A man was reported for the unlicensed use of a drone to capture images of the Tornado steam train during its visit to Walton earlier this year.

Thousands of people flocked to Walton on August 12 to catch a glimpse of the Peppercorn class A1 loco Tornado as it steamed into town to mark the 150th anniversary of Walton railway station.

Some keen trainspotters were criticised for straying on to the tracks in a bid to get a better view, causing delays and forcing trains to go at slower speeds.

A 28-year-old man, from Kirby Cross, was reported on October 1 for breaching the air navigation rules by using a drone without a licence.

Police said the man was flying the drone within 50 metres of other people and property out of their control.

The man was also selling the images he had taken in a shop, which is illegal if you are not certified and cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority to do so.

He was dealt with by means of an agreement contract with Essex Police and was given a community resolution.

Wendy Welsh, head of air operations at Network Rail said: “If a train collided with a drone, it could cause a serious accident.

“A drone could fly into and damage vital equipment – such as overhead wires or pylons – costing thousands to repair and causing hours of train delays.

“Only our team of highly-trained authorised pilots and specialist approved contractors are permitted to fly drones near the railway.

“It’s just too dangerous for anyone else to fly a drone near the railway.”

Anyone who does fly a drone near a railway could be fined up to £2,500.

PC Paul Lindup, investigating officer, said: “This is the first drone incident Essex Police has dealt with and we along with the British Transport Police are clamping down on illegal use of drones and will be prosecuting more infringements.

“The British Transport Police carried out a similar process on September 28 with a second operator reported to court.”

Anyone who witnesses the dangerous use of a drone is asked to call 101 or email drones@essex.pnn.police.uk.