Search

Anger and tears at ‘totally pointless’ vandalism at Mid Norfolk Railway station in Dereham

PUBLISHED: 11:25 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 20:07 15 August 2017

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman Charlie Robinson in front of one of the damaged carriages. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman Charlie Robinson in front of one of the damaged carriages. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI

Archant

Heritage railway staff have been left distraught after vandals caused several thousands of pounds worth of damage to vintage carriages.

The Mid Norfolk Railway in Dereham has been hit by vandals. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI The Mid Norfolk Railway in Dereham has been hit by vandals. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI

Culprits broke into the locked carriages in sidings at the Mid Norfolk Railway’s Dereham station, picked up fire extinguishers and used them to smash windows inside and out leaving a sea of glass on the floor and seats.

The heartbroken volunteers also found interior fittings broken and estimate it will cost them at least £20,000 to complete the repairs.

Railway chairman Charlie Robinson said it was a “totally pointless” act and there was “nothing to be gained” from it.

“We think it will cost £20,000 to repair the damage but it could be more as it depends on what we can salvage,” he said. “Some of the really bad carriages may have to be sent away to be repaired and that will cost us £3,000 for transport.”

The upkeep and expansion of the railway line, which currently runs diesel and steam passenger trains between Dereham and Wymondham, is funded entirely by ticket purchases and special events.

“This has not helped us at all,” said Mr Robinson. “It is very depressing, in fact one or two members almost burst into tears when they saw what had happened.

“You just start getting everything looking nice and it is destroyed.”

He said steps were being taken to make the railway more secure with CCTV cameras now recording the line.

“I know if people are determined to do damage they will do it,” he said. “But we have to try and deter or catch those responsible. This is also costing a lot of extra money which we would rather be spending on railway work.”

Currently the team is extending the line to North Elmham and hope the new section will be in use for works trains by Christmas and for passengers to go as far as Worthing crossing.

Mr Robinson said after the vandalism, which happened some time overnight on Friday, July 28, police spent several hours dusting for fingerprints.

“Whoever did the damage cut themselves so they have found blood samples,” he said.

Any witnesses or anyone with information should call PC Luke Soar at Dereham Police Station on 101.

‘Not the place to go for a wander’

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman Charlie Robinson said they had also come across teenagers and children trespassing at Dereham station and walking in and around trains in the sidings.

“While they are not necessarily the ones doing the damage we are concerned about them as they may be assuming that trains are not running,” he said.

“Trains are moved around quite frequently even on non-running days.

“We do notice an increase in children around in the school holidays, looking for something to do, but they need to keep away as they won’t know if a train is going to suddenly move and we might not spot them in time.

“We may be a heritage line but it is not the place to go for a wander.”

He said they had asked the youngsters to leave but said parents needed to reinforce their warnings about the dangers.

“We don’t want any accidents,” he said.

Other news

Staff at housing association Flagship are once again helping those in need in mid Norfolk and across the county by filling and decorating charity boxes with food.

12:41

A slimmer lost 7st after being shamed into action following a frightening wake-up call on a Welsh mountain.

11:37

A housing developer from Norfolk is offering a reward for information on two men who broke into one of the company’s sites in the early hours of Sunday morning.

29 minutes ago

A charity is on a mission to raise awareness of benefits for the elderly in a bid to beat poverty among the older generation.

Most Read

Yesterday, 09:40

A grandmother has spoken of the shocking injuries she sustained after being involved in a collision with a bus.

Read more
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Norfolk’s diverse coastline is one of Britain’s natural highlights.

Read more
United Kingdom
11:37

A housing developer from Norfolk is offering a reward for information on two men who broke into one of the company’s sites in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Read more
Norwich
12:41

A slimmer lost 7st after being shamed into action following a frightening wake-up call on a Welsh mountain.

Read more
Wales
Saturday, December 9, 2017

Shoppers in Dereham’s Morrisons supermarket got more than they bargained for when a lost pet budgie paid a visit to the Station Road store on Friday.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter