Severn Valley Railway appeals for donations following vandal attack

Severn Valley Railway bosses have launched an appeal to raise £10,000 after historic train carriages were damaged by vandals over the Christmas period.

On Boxing Day, staff arrived to find the sides of the carriages had been sprayed with paint. SVR general manager Nick Ralls said:

“This was not what we expected to come back to after our Christmas Day closure. It’s heart-breaking to think that in just a few minutes the people who carried out this attack have caused hundreds of hours of extra work for our volunteers and staff.

"However, we’ve dealt with worse before, such as the devastating floods of 2007, and we’ll deal with this too.”

Work is already underway to put right the damage to the first affected carriage, which formed part of the Flying Scotsman train during the iconic locomotive's visit to the Railway in September 2016. It will be in the Carriage & Wagon paint shop at Kidderminster for up to a month. Supervisor Hugh McQuade explained:

“Our first task was to remove the spray paint by sanding down to the varnish. Fortunately, the layer of soot acquired during the carriage’s service in December, has acted as a protective layer, stopping the paint from reacting with the varnish and gold leaf lettering. 

“I’ve been humbled by the response of volunteers to this setback, and I have a willing and able team who are more than capable of tackling the job. The main problem is that we won’t be able to carry out the planned essential work on other carriages, and this will set us back several months in our schedule. The knock-on effects of it all will be felt for a long time to come.”

Remedial work on the other vandalised carriage will begin in February and is likely to take around a month to complete. Director, Shelagh Paterson, added:

“As soon as the news of the attack broke, we started receiving offers of help from people who were clearly as shocked as we are. On the first day alone, nearly £1,000 was donated online.

"We very much hope that this generous support will continue to help us meet the total cost of £10,000 to get these important carriages back into service as soon as possible.”

For more information, or to donate, visit the Severn Valley Railway website.


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