Peterborough train lovers, 12, raise thousands to save Nene Valley signal box after arson attack

  • ITV Anglia's Stuart Leithes has been to meet Harry and Oliver.

Two young rail enthusiasts have been left heartbroken after a heritage railway line signal box was severely damaged in an arson attack.

Schoolfriends Harry Cowley and Oliver Walker were left devastated when the signal box on the Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough was set alight on Sunday night.

Harry said "When I found that the signal box had just caught fire I was devastated so I phoned Oliver Walker and said listen we can't just have this we can't just let these people get what they want so we need to sort of act now and raise money for it".

After hearing the news the 12-year-olds set up a fundraising page and have raised more than £5000 to help fix the box which is based in Orton Mere.

"We can show these people that good always win," said Harry.

The two friends enjoy watching trains on the Nene Valley line and now want to save the signal box.

Oliver said: " I've always wanted to go in it and never got the chance to."

The boys are hoping they will be able to raise enough money to fix the box. Credit: Contributed

Cambridgeshire Police said the fire broke out during a spate of arson attacks across Peterborough on Sunday night which also targeted cars and sheltered accommodation.

The Nene Valley Railway say they have systems in place which mean trains can run - but they are hampered by the loss of the signal box.

It is expected the cost to repair the damage will be tens of thousands pounds.

Cambridgeshire Police say they have launched an investigation and officers will be carrying out extra patrols in the areas affected.

Detective Inspector James Sheffield said:  “We are treating these fires as arson and they could be linked. We are working hard with partner agencies to trace those responsible. I would urge anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to come forward.”

 Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote Operation Onward.

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