Network Rail has today (Friday, May 13) confirmed that Flying Scotsman will no longer be able to undertake this weekend’s tours of the Borders and Fife.
A Network Rail spokesman said:
The routes the Scotsman had planned to cover this weekend are new ones for the locomotive and have to be individually assessed by our engineers in advance.
Unfortunately we have been unable to carry out the work in time and cannot allow the engine to run when we are unsure if the unique design of the Flying Scotsman is compatible with the current railway infrastructure across the Fife and Borders routes.
We understand the disappointment this will cause all those who had been looking forward to the iconic engine returning to these parts of Scotland and a full investigation will be undertaken into why these issues were not identified sooner.
A spokeswoman for the National Railway Museum, the engine's owners, said:
We are sorry to hear that our locomotive Flying Scotsman will be unable to haul the 15 May Steam Dreams The Borders Scotsman and Fife Evening Circular tours, due to an administrative issue.
We can confirm there is nothing mechanically wrong with the engine which makes its triumphant return to Scotland post-restoration on Saturday 14 May with the York-Edinburgh leg of the Cathedral's Express service.
We share the disappointment of the people of Scotland who were hoping to catch a glimpse of Flying Scotsman on its travels through Fife and the Borders.
Flying Scotsman will be displayed at the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway on Monday 16 May as planned with an extra day on Sunday 15 May.
Network Rail has this afternoon announced that it has reinstated the planned Flying Scotsman tours of the Borders railway and Fife on Sunday.
Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said:
Overnight and through today our engineers and analysts have worked hard to find a way to get the necessary safety checks and engineering assessments done. I am pleased to say that we have been successful and are now able to reinstate the original planned tours of the Flying Scotsman in Scotland on Sunday.
I wholeheartedly and sincerely apologise for the consternation caused by the premature announcement yesterday.
Once the tours have been safely and successfully run, I will be instigating a full investigation into how this problem occurred on our railway in Scotland.
For more information about Flying Scotsman and the Scotsman Season please visit our season page. For the latest conversations about the return of Flying Scotsman, use or track #FlyingScotsman.