A TRAIN valued at more than £100,000 was completely destroyed by fire at Blunsdon this evening.

The vintage diesel Thumper unit owned by Swindon and Cricklade Railway was parked up near the Hayes Knoll end on the main line when the fire was discovered late in the afternoon.

“It is completely beyond repair,” said a heartbroken trustee Dave Peacey.”

He said he was returning to the railway between late this afternoon he was told what had happened. “We don’t know when the fire started. I would imagine it has been burning most of the day so how nobody spotted it I don’t know.”

“As far as I’m aware there are only three of these left in the country. It is a very rare train.”

The most depressing thing, he said, was that volunteers had spent January and February completely refurbishing it.

“We are all devastated to say the least,” he said.

Three box wagons containing electrical equipment were also destroyed. Mr Peacey said it appeared the blaze may have started in the wagons and spread to the two-car unit.

He added that the railway volunteers would have to find an alternative engine and crew if it was to run a service over the weekend.

A spokesman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire service said the alarm was raised just before 6pm.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.