THE owners of a Scottish steam train have hit out at a Nigel Farage-led political group for using an image of the iconic Jacobite engine on a leaflet without permission.

A Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) leaflet, delivered to some Scottish homes last week, featured an image of the train – which appears in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express - crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct on its cover alongside the slogan: “What Scotland Really Thinks About the EU”.

The move upset West Coast Railways, which runs the train between Fort William and Mallaig and it gave a pun-heavy response.

A spokesman said: “We certainly never gave permission for the Jacobite to be used in support of this campaign. I think the EFDD have gone rather off track here. In fact, I’d say they are completely on the wrong lines, and this poster is about to hit the buffers.

“We suspect Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite chums might have taken a claymore to this Sassenach bunch.”

The leaflet refers to an EFDD poll which “found that the Scottish public remains uncomfortable

with the level of interference that the EU has in Scotland and does not want it to have any more control over Scottish laws than it already does”.

The group justified the use of the photograph, calling it “a well-known image of the breadth and beauty of Scotland”.

The rail firm also sought to distance the train from the group’s anti-EU views. Its spokesman added: “Have these people gone loco?

“Of course, it is very flattering that they consider the Jacobite such an instantly recognisable, well-loved symbol of all that is good about Scotland. We would certainly agree with them over that.

“Our train is indeed as Scottish as bagpipes, haggis or a very fine malt whisky. But the Jacobite certainly has no intention of steaming out of Europe – it only ever runs, twice a day, between Fort William and Mallaig.

“And we certainly don’t say ‘no’ to the euro. If that’s the currency passengers want to use to buy their tickets, then that is absolutely fine with us.”