in the country
- 6 Life sentence for convicted rapist who attempted to murder Norfolk woman
- 7 Woman left 'penniless' while waiting five weeks for first pension payment
- 8 Hundreds more trees on route of Norwich NDR have died
- 9 BBC Autumnwatch returns to Norfolk for another season
- 10 Former policeman to appear in court accused of rape
'Although Network Rail have not said we can't do the journey between Norwich and Ely, we have decided to do the sensible thing. At the moment the threat to life and limb is too much.'
Mr Robertson hoped that after the initial excitement of the locomotive's return calmed down, then they could put plans in place to bring it back to Norfolk next year instead. It was due to make its journey from Ely to Norwich and back on May 25. Passengers have paid almost £180 for a ticket but have now been offered refund and first refusal on other available trips.
Do you have a story about our steam heritage? Contact a reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01603 772568