Foxfield Railway: Vandals cause £25k damage at heritage attraction

Image source, Foxfield Railway

Image caption,

Volunteers have been clearing up the damage

Vandals have attacked a heritage railway for the third time in a week, causing more than £25,000 worth of damage.

Volunteer-run Foxfield Railway at Caverswall, Staffordshire, said the latest attack was "absolutely gut-wrenching".

On Friday evening, 24 panes of glass on a Class 142 Pacer were smashed and another heritage coach was damaged.

CCTV cameras were also smashed and train signals broken.

Staffordshire Police is investigating the attack which happened between 18:00 and 20:00 BST, said the society which runs the railway.

"We put our heart and soul into keep our heritage alive. To see it reduced to tatters in a manner of minutes by mindless individuals is absolutely gut-wrenching," the society said.

'Another setback'

Harry Alcock - a volunteer for 12 years - said the Pacer was a recent addition to the railway and a lot of work had gone into getting it ready for passenger trips this summer.

He said this was unlikely to happen now, but they hoped to resume steam train trips next month.

Volunteers had been working hard to get vehicles and tracks ready for their first summer since lockdown and this was "another setback", Mr Alcock said.

Image caption,

Volunteer Harry Alcock said it was a setback at the start of the summer season

"It's quite frustrating. For me the biggest thing is that volunteers have extremely busy work lives and home lives but we've got time for the railway because we make time for it."

The society was set up to preserve the line after the colliery closed in 1965 and they were keen to tell its story, he added.

"The time and effort we have been putting into the track work - we have to pull away from that to repair assets like this that have been damaged. So it's real frustration for everybody here."

Mr Alcock, an operational engineer, said security had been stepped up following previous attacks.

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