British Transport Police are to investigate after seven carriages of a £17million train were covered top to bottom in graffiti.
The Class 700 Thameslink train, which came into service last year, was being stored in the temporary sidings at West Worthing railway station when it was vandalised.
Seven of the train’s twelve carriages have been covered top to bottom in graffiti, a spokesman from Govia Thameslink Railway confirmed.
“This appears to have been done in two separate sessions overnight,” the spokesman said.
“The perpetrators must have brought a ladder to reach the top of the carriages’ side panels, and probably had an air compressor and spray gun, rather than aerosol cans, to cover such a large area in the time.”
The train will be moved to a depot, probably in Bedford, for cleaning tomorrow, the spokesman said.
Cleaning the train would be ‘complex operation’.
The spokesman said: “Although we have tried and tested cleaning procedures and materials, and staff who are specially trained in graffiti removal, we expect cleaning this train will take a team of six people two or three days at best.
“The train will be out of action for considerably longer if the original paintwork is so damaged that a respray is needed.”
The spokesman added: “We are providing a full report to the British Transport Police who will investigate this crime, working with our security team.”
The train would have cost almost £17 million when new, the spokesman confirmed, with each carriage costing around £1.4 million.