TRAIN-SPOTTERS were disappointed on Saturday when they headed out to see The Flying Scotsman travel through Hexham, Prudhoe and Stocksfield on the Tyne Valley Line from Carlisle to Gateshead.

The train was on its way from Carlisle to Derby and was due to pass through Hexham at 5.05pm.  However, they were met with disappointment.

When the train finally arrived almost an hour later, it was pulled by a diesel locomotive, rather than using its classic steam engine as is customary.

It travelled through Hexham without stopping at 6.01pm, which official records state is 55 minutes later than it was supposed to.

The Flying Scotsman is the most famous train in the world and thousands of people come out to watch and picture it when it tours the country and travels through local stations.

People had paid up to £310 each for a day-out on the train, which took all day and included a full-English breakfast and four-course meal.  A family pass was available which cost almost £1000.

The operator of the service - Railway Touring Co - have confirmed that a fault with the automatic warning system was the cause of the delay and the reason it had to be pulled by a diesel engine.

After the fault was discovered, they organised for a diesel engine to pull the train from the front as well as the back to enable the journey to continue.

Enthusiasts were met with dismay when instead of the historic engine, a diesel train, much like you could see at any time at any station in the country, rolled into view.

People both on the train and on the platforms had come to see the engine run on its own steam.

Railway Touring Co have been asked for a comment.