VANDALISM has delayed the opening of a new station at the Swindon and Crick-lade Railway.

In the last week of August the Taw Valley Halt section of the track, which runs restored vintage engines, was defaced with the ‘basher’ graffiti tag.

The perpetrators cut through a fence to access the site, putting the graffiti on the platform and a wooden buffer.

The Taw Valley Halt Station, intended to provide access to Mouldon Hill Country Park, was expected to open for the charity railway’s wartime event taking place next weekend.

But this is now most unlikely to happen.

One of the railway volunteers Dave Pacey, said: “I really cannot understand the mentality of these people.

“This is something that is a benefit to the whole community and now the new station opening has more than likely been delayed.

“I don’t understand the sheer stupidity of these individuals and I could wring their necks if I got hold of them.

“We are sad as we are only volunteers and this all costs money which could be spent more productively.”

Dave estimates the incident has lead to around £300 worth of damage and that the Taw Valley Halt Station will now not open until October.

The new platform is a temporary feature on the railway until Mouldon Hill Station opens further down the line.

The vandalism has been reported to Wiltshire Police, as has as another incident around three weeks ago where a vintage engine the volunteers are restoring was graffitied and had some of its windows smashed.

Tony Norris, railway volunteer, said: “This is just mindless vandalism that has been going on.

“I don’t know whether the two incidents are linked or not but I know the police are investigating them.

“But I’d ask for anyone with information about the incidents to get in touch with the police as soon as possible.”

  • Any witnesses are asked to call 101, requesting to speak with PCSO Dominic Tonge, or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.