I think this is just delightful – but also rather informative about how things have changed for the better over the decades. The Flying Scotsman is one of the more famous steam trains around. Victoria station in London was built to handle steam trains. Yet when the Flying Scotsman turned up there it set off the fire alarms:
London’s Victoria Station was evacuated on Thursday evening when the steam from the Flying Scotsman set off the fire alarm.
The world-famous locomotive – which was travelling around the south east as part of a nationwide tour – arrived into the station during the evening rush hour.
Thousands of commuters were facing delays to their journey home, as the station closed for around 25 minutes.
Network Rail said in a statement: “Earlier this evening a charter steam train upon arriving into London Victoria station had set off the pre-alarm on the fire panel.
“Although no fire was discovered and the issue was confirmed as a false alarm, the fire alarm system entered full evacuation mode and the correct process for a full alarm was carried out as per the safety standard.
OK, well, it might not be entirely better. For we’d all rather hope that there was someone with the nous to figure out that great plums of billowing smoke (no, not just steam) might have had something to do with the alarm going off. Apparently not, obviously.
But think through the more basic bits here. Those London terminii (posh word for “big railway stations” even if a bit more specific) used to have 10 to 20 of such trains all belching away at the same time. With a certain predictable effect upon the air quality inside them and the lungs of the people going through them. Today just the one, there on a flying (sorry) visit sets off the alarms.
A reasonable enough indication of how much less bloody pollution we have around these days, no? All those complaints of how polluted the modern world is acquire a tad of perspective perhaps?