STEAM train enthusiasts have been trying to work out when they will be able to catch sight of the iconic Flying Scotsman as it twice passes through Wellington on Sunday, April 30.

The world’s most famous steam engine, locomotive No 60103, is touring the country as part of its centenary year.

And on Sunday it will be pulling a Royal Duchy excursion on the mainline track from Bristol Temple Meads to Par, in Cornwall, and back again.

Timings for the sold-out trip have been kept a closely guarded secret by tour operator the Railway Touring Company for what it said were ‘safety reasons’.

The secrecy has left local railway enthusiasts in the dark, as the timetable has only been released to passengers who have paid between £185 and £375 for tickets.

However, the Wellington Weekly understands the Flying Scotsman is scheduled to depart Bristol at approximately 8.45 am.

A calculation based on other steam tours suggests the train will then reach Taunton at about 9.51 am where it will stop to pick up more passengers.

Based on those timings, the Flying Scotsman will likely reach Wellington somewhere between 10.04 am and 10.24 am as it makes its way to its next stop in Exeter St David’s Station.

Using the same calculations for the return journey from Cornwall, the steam engine should be passing through Wellington again at somewhere between 9 pm and 9.20 pm.

Wellington transport enthusiast Chris Penney told the Wellington Weekly: “While it is possible to work out a rough timetable there are a lot of variables on the journey so the estimation of when she will come through is rather crude.

"Personally, I will be making my way to a vantage spot a good half-hour or so earlier to make sure I do not miss seeing her and grabbing a photograph or two.

“These sorts of opportunities are very rare and who knows if we will ever see the Flying Scotsman in Wellington again, so I think it is worth showing patience and waiting around.”

The Flying Scotsman is credited with being the first UK locomotive to reach 100 mph on a special test run in 1934.

Unofficially, however, City of Truro is believed to have achieved the record feat in 1904 just outside of Wellington on the Whiteball Bank past Sampford Arundel.

The Flying Scotsman was built in 1923 at Doncaster Works for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), and was retired from regular service in 1963 after covering more than two million miles.

It is now owned by the National Railway Museum, in York, and operated and maintained by Riley and Son (E) Ltd, based in Heywood, Greater Manchester.

But onlookers have been reminded to keep safe, and never venture onto the railway.

The Railway Touring Company and the National Railway Museum said they appreciate there is considerable interest in Flying Scotsman, but stress that anyone wishing to see Flying Scotsman on route should do so from a safe and permitted place - trespassing along rail lines or into prohibited areas of railway stations is dangerous.

They added it is vital that spectators do not venture onto the railway when Flying Scotsman is on the main line as a full timetable of regular services will also be running.  For safety, keep away from the railway line.

To avoid overcrowding and incidents of trespass and to assist the British Transport Police and Network Rail, The Railway Touring Company and the National Railway Museum do not publish details of Flying Scotsman’s route or journey times – this includes positioning moves. 

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Seeing Flying Scotsman is an exciting event for many people and we want everyone to be able to enjoy the occasion, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to keep safe at the same time.

 “It’s vital that you watch from a safe distance and don’t go on or near the tracks. Trespassing on the railway is incredibly dangerous and can have devastating consequences, as well as being illegal. You could face a fine of up to £1,000 and be left with a criminal record.

 “Please remember to watch from a distance and behave responsibly so that everyone is able to safely enjoy the sight of the historic locomotive.”