'Degenerate lowlifes': vandals destroy Rattler restoration
HUNDREDS of hours of volunteer work on the Mary Valley Rattler restoration was wiped away overnight after vandals broke in and sprayed graffiti across the workshop.
A total of 19 rolling stock and carriages were damaged, along with two buildings and a crane, while fire extinguishers were also let off around the trains.
Several of the carriages which were damaged had already been fully restored and were only waiting for the train's return.
Rattler Railway Company Vice Chairman Garry Davison slammed the vandals as "degenerate lowlifes” who had destroyed hundreds of hours of volunteer work.
"All of the good work they've put in has been undone by people coming in and doing this,” Mr Davison said.
"It's probably something that's taken a few people a couple of hours to do this... (but) there are hundreds of hours that will need to be taken to rectify what they've done.”
While he was unable to estimate what the cost of the "significant damage” would be, he said fixing it would mean those same volunteers would be forced to repeat their hard work.
"All of this is volunteers just doubling up on work already done,” he said.
While it would not stop the restoration work, he said it was a hurdle they could have done without.
"We'll be back on track as soon as we can.”
Chairman Ian McNicol declined to comment in-depth on the break-in, but said he was frustrated by the damage to a project built on the back of volunteer support.
"It shows no respect,” Mr McNicol said.
"It's very frustrating there's people in the community that don't appreciate that.”
Mr McNicol said it was not the first break-in at the workshop over the past year.
The vandals apparently broke in by cutting a hole in the wire fence around the back of the site.
Police said the damage, which was predominately "tags and pictures” was done between 2pm yesterday and 6.30am this morning, and are asking anyone who may know anything to please call PolicelInk on 131 444.