KEIGHLEY'S top tourist attraction has endured a "torrid summer" of trespassing, theft and vandalism.

Michael Tarran, one of the directors of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, delivered the sobering update at the latest meeting of the Keighley Public Transport Watch group last month.

Speaking after the meeting, he listed an alarming catalogue of costly and sometimes dangerous crimes that plagued the railway during the summer of 2015.

These included stones hurled at trains, visitors' cars broken into, expensive gas lamps broken, lengths of hose pipe cut up and stolen from Oxenhope Station, brass wheel bearings stolen from Haworth Locomotive Yard and even a beer keg thrown onto the track, which obstructed and delayed a train.

"There have been quite a few stoning incidents between Ingrow and Damems," Mr Tarran said.

"On one afternoon, between Keighley and Ingrow, my son was hit in the arm by a stone while he was actually driving the locomotive.

"We've had a spate of visitors' cars being broken into in Oxenhope and Haworth.

"One particular couple from Holland, whose Land Rover was broken into in Haworth, were pretty much left with only the clothes they stood up in. It was heart-breaking.

"Here we are inviting people to come and spend the day with us, and they are going to back to find their car windows smashed.

"Of course, they'll tell their friends 'don't go near the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, you'll get your car broken into'. It's something our volunteers – who do a lot of work to encourage people to visit us – can really do without."

K&WVR chairman, Dr Matt Stroh, said: "It's so frustrating and sad when we put all these hours in as volunteers and some of our work is destroyed in seconds or minutes by mindless thugs.

"We're an open-air attraction, which is not easy to secure." He urged people who spot suspicious activity on or near the railway to report it to police.

Keighley Public Transport Watch chairman, Michael Westerman, said: "The railway is a big tourist attraction and its members do a marvellous job. They have my sympathies.

"As a volunteer-run organisation, they would rather spend their money on making the railway bigger and better, instead of having to improve security."

PC Julian Booth, of the Keighley Area Neighbourhood Team, responded: "We work closely with the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and are aware of the problems they've suffered.

"The stations are regularly patrolled and officers have also acted on information about suspicious activity at these locations.

"Several arrests and charges resulted from this work, and we'll continue to work with the railway and other partners to reduce incidents of criminal damage and theft.

"We'd always ask people leaving their cars unattended to remove any valuables from sight, and make sure they lock their vehicles as this makes them less inviting to opportunist thieves. We would also ask anyone to report suspicious activity around the stations or their car parks to police on the 101 number."