Vandalism threat to train safety

West Midlands Railway issues warning after graffiti takes trains out of action.

West Midlands Railway has issued a warning that vandals could be risking public health following a spate of graffiti incidents on its trains.

The operator, which began running an increased timetable yesterday, is running longer trains on many routes to help enable passengers to practice social distancing.

However, following a spate of recent vandalism incidents at sites across the West Midlands, the operator is having to divert an increasing amount of resources to time-consuming graffiti removal, with carriages taken out of action.

The most recent incident was discovered this morning when a carriage belonging to sister company London Northwestern Railway was targeted in Coventry. The train affected serves destinations across the West Midlands including Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Walsall. This follows a similar incident in Wolverhampton last week and a number of previous instances last month during the national lockdown.

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “With social distancing currently reducing the capacity of our trains, it is more important than ever that we have as many carriages as possible available for use.

“At a time when our cleaning teams are working extremely hard in challenging conditions, it is soul-destroying for them to face this pointless additional workload just to get carriages back on the tracks.

“Trespassing on the railway is illegal, extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injury. We urge anyone who witnesses this behaviour to contact the British Transport Police.”

To contact the British Transport Police, call 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016.

West Midlands Railway is also reminding passengers to only use the train if their journey is essential and no other method of transport is available, to assist with social distancing.