It’s enough to make the Crawleys cry in their teacups.
Vandals in northern England have defaced historic teak railway carriages that appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, including the hit series “Downton Abbey.”
Employees of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway discovered the vandalism Sunday morning at a train station in Pickering. Vandals had smashed windows on seven of the eight carriages, ransacked a carriage’s kitchen and tossed about tables and chairs.
“We were absolutely devastated to discover that the carriages had been damaged overnight,” said Chris Price, NYMR’s General Manager, in a statement.
The carriages date from 1930 to 1950 and were featured in “Downton Abbey” and the 2014 World War I film “Testament of Youth,” among other period productions. Most recently they were used for the NYMR’s “60s Fest” event, which launched Saturday.
“What has been a busy and enjoyable weekend for all those involved in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway has now been overshadowed by this mindless act of vandalism,” said North Yorkshire Police Inspector Martin Dennison in a statement.
“There is understandably a feeling of anger and outrage amongst the community and police are determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”
North Yorkshire Police are investigating the vandalism and are asking for any witnesses to come forward.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway takes visitors on a picturesque, 18-mile journey aboard heritage steam and diesel trains between Pickering and Whitby.
As the investigation continues there is uncertainty around when the historic carriages might operate again.
“Until the set has been completely assessed we will not know the full extent of the damage caused. I doubt very much that the set will run again in the 2017 season,” said Price.
“Downton Abbey” ran for six seasons on British and American television and chronicled the lives of the fictional Crawley family in Yorkshire in the early 20th century. The series occasionally showed characters boarding trains to and from the wealthy Crawleys’ sprawling country estate.