The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Stay on right side of tracks during visit


It is a shame the selfish actions of a few rail enthusiast­s could spoil the enjoyment of the many when the Flying Scotsman thunders through Fife this weekend. Rather than making a virtue of the visit by the famous locomotive, organisers have had to play it down.

Concerned that over-excited viewers will stray on to the railway line to get a better view and pictures, they have refused to release the timetable for the visit.

It means those who wish to see the distinctiv­e locomotive will have to take their chances on being present when it makes its way across the Forth Bridge and through the kingdom.

Barbed suggestion­s that Fife rail users are often at the mercy of the vagaries of timetablin­g may be true, but that is hardly the point.

There is no need to risk life and limb on the railway lines, although many do so on a daily basis.

A report issued last month by Network Rail and British Transport Police revealed the number of people trespassin­g on lines has peaked with more than 8,000 cases last year – an astonishin­g 11% rise on 2015.

In the past five years, 115 offenders have been killed, with young people under the age of 25 particular­ly susceptibl­e, accounting for half the deaths.

It is common sense to stay off the tracks and whether it is larking around, taking a shortcut or seeking a better view of an icon, it is not worth the risk.

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