The Great Model Train Robbery
Articles, Blog

The Great Model Train Robbery

August 14, 2019


Tucked away in a wooded backroad in Kent in
southeast England, is a club for model train enthusiasts called The Gravesend Model Marine
& Engineering Society – where, since 1953, hobbyists meet to work on their mini locomotives. And even though the trains are small, the
work that goes into them is massive. Most locos to actually build – it takes five
to 10 years. Some people have been on them even longer
than that, 20-25 years. And it’s not only running them, you’ve got
to maintain them and that takes quite a lot of doing as well. The club is open to the public on Sundays
– hosting birthday parties, charity runs and other events for children. It’s a great hobby to have because I think
a lot of the youngsters that come up here do appreciate what we do. I’ve got grandchildren of me own and I know
how much they enjoy it. And over the years I have had three, four
engines. Unfortunately … do you want me to talk about
– sorry. Do you want me to talk about the robbery or
not? On February 14 of 2019 the unthinkable happened
… and the club would never be the same. We just sat down to eat breakfast when I received
a phone call from Derek, one of our members who’s a dog walker, who uses this pathway. And he just said, Tricia, I’m sorry. Tough to tell you, but we’ve been burgled. As we came through the gates, the door to
the clubhouse was off its hinges and laying on the ground. Both these containers were open, the debris
inside where they just gone through everything broken into the locks where the trains were. In total four trains were stolen – two belonging
to individual members and two owned by the club itself. The value of the goods was estimated at 25,000
pounds. Letting people know what had happened, calling
them up to tell them was probably the worst thing I’ve ever had to do. It was horrible. There were tears. They may be grown men, but there were tears
on my side and theirs. When I walked in here and realized that my
engine had disappeared, I must admit at that time I felt like packing up to be honest. To have that year, that engine over 20 years
and to maintain it and keep it running, it was devastating really, be honest, absolutely
devastated. And my grandchildren – well my grandson especially,
cause he loved it and it really upset the young fella, it really did. The second member whose train was stolen decided
to leave the club. He was too heartbroken to continue. Others, like Tricia, focused their energy
on investigating the crime. We now know that the thieves had a van of
some sort parked at the end of this farmer’s pathway at the edge of this field. They walked down this pathway, cut the farmer’s
fence, climbed over, which brought them to the back of our containers. On entering, they angle-grinded through all
these hinges. They did this with the same one here. And the last container here is where our two
club engines were stored. The police believe there must’ve been about
four of them, as the engines obviously are really heavy and to lift them over that fence
must have taken some strength. The police were unable to uncover any additional
clues, but that night, Tricia received a phone call from a model railway shop in Hemel Hempstead
– a town about 90 minutes from Kent by car. A man was offering to sell some model trains
from his van, but when asked about paperwork – a requirement for all engines – the man
drove off. It was matter of seconds, he said, when his
helper in his shop came out and said, you’ll never guess what, Gravesend Model Marine had
four locos stolen. He was gutted. From there we’ve had no real leads at all. What we’re hoping more than anything is that
these people will leave them somewhere because they can’t use them. They can’t get rid of them without the paperwork. They’re nothing as scrap. And to the members, it would be lovely if
they were found in a ditch somewhere or a field anywhere – even if they’re damaged. We’ve got the facilities where we can repair
them. The members were quiet for a few weeks. Gradually we were lifted by the community
around us who decided to do Just Giving page for us and raise money. Donations to the club totaled over 5,000 pounds
– mostly from small contributions by friends, community members, other clubs, and complete
strangers. The frowns, the tears gradually turned to
smiles again. We had such support from the community, a
lot of us couldn’t believe it because we just saw it as a love of our own. It was like a hobby that just keeps us busy. But when we saw the support from the public,
it was just brilliant. We have bounced back very well actually. Well, I went out and one of our club members
– he happened to have a loco for sale. I said to him, look, if you want to sell one
of your engines, I’d be quite happy to pay for – to buy one off you. I feel a bit sorry for him really because
the loco he’s given me is better than the one he’s got. I should think it’s quite funny actually. The culprits are still at large, but the club
is as strong as ever – chugging right along with a newly completed expansion of their
track. These people will not stop us because we love
what we do and that’s the truth. And if you enjoy what you’re doing, there’s
nothing better than that. And I think that says it all really.

100 Comments

  • Reply Bloomberg June 28, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Who stole the model trains? Read Austin Carr's full story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-06-28/britain-s-great-model-train-robbery-remains-an-unsolved-crime

  • Reply shroombud13 July 5, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    very sad 🙁

  • Reply Richard Kinkead July 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Nothing is safe. That's bs to steal trains especially used to entertain kids. I hope you get them back.

  • Reply Damn Daniel July 5, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Why would you keep it there?

  • Reply Sflot July 5, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    4:30 Pretty retarded to not agree on the deal and call the police immediately to intercept them during the exchange.

  • Reply LordMatt48 July 5, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Everyone hated that.

  • Reply MrCookieKILLER July 5, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    The 91 people who disliked were probably involved in the robbery

  • Reply MiLu Ki July 5, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    so wholesome, really nice old people

  • Reply Fmono • 38 years ago • Updated July 5, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Dutch Van Der Linde stole them

  • Reply Andrew Phillips July 5, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    This is so heartbreaking

  • Reply Weekly bird shit July 5, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Sorry to say but they’ve probably stripped and sold for parts. £25,000. That’s drug money.

  • Reply Max Davies July 5, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Wow i didn't know this place existed it is so local to me and i love live steam. I will keep an eye out for these locos and definitely visit on a sunday sometime.

  • Reply King John I GWR July 5, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    The 91 dislikes are most likely the theives

  • Reply Hero Slippy July 5, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    I've heard that in the music world when an instrument gets stolen and it's a fairly valuable one you cant sell it anywhere. Literally everywhere people are going to recognize it and call the cops.

  • Reply Akshath Vijaykumar July 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    It's like if someone stole your Xbox of logo sets, not fair…

  • Reply Vents 4 July 5, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    My dumb ass thought it was a bank robbery and a mini locomotive getaway

  • Reply TUNGSTEN 0340 July 5, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    It's sad that there are people that can do something terrible against others

  • Reply Marklin15 July 5, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    What is the paperwork they refer to?

  • Reply thomas wright July 5, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    the scum that did that should be shot

  • Reply easkate concepts July 5, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Fuckin' Swayzie Express boys

  • Reply Robert Smith July 5, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    There's one of these railways in Tonbridge, Kent.

  • Reply Matthew Collyer July 5, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Who ever was so small minding to take them really needs to run over a train to be woken up a little

  • Reply Everyone's favorite neighbourhood nazi July 5, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    So where do the trains go? Some underground black train market?
    Why steal these? They are worth money yes, but the market is so limited…

  • Reply American Panzer July 5, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    Even though this hobby is not my personal preference but I can understand how they feel about these trains, hope they get caught.

  • Reply Box K1 July 5, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    i thought train robbery was an old west thing

  • Reply GB HYPE July 5, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    If the worst thing to happen in your life is haveing your mini train stolen then your doing pretty well

  • Reply SimonTheDankOne July 6, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Reminds me of Trailer Park Boys

  • Reply KDigityDog July 6, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Imagine the karma if when they were getting away in the van they got hit by a train

  • Reply Anaya Khadka July 6, 2019 at 1:00 am

    What bastards. All for some trains. It probably didn’t even mean anything to the thieves.

  • Reply xorbodude July 6, 2019 at 1:04 am

    As a livesteam admirer I am saddened by this

  • Reply Philip Maximuse July 6, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Why couldn't they just rob an ATM like normal people XD

  • Reply NORTH WHEELS July 6, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Gurtude the miniature locomotive

  • Reply Wyatt W July 6, 2019 at 2:05 am

    *The Burglers Name Was Bubbles

  • Reply D Madd11 July 6, 2019 at 2:23 am

    If the thieves turn out to be muslims, these train owners will be put in prison for daring to "victimize" the poor poor immigrants (islamic invaders)

  • Reply JintySteam July 6, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Why is it railways get targeted? 🙁

  • Reply ActionJackson 15 July 6, 2019 at 2:39 am

    It’s so angering that these innocent people just do their hobbies and a few bad people ruin them. The criminals must be brought to justice.

  • Reply Ethan Earle July 6, 2019 at 3:00 am

    The greatest model train robbery happened during the trailer park boys prime

  • Reply TNOKO July 6, 2019 at 3:04 am

    sounds like the swayze express

  • Reply Corey Mitchell 2020 July 6, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Rip

  • Reply jackhlouvi July 6, 2019 at 3:14 am

    We all know it was when Bubbles stole the Swayze Express

  • Reply Klinger Kun July 6, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Everybody hated that

  • Reply Luky0805 July 6, 2019 at 3:42 am

    Lol why would ever someone stole these? Intelligent thief steals money or diamonds/gold not model trains.

  • Reply lampshade July 6, 2019 at 4:00 am

    those robbers are idiots. theres no way they can sell those without them knowing. they should just return them

  • Reply Nickname34 July 6, 2019 at 4:05 am

    didnt know the group of people who stole the trains consisted of 102 people

  • Reply Samuel Hopely July 6, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Stealing things can be justified. Stealing joy cannot.

  • Reply Evan July 6, 2019 at 4:37 am

    Tell me the police looking for a man with glasses and loves kitties. Goes by the name Bubbles, also wanted for the theft of the Swayze Express.

  • Reply Brett July 6, 2019 at 4:43 am

    When you realize the video isn't about bubbles stealing the swayze express

  • Reply Pure Dank Ascension July 6, 2019 at 5:29 am

    People = Scum… I actually don't live that far away. I'll keep an eye out.

  • Reply Nerd_World July 6, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Okay whose kneecaps do I have to break??

  • Reply liam b July 6, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Scummy thieves-

  • Reply Mark Wilko July 6, 2019 at 7:42 am

    Why not go to the model store and get a descyption of the criminals and van out their..
    Let the internet search for the scum bags.

  • Reply Farty Person July 6, 2019 at 7:55 am

    He just wants to choo choo, man, why can't a dude just choo choo in peace.

  • Reply The Un-Known Musician July 6, 2019 at 9:12 am

    I love this. I’ve been there before. It’s really amazing!

  • Reply Fred Krazé July 6, 2019 at 9:23 am

    this is almost lower than stealing a guys Lego collection……..

  • Reply TheDimHall July 6, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Why would you steal something from such a wholesome place?

  • Reply bin gas July 6, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Who the fuck would steal from a Model Train club?
    Are you really that low that you have to steal model trains.

  • Reply Fukase Satoshi July 6, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Woowww

  • Reply DevanyaRBLx July 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    which bastard steals model trains?

  • Reply mr keeper July 6, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Must be immigrant

  • Reply TheMadmanAndre July 6, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Sadly, they were probably stolen by caravaners to sell as scrap.

  • Reply Joe Wolf July 6, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Hope you get them back

  • Reply Blu July 6, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    "All right lads where are we hitting up tonight?"
    "There is a model railway just up the road if we still a couple trains may be worth a bit"
    "a..any other ideas?"

  • Reply DaSnipy July 6, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    get better security this time I guess… quality of policing has gone to the dogs.

  • Reply oil Toast July 6, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    These are metal bonsai.

  • Reply oil Toast July 6, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    When your so talentless you have steal peoples train models.

  • Reply bayspotter July 6, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Hope the thieves get caught. This is really wrong.

  • Reply Taco Stacks July 6, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Very sad stuff, I love trains

  • Reply Anglo Saxon July 6, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Pitty they can't cut the hands off the culprits!

  • Reply Josepn Denardo July 6, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    I wonder if the trailer park boys had anything to do with this

  • Reply DatGuy Miller July 6, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    I wish I could be a modle railroader but I don't have that cash:(

  • Reply Rodneygd July 6, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Pikey biznes I’m thinking.

  • Reply gameoholic1994 July 7, 2019 at 12:02 am

    I hope whoever’s responsible for this theft gets caught and punished.

  • Reply Nic o July 7, 2019 at 12:19 am

    I’ve been there

  • Reply Just your every day dumb guy ah LOL July 7, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Sad

  • Reply Sri Lankan Flyer July 7, 2019 at 2:51 am

    If caught they should be run over by a train

  • Reply David Moore July 7, 2019 at 3:10 am

    What type of steam trains where stolen? Because I think we can help them

  • Reply Retro Junkie July 7, 2019 at 3:53 am

    Okay that is really bad and I fell bad for those dudes but I wanted a miniature train robbery

  • Reply Wumbo Slumbo July 7, 2019 at 5:06 am

    Oh I thought that this was gonna be like cowboys ridding trains and hopping onto other ones but ok I like depression

  • Reply Brett8792 July 7, 2019 at 6:38 am

    As a member of a club in Melbourne, Australia, robbery is not so much of a problem here as most clubs are very secure but it is not out of the question completely. A club in the south eastern part of the city was broken into one night and after the word had got through the next day, everyone involved in the hobby in Victoria was out looking in collectable or antique shops and even scrapyards. Unfortunately the loco that had been stolen was found in an unrepairable state the next week at a scrap dealers. The locomotive was over 40 years old made by the owner as a school project. It is amazing what relationships clubs have with each other.

  • Reply BR Black Terrier Productions July 7, 2019 at 6:55 am

    That’s what the hobby is

  • Reply Gray July 7, 2019 at 8:36 am

    ;-;

  • Reply james mcgovern July 7, 2019 at 8:55 am

    anyone hear about the swayze express?

  • Reply Hans Müller July 7, 2019 at 9:29 am

    This is like Trailer Park boys, where they steal the model train to transport illegal drugs😂

  • Reply Panzerkamf 123 July 7, 2019 at 9:59 am

    99% an iligal imigrant

  • Reply Miguel Le July 7, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    What good does it for them to steal trains?
    Sell it? Keep it as a prize? “Oh hey look I stole some trains, I’m going to keep it.”
    Like WTF I’m pissed.

  • Reply oaklandrailfan190 the rail kid of Oakland July 7, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    It so Sad.People can sometimes be mean.
    I just hope that trains are okay.it so bad.I hope you get it back.😥😥😫😫😭😭

  • Reply francis Angel July 7, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    LOL this is funny

  • Reply francis Angel July 7, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    u set up the theft and robbed people of there money that's wrong I want this place shut down

  • Reply Jedits July 7, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    I have the utmost respect for every single one of those members. The love they have for their hobby/passion is awe-inspiring.

  • Reply Don Trump July 7, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Question.. Was the property insured? Definitely seems like an inside job…

  • Reply MeSoyCapitan July 7, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    He probably sold you the better one as a kindness after your one getting stolen.

  • Reply Rosa Leal July 8, 2019 at 6:17 am

    The people who stole the locos shov there hande in the fireboxes of the locos

  • Reply R A I N July 8, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Have fun trying to sell it lol

  • Reply byren stoner July 8, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    I genuinely thought this video was about bubbles stealing the swayze express, smh.

  • Reply Matheius July 8, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    i hope the dickweeds who did this are caught and severely punished for taking 20+ years of work and
    and trying to pawn it for a quick buck to most likely buy drugs with it. I hope the owners get their locomotives back someday.

  • Reply you'll never find my channel name July 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Patri Swayze personal train 😂

  • Reply Peter Harris July 10, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    there is also a track layout in a certain mote park

  • Reply Last mover's but Fast mover's July 14, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I love this trains 👌👌

  • Reply 100,000 subscribers with no videos July 18, 2019 at 11:32 am

    🙁

  • Reply RealmWind August 1, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Seeing this club keeps doing what they love to do is a great thing, I hope you all find the stolen trains back.

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