VANDALS have smashed up carriages and hurled paint at a locomotive in a crime spree at the East Lancashire Railway.

Horrified staff and volunteers discovered the damage, estimated at costing £30,000 to repair, in the week the organisation is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

In the attacks windows were smashed, paint thrown and carriages left covered in graffiti.

The vandals targeted the railway’s Bury hub over four nights from July 20, to 25, damaging rolling stock, daubing graffiti and smashing 40 windows.

A newly painted diesel engine had paint thrown on it and the cafe carriage at Bury Transport Museum was ransacked.

Tracey Parkinson, the general manager at East Lancashire Railway, said: “It’s been a week of mixed emotions for the railway, from celebrating our 30th anniversary and the dedication of our inspiring volunteers to cleaning up the aftermath of mindless vandals.

“It is deeply saddening for me and the entire ELR family to see both our heritage and hard work destroyed.

“We have estimated that it will cost in the region of £20,000 to £30,000 to repair the damage that has occurred over the past week, as well as a lot of time and effort.

“The railway is a charity which is run predominantly on goodwill, making these attacks even more upsetting to our community. I would like to take this opportunity to praise the efforts from Greater Manchester Police, who have been fantastic at dealing with these devastating incidents.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.