Two people injured as Flying Scotsman involved in collision in the Scottish Highlands

Two people were transported to hospital after the Flying Scotsman was involved in a ‘shunting’ accident at Aviemore Railway Station

The iconic steam locomotive, the Flying Scotsman, found itself involved in a "slow-speed" collision with another heritage train on Friday evening at the Aviemore Railway Station, nestled in the picturesque Cairngorms of the Scottish Highlands. Two individuals were transported to the hospital as a precaution, though their injuries were fortunately not deemed serious, according to local authorities.

First responders, including the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Police Scotland, rushed to the scene, ensuring prompt medical attention to those affected. The collision prompted a temporary disruption to nearby mainline services as emergency efforts unfolded. Network Rail emphasized that the collision occurred on a heritage railway line, separate from their infrastructure, and urged passengers to check for travel updates.

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In a statement issued by the Belmond and Strathspey Railway, the incident was explained as a “shunting mishap” while coupling the Flying Scotsman with Belmond's Royal Scotsman train carriages. Emergency services swiftly responded to the scene, ensuring the injured received medical attention.

The National Railway Museum, custodians of the Flying Scotsman, have also acknowledged the incident, stating that the locomotive had been involved in a ‘shunting’ incident at Aviemore Station. However, further details were pending investigation.

A tourist, Lewis Smith, who had intended to embark on a journey aboard the famous steam train, unexpectedly found himself witnessing the aftermath of the collision. “We arrived here quite late and so we took a walk into Aviemore to get something to eat. We passed by the station and saw the Flying Scotsman and a fire engine at the platform.”

The Flying Scotsman locomotive crosses the Forth Bridge, as it makes a journey to Aberdeen during the steam train's centenary tour on July 03, 2023 in Edinburgh. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)The Flying Scotsman locomotive crosses the Forth Bridge, as it makes a journey to Aberdeen during the steam train's centenary tour on July 03, 2023 in Edinburgh. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The Flying Scotsman locomotive crosses the Forth Bridge, as it makes a journey to Aberdeen during the steam train's centenary tour on July 03, 2023 in Edinburgh. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“We decided to come back to see what was happening after getting food. At around 8.30pm we came back to the station and got some photos of the engine. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong apart from all signals on the mainline being set to red but I didn’t really take much notice. “

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“When we got back we got a phone call from a friend asking if we had seen the accident. We didn’t know anything was wrong until we checked the news.”

Political figures, such as Ariane Burgess, a Scottish Greens MSP for Highlands and Islands (Region), expressed concern for the injured and praised the dedication of emergency services and railway crews working diligently at the scene. 

Mark Ruskell MSP, the Scottish Greens' transport spokesperson, stressed the importance of a thorough investigation and offered support to those involved, acknowledging the impact on both heritage and mainline tracks.

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