Police release CCTV image in hunt for railway thief after locomotive and tracks are stolen in Kent

The narrow gauge locomotive which was stolen
Police have released this CCTV image following theft of items from the East Kent Railway Trust Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police have released a CCTV image as they investigate the theft of a locomotive and tracks from the East Kent Railway Trust.

Thieves gained entry to the charity's premises on Station Road in Shepherdswell near Dover on the morning of Wednesday 27 April 2022.

An estimated £14,000 worth of items were taken, including a narrow gauge locomotive, a points handle, generators and lengths of miniature railway track.

The theft has been described as a "huge blow" by the charity. "What they deem as scrap is priceless to us with some components being incredibly difficult to source," the trust commented on Facebook.

Police have released this image of the man they want to speak to Credit: Kent Police

Officers believe the man captured on CCTV driving a white Ford Transit van may be able to assist enquiries.

Investigating officer PC Tom Booth said: "We believe the man in the CCTV image may be able to assist us, and although the picture is slightly blurry, he may still be recognisable to those who know him.

"Anyone who recognises the man, or has been offered the stolen items for sale, is urged to call Kent Police."

The railway has set up a fundraising page to try to recoup the losses.

Despite being one of the country's smallest heritage railway lines, it's not the first time the East Kent Railway Trust has been hit by criminals.

In 2019, one of their buildings was burnt down by arsonists.

And in 2020 the line was hit by vandals who destroyed signage.

The line was once part of a larger network serving Kent's coal mines, now closed.