A train has undergone a ‘complex’ cleaning operation after seven of its 12 carriages were covered from 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 last week.
A spokesman from Govia Thameslink Railway said: “This appears to have been done in two separate sessions overnight.
“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 spokesman confirmed the train had been taken to the Bedford depot on Thursday for cleaning.
Eight carriages required cleaning by a specialist graffiti removal team.
The work took six people two shifts to complete, a total of 84 person hours.
Fortunately the original paintwork was not damaged in the process, so a respray was not needed, the spokesman said.
However, including the cost of the train being out of service, the cleaning operation has cost a five-figure sum, the spokesman confirmed.
A full report is being provided to the British Transport Police, who will work with Govia Thameslink Railway’s security team to investigate the vandalism.
The spokesman said: “Vandalism of this kind is not only very costly to repair but inconveniences thousands of passengers while the train is out of service.
“Worst of all, by trespassing on the railway the vandals put their own lives at great risk.
“We are working closely with the British Transport Police to bring the perpetrators to justice.”