York & North Yorkshire

Downton Abbey railway carriages ruined by vandals

Train damage Image copyright North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Image caption The windows of the carriages were smashed, with further damage inside

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds of damage to heritage railway carriages used in the filming of TV drama Downton Abbey.

Eight teak carriages on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Pickering had windows smashed overnight, with furniture and fixings also ruined.

The carriages, dating from 1930 to 1950, have regularly been featured in films and television, the railway said.

North Yorkshire Police is investigating the attack.

Fire extinguishers were also set off throughout the carriages, soaking the furniture and wall fittings.

Image copyright North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Image caption Fire extinguishers were sprayed inside the carriages, with furniture and fittings damaged

The railway said the full extent of the damage was not yet known, but repair costs would run "into the thousands if not more".

Chris Price, general manager at the railway, said: "We were absolutely devastated to discover that the carriages had been damaged overnight, obviously all the staff and volunteers are extremely upset.

"I doubt very much that the set will run again in the 2017 season."

Image copyright North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Image caption The railway had been holding a 1960s themed event on Saturday

On Saturday, thousands of people attended a live music event at the railway called '60s Fest' - held metres away from where the carriages were vandalised.

The railway warned there would be service disruptions on the line due to the damage caused.

North Yorkshire Police said the carriages were vandalised at some point between 22:00 BST on Saturday and 07:00 on Sunday.

Insp Martin Dennison said: "What has been a busy and enjoyable weekend for all those involved in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, has now been overshadowed by this mindless act of vandalism.

"There is understandably a feeling of anger and outrage amongst the community and police are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice."

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