'Dangerous' Trainspotters to Be Banned from King's Cross

The Evening Standard (London, England), March 16, 2009 | Go to article overview

'Dangerous' Trainspotters to Be Banned from King's Cross


Byline: DICK MURRAY Transport Editor

TRAINSPOTTERS could be banned from King's Cross for security reasons, it was claimed today.

Union leaders say National Express will bar spotters from stations on the East Coast main line because they are a nuisance and pose a "security risk".

There are suggestions of other operators following suit.

Theban, which union leaders claim "betrays Britain's railway heritage", covers King's Cross and York, which is the spiritual home of the industry and next door to the National Rail Museum.

National Express is instigating the ban as it installs automatic ticket gates at main stations along the line, say union leaders, who accused the operator of "mindless vandalism".

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA, the industry's second largest union, said one of his officials had been told by a manager that trainspotters posed a "security risk".

He said: "Do they really think that a 10-year-old boy with a pencil and notebook is in possession of a dangerous weapon? You do wonder sometimes what planet these people are on." Mr Doherty added: "The barbarians have finally taken over the industry.

Only people with no sense of history would commit such an act of mindless vandalism. Young trainspotters have been with us since Victorian times.

Now National Express is saying they should be banned as they are a nuisance.

"The company has told us that train spotters will be banned at all its main line stations which will be installed with gated barriers." Stations covered by the ban also include Stevenage, Peterborough,

Newark, Leeds, Durham, Doncaster, Wakefield and Newcastle. …

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