Middleton Railway – the oldest continuously working railway in the world – is launching a hi-tech fightback against thieves who threaten to wreck south Leeds’ industrial heritage.
The railway, which has been running since 1758 and is now run by volunteers, has been hit by metal thieves over the past 12 months. And the railway has this week reported two more incidents of theft and vandalism this week – a theft of tools and breaking and entering the Drewry Railcar which was nearing the end of an interior refurbishment.
Railway chairman Andrew Gill said on Facebook that the incidents were ‘costly, timewasting and demoralising’ but promised to fight back:
“The railway will be using a high tech solution to try and deter these thieves. Smartwater will be used on all parts of the site. Be warned, anything stolen from now on can be traced back to the Railway. Traces can remain in/on a thieves vehicle, clothing and shoes for many years. We are fighting back, enough is enough!!
“These people cannot be allowed to win, we just have to do what we can and keep our volunteer spirits up!
“Please report any suspicious activity around the site or line to the police if you see it – thanks!”