Telford Steam Railway hits fundraising goal

A heritage railway which launched a fundraising campaign after suffering a vandalism attack has hit its £5,000 goal.

About 50 people came forward to offer donations to Telford Steam Railway after damage was caused by intruders hurling bricks at train windows.

An online fundraising page was set up and has now surpassed its £5,000 target.

The Heritage Lottery Fund donated half of the cash.

The attraction needed £5,000 to repair the damage which was caused on April 12.

The online crowd funding page collected £200 in donations less than 24 hours after its launch.

Rewards were offered in exchange for donations.

For a £20 pledge, people were offered a guided walk along the railway line when it is closed.

A round-trip ride on a diesel or steam locomotive was offered for a £40 donation.

Those who pledged £100 were given the chance to drive a steam tram and enjoy lunch for four in the cafe.

For a £500 pledge, people were offered a half-day steam driving experience, lunch for four people in the cafe and a lifetime membership.

Vandals smashed 18 train windows when they struck at the steam railway. Bricks and tools stored at the heritage railway line were hurled at the windows of three coaches and two locomotives by intruders at the attraction in Bridge Road, Horsehay.

Police stepped up patrols in the area as a result of the attack.

West Mercia Police said the destruction to the heritage site had caused upset to the local community and had a major impact over the Easter holidays for those coming to visit the trains.

Officers were called to reports of damage at the site at about 9pm on April 12.

Among the damaged locomotives was a 1952 engine where bricks and a large track screw were used to smash the windows which will cost in the region of £300 each to replace.

Engine oil stored on board was also poured over the steps and fire extinguishers were set off.

It is believed a group of youths was responsible for causing the vandalism to the trains, some of which are privately owned by volunteers.

Anyone with information about the incident can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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