Heritage railway appeals for help after vandals damage train and station

Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway said it cannot afford to replace the windows.

Heritage railway appeals for help after vandals damage train and station Twitter

A heritage railway has appealed for help after vandals smashed the windows of a train and building at one of its stations.

The incident took place at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway in West Lothian on Wednesday.

Images posted online showed shards of broken glass on the floor of one of its vintage trains.

The railway takes passengers on a scenic ten-mile journey along the Forth Estuary on steam or diesel-hauled engines.

It also runs a programme of special events including Santa Steam Trains at Christmas and a Thomas the Tank Engine themed day out.

In a statement, the railway said that after the struggles of the last two years, including Covid and a major landslide, it cannot afford the time and expense of replacing several windows.

They said that they have good quality CCTV footage of the incident and would be in touch with the local authorities.

However, the railway has encouraged people to make a donation if they are able to help with the immediate cost of the repairs.

Amanda Kilburn, business development director at the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, said that the train seen in the images was built in 1959.

“We are all really sad about this needless vandalism,” she told STV News.

“So many hours of mainly volunteer labour have got us to where we are today, the railway has been on this site and built from scratch by volunteers of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS) since 1979.

“It is a four-star VisitScotland rated visitor attraction and we welcome thousands of visitors aboard our trains and through our museum doors annually. 

“We’re still in a recovery period and about to hit our busiest season, the summer holidays, with many people travelling from all over the world to ride on our steam and heritage diesel trains in our beautifully restored carriages.

“The first-class compartment coach which is the one in the photo is part of our Core Collection, it was built in 1959 and saved from being scrapped by volunteers of the SRPS in 1992 where it has become one of our most popular luxury carriages.”

Ms Kilburn said that the railway will be running steam and heritage diesel fuel trains this weekend, despite the vandalism caused.

“We are really touched by the support of people near and far to help us cover the cost of repairs and it is rewarding to get so many positive comments about what we have at our site in Bo’ness,” she said.

“The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and Museum of Scottish Railways, which is Scotland’s largest railway museum, are operated almost entirely by volunteers of the SRPS which is a registered charity. 

“Many people don’t realise that our collection has been recognised through the Scottish Government Recognition Scheme as being of national significance and the items in that collection are irreplaceable since they are part of long-gone railway history.

“Despite the vandalism and our sadness, we are a passionate bunch and will be running steam and heritage diesel trains this weekend and beyond, and our Museum will be open as usual 7 days a week until the end of October.

“We really do love welcoming visitors to our site and their train fares and admissions go straight back in to helping us preserve Scotland’s railway heritage for future generations to come.”

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