The Churnet Valley Railway has announced that thieves broke into storage containers at Froghall over the weekend and have stolen £10,000s worth of signalling equipment, some of which was set to be used on the Leek extension.
The thieves entered the railway’s sidings at Froghall and have cut through three security locks to gain access.
The lost equipment includes a large quantity of interlocking equipment. This is used to prevent multiple routes being set by the signalling system and protects trains from meeting on the same stretch of track.
Due to the nature of the equipment, they cannot be purchased off the shelf. Instead, the Churnet Valley Railway must wait for upgrades to be completed before they can purchase the parts removed from the mainline.
The Churnet Valley Railway has told RailAdvent that “due to an overcomplicated reporting system that fails to deal with reports made to Staffordshire Police, we have felt it futile in reporting this case”. They also said that it was “disheartening” that volunteers were sent on a “proverbial wild goose chase using the 101 service”.
This, of course, has come at a difficult time for the railway following their closure due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The North Staffordshire Railway Company (1978) Ltd has set up an appeal to install a perimeter fence and an upgraded CCTV system. The NSRC is aiming to raise £8,000 in the appeal.
To donate, please click here to visit their website.
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