Trespassing trainspotters cause delays for Suffolk and Essex rail users during Tornado’s charity visit to Walton-on-the-Naze
Trainspotters trying to catch a glimpse of a rare steam locomotive in Essex caused disruption to rail users today after some were accused of trespassing on the track.
The Peppercorn class A1 loco “Tornado” visit had been organised by Tendring District Council chairman Mark Platt to raise money for St Helena Hospice in Colchester.
It took passengers from London Liverpool Street to Walton-on-the-Naze and then ran a shuttle service for rail enthusiasts between Walton and Colchester.
However some over-eager onlookers were accused of trespassing on the track causing services to be delayed and cancelled.
Greater Anglia said it received a number of reports of trespassers, in some cases on the line, due to the Tornado steam train.
“As a result, all trains have to move slowly through the area to ensure everyone’s safety,” it tweeted.
“This is causing delays.”
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“If you’re taking photos of the Tornado steam train today, please be sensible: do not trespass.”
The delays were reported from around 11am with stations affected including Colchester Town and Ipswich.
At 3pm, Greater Anglia was still reporting trespass-related delays on the London to Norwich service, however it was not clear whether this was related to the Tornado or a separate incident.
Meanwhile, those who supported the charity event in a responsible manner have been praised making it a great day.
Anne Brown from Dedham, who travelled on the train, said: “It’s a fantastic way of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the railway arriving in Walton and it brings back happy memories of travelling on steam trains from Manningtree to Newcastle when I was a youngster.
“It’s great that it is all benefitting a wonderful cause like St Helena Hospice, which does such amazing work locally.”
Also on board was the Reverend Peter Edwards, Vicar of Walton. During the journey from London Rev Edwards blessed passengers in each of the carriages.
“I had hoped to bless the locomotive before we set off but there wasn’t enough time, so I blessed the carriages instead,” he said.
Mr Platt said he was “delighted” to see so many people come out to see the train.
“It would be really great if as many people as possible could drop something into a St Helena Hospice bucket,” he added.
Ruth Bendle, community partnerships fundraising manager at St Helena Hospice said: “We are immensely grateful to Councillor Platt and everyone who has helped him arrange the day’s events. Everyone who has seen or ridden behind Tornado today has had a fantastic time, and the money raised from the day will help us to care for patients and their families living in north Essex who have progressive, incurable illness.”
Visit here to support the hospice.