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Dozens of workers start Severn Valley Railway clean up following vandalism -with VIDEO

By Luke Bartlett | Bridgnorth | Attractions | Published:

A major clean-up operation has been launched after vandals caused £10,000 worth of damage to two train carriages.

Hugh McQuade, left, and paint shop worker James Broughton, from Kidderminster, survey damage caused to the carriages

Dozens of people will look to restore the 1938 Great Western coach and the 1922 Great Northern Railway coach after yobs targeted the carriages on Christmas Day.

Officials have checked on-site CCTV following the incident – which saw both carriages covered with 20ft of graffiti.

Paint shop supervisor and chairman of the Severn Valley Railway's charitable trust Hugh McQuade, 62, who has been a volunteer for 46 years, said: "It's going to impact the entire overhaul programme for a year and beyond.

Severn Valley Railway attacked by vandals

"On the modern trains on the main lines, they can get the graffiti off but our trains are old fashioned, hand painted so we can not use the aggressive cleaning methods.

"We are going to have to rub it down so we are going to start off by taking the block of graffiti out with a power sander.

"Then we are going to finish by hand using fine sand paper and water.

"When we have got all of the colour off it we will be able to see if the gold lettering has remained.

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"Hopefully in a few days time we might have the surface clean and will be able to re-varnish.

"The carriages are coming in to have these works done five or six years prematurely – that is going to have an impact on the rest of our work programme for the rest of the year.

"We have had little children vandalise where they get into the train and smash something but we have never had this sort of thing where teenagers are spending a considerable amount of time making a design.

"The Great Northern Railway coach – some of the teak that was used to restore it about 10 years ago came from a ship called the SS Pegu, the cargo on that boat was teak logs.

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"That was torpedoed in the Irish sea and the people bringing that wood to this country when that ship went down a lot died to bring this wood to this country and then it is just scrawled all over.

"People have died putting that wood here, they have no concept of what they are attacking, there grandfathers are probably turning in there graves.

"The station master has CCTV but id didn't pick anything up – that has been checked."

The loss of the carriages meant trains were shorter than planned, disrupting the line between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth during one of its busiest periods.

The set-back will see the clean up expected to take all of January to complete.

Call 01562 757900 for information on how to donate to help pay for the repairs.

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via luke.bartlett@expressandstar.co.uk.

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