A Bodmin-based railway heritage preservation society and tourist attraction has been left reeling after one of its trains was graffitied by vandals.
Bodmin and Wenford Railway, mostly comprising of volunteers who preserve and operate a number of historic steam and diesel locomotives once seen on Britain’s railways in addition to operating services between its Bodmin General hub to Bodmin Parkway and Boscarne Junction, said that vandals had broken into its premises and vandalised its Class 121 ‘bubble car’ locomotive.
The single-car diesel train has been with the railway since its retirement from active service in 2017 after 57 years of mainline operation and had been recently restored to working order.
Bodmin and Wenford Railway said that it was the third incident of vandalism it had to repair this year, after the graffitiing of another coach and vandalism at Boscarne Station at the start of the year.
They added that in challenging times for the railway, it was appealing for donations to help towards restoring the paint job damaged on the vehicle, which can be done via their website at https://bodminrailway.co.uk/support-us/donations-legacies/ and following the online donation link.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Bodmin and Wenford Railway said: “We are disheartened to announce, especially after our Diesel Gala round-up post, that we have discovered a large amount of graffiti on our Class 121 'Bubble Car'. Alongside the vandalism at Boscarne Station at the start of the year, this is now the second coach to have been graffitied this summer season.
“The graffiti has been reported to the British Transport Police, and we want to raise awareness that we do not accept or tolerate these acts of vandalism. We are asking you, the community of Bodmin, and our customers to be vigilant and help look out for any antisocial behaviour.
“If you happen to encounter or witness any anti-social behaviour or vandalism in or around our stations, we kindly ask that you report it directly to the police immediately and inform us by calling 01208 73555.
“It saddens us that the Bubble Car had such a beautiful paint job, which is likely to have to be touched up after removing the graffiti, which will also take up our staff/volunteers valuable time.
“In challenging financial times for railways in the heritage industry, any donations towards the cost of removing the graffiti and potential new paint work on either the Bubble Car or our coach would be greatly appreciated.”