THE discovery of deliberate act of vandalism to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s (NYMR’s) historic teak carriages overnight on July 23 has been described as ‘heartbreaking’.
An set of eight LNER carriages, which are owned and maintained by the London and North Eastern Railway Coach Association (LNERCA), were systematically targeted, while parked in the siding by the main visitor car park at Pickering when the incident occurred.
Many windows have been smashed, chairs and tables bent and overturned, kitchen equipment damaged. On the day before the attack, the railway had launched its ‘60s Fest’ event, one of its most popular events, but the damage means the railway has lost the stock at its busiest time. At least one carriage is likely to be out of traffic for the rest of the year.
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.”
The North Yorkshire Police are investigating the incident, meanwhile the railway has set up an appeal page for donations to help with the repairs. Details at www.nymr.co.uk/appeal/teak-set-appeal
There has been widespread condemnation of the attack on social media, but within 24 hours of the appeal being launched, more than £20,000 had been donated by enthusiasts, general public and well-wishers towards the repair costs.
• Just before lunch time on July 24, North Yorkshire Police said that two 17-year old boys had been arrested and released in connection with the incident, but they expected to make further arrests as the investigation continues. Police are urging anyone who has any images from the incident to forward it to North Yorkshire Police at firstname.lastname@example.orgEnjoy more of The Railway Magazine reading every month. Click here to subscribe.