TEENAGE vandals tried to derail a train by throwing sleepers on the track at Ingrow station, say heritage railway bosses.

The night-time raiders also smashed windows on the station’s Learning Coach which is heavily-used by schools and youth groups.

The youths ran around the station yard in the early hours throwing metal barriers that are used to stop visitors falling on the railway track.

The gang were caught on CCTV cameras operated by both the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – which runs trains on the line – and the Bahamas Locomotive Society which has a museum at the station.

The footage, which shows youths who appear to be aged about 16 or 17, has been passed to police.

Both organisations were affected by the attack, as well as the nearby Vintage Carriages Trust who own the barriers.

The attack came in the early hours of Wednesday last week, the day before Ingrow station played host to the railway line’s first Yorkshire Day celebration. The festivities were not affected.

Keith Whitmore, chairman of the Bahamas Society, said the vandalism was the first such serious incident for quite a few years at the station.

He said: “There were sleepers across the track and bits of workshop material from behind our shed. Obviously it was a deliberate attempt to derail a train.

“We would have seen it the next morning so an accident wouldn’t have happened, but it could have been quite serious.

“The Vintage Carriages Trust had barriers thrown all over the place that protect people from the railway line.”

Mr Whitmore said several windows had been shattered on the Learning Coach, a former railway carriage transformed into a classroom.

The coach is the centrepiece of Rail Story, a Heritage Lottery-funded attraction at the station bringing to life the history of rail travel.

Mr Whitmore added “There was no attempt to break in -- they’ve probably been walking down the railway track and threw stones as they passed. I think it’s just the boredom of kids.

“What’s disappointing is they’ve attacked an educational resource that is much-used by local people, youth groups and schools.

“It’s an amazingly appreciated resource in the community. Schools think it’s a marvellous experience. We have a long waiting list for our science club.

“If kids are bored we’d rather they come to talk to us – we have plenty we can give them to do in the yard. We want to work with the local community.”

The Learning Coach was officially opened last year by the Shadow Rail Minister, MP Rachael Maskell.

At the time she described the converted passenger carriage as a vital educational resource that provided a fun and unique way to introduce local history to young people.

The Bahamas Locomotive Society created the Learning Coach as part of a Heritage Lottery-project to overhaul the historic steam locomotive Bahamas. The engine returned to mainline travel earlier this year to great public acclaim.

The coach forms part of Rail Story, a collaboration also involving the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway’s train rides and the Vintage Carriage Trust’s Museum of Rail Travel.

The Bahamas Society runs a museum at Ingrow in a former engine shed where its volunteers restore historic locomotives.

Part of the Learning Coach exhibition is a brief overview of the growth of the village of Ingrow as a result of the railway’s arrival.

Police ask anyone with information to contact them on the non emergency number 101.