Vandals have caused £30,000 of damage to the East Lancashire Railway’s rolling stock in a spate of attacks between July 20-25.
Several of the ELR’s coaches, reportedly including ‘West Country’ No. 34092 City of Wells’ former support coach and a carriage used on the legendary ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’, have been damaged.
The vandal attacks took place at Bury on July 20-22 and 25, with a number of vehicles suffering forced entry, smashed windows and graffiti. The persons involved in the most recent attack were discovered on the morning of July 26 and have since been detained by Greater Manchester Police.
Tracey Parkinson, the ELR’s new general manager, said: “It’s been a week of mixed emotions for the railway, from celebrating our 30th anniversary and the dedication of our inspiring volunteers, to cleaning up the aftermath of mindless vandals.
“It is deeply saddening for me and the entire ELR family to see both our heritage and hard work destroyed. We have estimated that it will cost in the region of £20,000 - £30,000 to repair the damage that has occurred over the past week, as well as a lot of time and effort. The railway is a registered charity which is run predominantly on the goodwill of our volunteers and supporters, making these attacks even more upsetting to our community.
“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the efforts from Greater Manchester Police, who have been fantastic at dealing with these devastating incidents.”
The news comes just days after the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was similarly targeted by vandals on July 23, with extensive damage done to the railway’s LNER eight-coach teak set.
Anyone with information regarding the attacks on the East Lancashire Railway is asked to call Greater Manchester Police on 101.