The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) is hoping to raise £10,000 to repair two historic carriages damaged by vandals in Kidderminster over Christmas.
Around £2,000 has been raised since the graffiti was first discovered on Boxing Day but more is needed to cover the cost of restoring the heritage vehicles.
One of the carriages 2701, a teak-bodied carriages designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, has now been taken to the carriage and wagon paint shop in Kidderminster to be repaired. Work to restore carriage 1146, which is owned by the GW (SVR) Association, will begin in February.
SVR general manager Nick Ralls said: “This was not what we expected to come back to after our Christmas Day closure. It’s heart-breaking to think that in just a few minutes the people who carried out this attack have caused hundreds of hours of extra work for our volunteers and staff. However, we’ve dealt with worse before, such as the devastating floods of 2007, and we’ll deal with this too.”
Shelagh Paterson said the charitable trust had been heartened by the support it had received: “As soon as the news of the attack broke, we started receiving offers of help from people who were clearly as shocked as we are. On the first day alone, nearly £1,000 was donated online.
“We very much hope that this generous support will continue to help us meet the total cost of £10,000 to get these important carriages back into service as soon as possible.”
West Mercia Police said enquiries were ongoing. Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity around the site between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day 2017 is urged to contact West Mercia Police on 101 quoting 118s of 26 December 2017.
If you’d like to donate to the SVR appeal visit www.svrtrust.org.uk or phone 01562 757940.