Date: 5th September 2003

Vandals attack Harry Potter train

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a railway carriage used in the Harry Potter films.
The carriage is pulled by the Olton Hall steam engine, otherwise known as the Hogwarts Express in the Potter films.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said the carriage was daubed with silver spray paint.

"It is extensively damaged and has been 'tagged' with symbols. The cost has been estimated at between 2,000 and 3,000," the spokesman said.

"We are appealing for witnesses but as it occurred overnight there may not have been too many people about."

Police said the vandals broke into the depot in Scarborough and attacked the carriage during the weekend.

The historic steam engine was not stored at the depot, the spokesman added.

The Olton Hall train is used in the summer months by tourists travelling between Scarborough and York.

It is hired out to Warner Bros for the Potter films and was used in the film Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.

James Shuttleworth, chief operations officer for West Coast Railway Company which runs the train, said two coaches had been damaged.

He said: "It is just mindless vandalism. I don't think they were targeting Harry Potter.

I would like to get hold of them and ask them why they did it, what have they gained from it? I would also give them a bottle of turps and I wouldn't let them leave until they have cleaned it.

"I am very angry about what has happened. These coaches will have to go back to the workshop, get cleaned up and be repainted. It is incredibly frustrating."

Mr Shuttleworth said the steam engine and coaches were used in the two films already released and the train was due to make another appearance in the third film which is currently in production.

Source: Press Release