THIEVES have stolen about £14,000 after taking a safe from Blaenavon Heritage Railway on Wednesday night.

The safe, which was secured to the wall and the floor of the booking office, contained the takings from the railway's four-day Ghost Train event which had run in the lead up to Hallowe'en.

Phil Tiley, chairman of the railway, said: “This is our biggest event of the year. We rely on the ghost train to keep us running throughout the rest of the year. It’s a real shock to us all. We’re all really upset.

“We had our ghost train event this week. The money was put in the safe in the booking office.

“The person who broke in broke through the platform doors and he got in to the booking office. He must have seen the camera as he went and turned it around.

“He wrenched out the safe that that was secured to the floor. There was about £14,000 in there, which was about two nights takings from the ghost train.”

South Wales Argus:

A fundraiser was set up on Thursday to help cover the damages caused by the break-in. Overnight, the total amount raised reached more than £4,500.

Mr Tiley said that the volunteers at the railway were blown away by the support they have received from the public, which has included offers to donate raffle prizes and offers of services to help the railway get back up and running.

He said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. It seems that people are sympathetic to our cause. They realise that our volunteers have worked so hard.

“It’s really uplifting in the sense that people care so much. We are very grateful to those who have contributed to the fundraiser.”

South Wales Argus:

Mr Tiley also emphasised that the railway would not be beaten by this, and would remain open as usual for their upcoming events.

He said: “We are preparing now for Santa. We’ve got to carry on for the children that are looking forward to the Steam Santa Specials event.”

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said: “At approximately 10.10am on Thursday, November 1, 2018 we received a report of a burglary at The Railway Station, Garn Lakes in Blaenavon.

“Sometime between 10pm on October 31, 2018 and 9.45am on November 1, 2018 entry was gained via force to a door and a silver steel safe was stolen. The safe had been bolted to the wall and the floor and had cash inside to the estimated value of £12,000 to £14,000.

“At this time enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to please call 101 quoting log 189 01/11/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.”