By Roger Melton
AN ONLINE appeal to raised money to repair vandalism to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s world-famous LNER teak trains raised £42,000 from the public inside a fortnight.
As Heritage Railway closed for press, more cash for the appeal, boosted by the seven-coach rake’s appearance in the international hit drama series Downton Abbey, was being donated.
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Global headlines were generated by the vandal attack which brought heartbreak to both the NYMR and the LNER Coach Association when it was discovered on Monday, July 24.
The previous night, local youths had broken into the train while it was stabled in the long siding outside Pickering, causing deliberate damage to every vehicle in the set.
The worst affected coach was Gresley buffet car No. 641, where damage included most of the windows being smashed, seemingly using the chrome-plated tubular steel chairs that are a feature of the art deco interior.
Other coaches were not as badly affected, but recently-restored Thompson corridor third No. 1623 had all its newly-made replica shoulder reading lights smashed, seats were slashed in some coaches and 14 fire extinguishers were discharged, adding to the general mess made by the culprits, who seem to have broken into the train in search of alcohol and chocolate, and to use it as a haven for taking drugs.
Empty syringes and needles were found discarded on the floors.
Staff had little doubt who the culprits were, as they were from local addresses and had seen fit to post images of themselves carrying out the destruction on social media.
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