The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has suffered a serious theft of valuable steam locomotive fittings and other components in a well-organised overnight raid of its Toddington, Gloucestershire workshops. The thieves struck during the night of 18 and 19 July, by-passing the railway’s security. They gained access over fields, breaking down a fence and crossing the tracks. They first broke into the main David Page locomotive shed and former goods shed (now a machine shop). They then used the railway’s own oxy-acetylene flame cutting equipment to burn their way into secure steel storage containers. The railway is co-ordinating with the Gloucestershire Police and locomotive owning groups over their losses, with an inventory of everything that was taken currently being compiled. It is believed the total market value of the theft amounts to at least £60,000 and that the attack was carefully planned. “We believe that this is the work of metal thieves who ignored a lot of valuable equipment and concentrated only on non-ferrous metals such as copper, brass and bronze. The price of such metals on world markets has significantly increased over the past couple of years and there is a ready market for it, particularly in the Far East. They may have got away with up to a ton of metal”. “The tragedy is that steam locomotive components can’t easily be replaced. “Unfortunatley, one stolen component, is the RM brake ejector for MN 35006, i this is a complex casting with many intricate moving parts inside. This item alone has a value of around £15,000, yet as scrap metal is probably worth little more than £60. Other items included copper pipework, bearings, valves and other historic fittings that will have to be manufactured again from scratch. A word of warning for all railways, this is getting more common. Make sure you make it as awkward for these people as you can.