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'Persistent malicious vandalism' on Bucks railway

The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway have seen several cases of trespass over recent weeks.

Published by Dan Gooding at 5:45am 18th May 2020. 4-minute read.

'Persistent malicious vandalism' on Bucks railway

Trespassers and vandals have been making their way onto train tracks between Princes Risborough and Chinnor.

Volunteers who look after the steam railway there say signal wires and fencing have been damaged several times during lockdown.

They have now has to spend hundreds on CCTV to try and catch whoever is doing this.

In a statement on their website, managers said:

"The Volunteer operated Railway has now had to spend hundreds of pounds on motion sensitive recording hi-definition night-vision security cameras because of wilful and dangerous vandalism.

"Trespassers are becoming more common despite engineering and patrolling trains being operated by Volunteers several times a week. They came face to face with a Chinnor resident who became abusive to a track patroller on 10 May and so we would like to have his identity to pass on to Police."

'Persistent malicious vandalism' has taken place just out of Chinnor station, the Railway said, with signal wires cut in three places, twice, and this required high quality industrial wire or bolt cutters.

This is in addition to the boundary fence being deliberately demolished and used as a short cut across the Railway at the same location.

This has now been repaired but the culprit is now allegedly walking along the track from a nearby foot crossing with industrial cutters, which managers say is clearly preplanned, to carry out some expensive damage.

Security cameras have now been placed monitoring these areas and the Police informed of these incidents and preventative measures.

Entirely volunteer-led

The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, operated 100% by Volunteers celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2019 with its best ever year recording 63,000 passenger journeys.

The line’s passenger services ended in 1957 but the line remained open for coal and cement traffic to Chinnor cement works until January 1990.

Again in 2020, no passenger services are operating but incidences of trespass and vandalism have increased exponentially as the COVID-19 lockdown has gone on.

The Railway is not earning any income at the moment because of the lockdown and now has to spend precious cash on security measures.

Appeal

If you have any information on the identity of the track walker or the person who continues to damage the signalling system at Chinnor it can be reported via their official twitter account @chinnorrailway or post on their official facebook page.

Because of COVID-19, the now preserved line operates inspection patrols by foot and using trains by volunteers working to Government guidelines of remaining the required two metres apart from each other.

Additionally, engineering trains are still operating so trespass is a real danger.  

The Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway say they really need your financial support in these challenging and uncertain times.

The Railway costs £6000 a month irrespective of running trains or not. No matter how large or small, every donation will be welcomed.

Managers added:

"We'll be here to help you plan a trip and to welcome you with open arms when the time is right. Thank you for your support."

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