Vandals have left a trail of destruction after targeting historic carriages at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway overnight.
The carriages were parked in the siding, at the far side of the main visitor car park at Pickering.
The beautiful varnished teak carriage set, comprised of eight carriages, dating from 1930 to 1950.
They have regularly appeared in films and television, recent appearances including ‘Downton Abbey’ and the remake of ‘Dad’s Army’.
Chris Price, NYMR’s General Manager, said: “We were absolutely devastated to discover that the carriages had been damaged overnight. The set was found with the windows smashed and the furniture and fixings completely ruined, obviously all the staff and volunteers are extremely upset. Until the set has been completely assessed we will not know the full extent of the damage caused, I doubt very much that the set will run again in the 2017 season.”
Yesterday was the launch of the new bigger and better ‘60s Fest’ event which was taking place over the weekend.
The railway welcomed thousands of passengers, who enjoyed live music, just meters away from where the carriages were vandalised.
Laura Strangeway, NYMR’s marketing manager, added: “Unfortunately there will be service disruptions today and any visitors wanting to travel along the line will need to check the website, nymr.co.uk or call customer services, 01751 472508 for updates. The live music and displays planned for ‘60s Fest will go ahead along the line as planned.”
The teak carriages are owned and maintained by the London and North Eastern Railway Coach Association (LNERCA), who are a volunteer run, charitable organisation which restores the heritage coaches for use on the NYMR. http://www.lnerca.org/home/
The North York Moors Historical Railway Trust is a not for profit charitable organisation run as part of the local community. Day to day operation is carried out by volunteers with railway
operations and business experience. A core team of paid staff together with approximately
100 full time staff and 50 seasonal staff, plan and operate the train service and work steadily
to improve the quality of the infrastructure, the railway vehicles and experience to our visitors
travelling on the railway.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the most historic lines in the North of England, taking visitors on picturesque journeys along an 18-mile railway line aboard steam and heritage diesel trains. The railway passes through stunning scenery, from wooded valleys to beautiful countryside, stopping at charming villages and spectacular seaside locations.
Police are appealing for information following the “significant criminal damage”
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said the incident had caused a ‘significant’ amount of criminal damage to seven carriages.
Inspector Martin Dennison of North Yorkshire Police said: “What has been a busy and enjoyable weekend for all those involved in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, has now been overshadowed by this mindless act of vandalism.
“There is understandably a feeling of anger and outrage amongst the community and police are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101.