UPDATE... Spoilsport thieves de-rail James May's model railway record attempt

SPOILSPORT thieves have been blamed for de-railing a televised world record attempt to build the world s longest model railway yesterday (Monday). Sections of track and batteries were allegedly taken after television presenter James May and around 400 vol

SPOILSPORT thieves have been blamed for de-railing a televised record attempt to build the world's longest model railway yesterday (Monday).

Sections of track and batteries were allegedly taken after television presenter James May and around 400 volunteers had laid out an entire eight-mile stretch along the Tarka Trail between Bideford and Barnstaple stations.

One, who spoke to the Gazette at Bideford station at around 8pm, blamed the delay on people interfering with the track.

"Some sections of the track have been taken and we have also had a number of batteries taken too," he said.


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Others reported that record killjoys had placed coins on the track to short circuit the power supply.

The miniature train was originally expected to reach Bideford between 4pm and 5pm, and model railway enthusiasts finally called it a day at around 12.30 this morning.

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Hornby model railway marketing manager Simon Kohler said the train, travelling at around one-mile-per-hour, eventually ran out of steam two miles short of Bideford station, at Instow.

He also said that although the attempt had failed, it was hoped that the bid might earn the enthusiasts a world record for the longest point-to-point section of track.

The whole stunt was being filmed for a new BBC television series, James May's Toy Stories, in which the presenter attempts to "get kids out of their bedrooms and away from their computers, drag parents off their backsides and get them all playing together again".

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