Charitable support and community spirit is fuelling the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s recovery after a mindless act of vandalism to its historic teak carriages.  Less than 24 hours after the devastating incident the popular passenger service has drafted in existing stock to keep the passenger service rolling, and charitable donations of support to help restore the rare carriages are full steam ahead!

Between 10pm on Saturday 22 July 2017 and 7am on Sunday 23 July 2017, historic teak train carriages at NYMR’s Pickering Railway Station’s main car park were vandalised.  Windows were smashed and the inside of the carriages were severely damaged. 

The beautiful varnished teak carriage set, comprised of eight carriages dating from 1930 to 1950, have regularly appeared in films and television with recent appearances including ‘Downton Abbey’ and the remake of ‘Dad’s Army’.  The teak carriages are owned by several groups and individuals and were restored by the London and North Eastern Railway Coach Association (LNERCA - a volunteer run, charitable organisation which restores heritage coaches) which are used and maintained by the NYMR.

Owned and operated by a 10,000-member community-based charitable Trust, the NYMR delights more than 350,000 passengers every year - more than any other heritage railway in the world.  Taking visitors on picturesque journeys along an 18-mile railway line aboard steam and heritage diesel trains the railway passes through stunning scenery, from wooded valleys to beautiful countryside, stopping at charming villages and spectacular seaside locations.

Chris Price, NYMR’s General Manager said, “We were absolutely devastated to discover the extent of the damage to our precious carriages, lovingly restored and maintained by our dedicated team of volunteers over many years". 

“The tireless restoration work will begin again as the entire trust commits to restoring the set to its former glory for the enjoyment of all visitors - we will not let the vandals win". 

“We’ve been inundated with pledges of support from our local community and can’t thank everyone enough it means so much at this difficult time.  The entire cost of the vandalism is still being assessed and while the carriages are insured, not every expense will be covered. There is a lot of work to do to safeguard, preserve and protect these carriages for the future, one plan is a new carriage shed, which will not only protect the coaches from the elements but also future events of this nature. So, all donations are gratefully received and will be used to protect these coaches.”

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “I was shocked and dismayed to learn what had happened to some of Yorkshire’s most treasured and historic train carriages this weekend. However, what has been utterly heart-warming to see is the way the community of Yorkshire has once again come together in the face of adversity. NYMR have been inundated with supporters rallying round to make every effort to restore and repair these wonderful carriages and to help the railway continue to welcome thousands of visitors.”

Police investigating vandalism caused to North York Moors Railway carriages at Pickering have arrested two boys and expect to make further arrests as the investigation continues.  
The boys, aged 17 have been released while under investigation.

Enquiries are continuing and police are urging anyone who has any images from the incident to forward it to North Yorkshire Police at general.enquiries@northyorkshire.police.uk. Anyone with any other information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and pass information to the Force Control Room.  Those wishing to remain anonymous, can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The NYMR team is committed to staying on track and has re-routed its stock to ensure every service will run as planned.  Visitors wanting to travel along the line are advised to visit: www.nymr.co.uk or call customer services, 01751 472508 for updates.  For regular news, updates and competitions, North Yorkshire Moors Railway is also on Facebook facebook.com/northyorkshiremoorsrailway and Twitter twitter.com/nymr.

 

ENDS

 

For further information please contact Gough Bailey Wright on 01527 579 555

Louise Iles – PR Account Director: lou@gough.co.uk

Sara Gillespie – Junior PR Account Manager: sara.g@gough.co.uk

Sam Wright – Account Executive: sam@gough.co.uk

 

Notes for editors

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a non- profitable charitable trust providing memorable experiences for visitors and fulfilment for volunteers and staff through the operation of Britain’s most popular heritage railway between Whitby and Pickering.

  • The NYMR cares for operating and developing the railway we own from Pickering to Grosmont.
  • Operating over Network Rail from Grosmont to Whitby.
  • Provides a high quality, safe and authentic evocation of the steam age for the public.
  • Educational Charitable Trust. Providing education for all ages.
  • The NYMR is a fully accredited museum.