Extra police patrols have been requested for Craigtoun Country Park, on the outskirts of St Andrews, after vandals smashed their way into a shed housing the attraction’s miniature train engine.
Fears that the near 40-year-old restored engine itself could be a target and damaged in any further attacks led to its temporary removal from the country park by its owners, resulting in disappointment for hundreds of visitors hoping to enjoy the train rides around the facility.
Kate Hughes, Fife Council’s area services manager, told the Citizen yesterday (Thursday): ”I was extremely dismayed that vandals had broken into the shed which houses the miniature engine. Fortunately, no damage was done to the train.
“This pointless vandalism meant that the train operator felt it necessary to remove it from the park until we can better secure the shed.
“I felt very sorry for visitors to the park, children in particular, who may have come especially to enjoy the train. Whoever was responsible for this mindless damage caused unnecessary disappointment.”
Mrs Hughes said that the local authority is now looking at more secure measures to house the Denver and Rio Grande steam locomotive in an attempt to deter any future incidents.
She added,”We have asked local police to patrol the park more often in future, and I would ask that local residents and visitors are extra vigilant and report anything suspicious.”
The enforced withdrawal of the miniature railway was the latest in a series of problems since its recent launch for the summer season.
After a record-breaking start, the park’s star attraction was sidelined when it suffered a breakdown and had been due to resume until this latest blow.
However, the good news from Peter Bryant, director of of MWR Railways Ltd., is confirmation that the train will be back in service and running as normal as from tomorrow.
The train service is contracted to run until August 28.