A HAUL of around £20,000 worth of machinery was stolen from contractors working to bring back the Poole Park Railway.

An investigation has been launched by police over the commercial burglary.

Officers received a report that plant machinery and power tools had been taken from the site over the weekend.

The crime has left council leaders "very disappointed", although it has been confirmed that the incident will not delay the deliver of the railway project.

Bournemouth Echo: The old track has already been ripped up as part of the projectThe old track has already been ripped up as part of the project

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a number of items have been stolen from the Poole Park Railway work contractor’s site and that there is an ongoing police investigation.

"However, we are not anticipating any significant delay to the progress of the project.”

Dorset Police said no arrests had been made over the burglary in the area of the park near Copse Close.

Cllr Mark Anderson, BCP Council portfolio holder for environment and place, said: "We are very disappointed that the much loved Poole Park Railway project has been targeted by thieves in this way.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Mark AndersonCllr Mark Anderson

"BCP Council will do everything in its power to assist the police and our contractors while ensuring that the ongoing work on the project continues apace."

As reported, Shropshire-based Track Systems began work on site during the first week of December following a successful tender process.

Demolition of the engine shed and removal of the existing track has already been completed.

Work is ongoing on constructing the new track and engine shed.

Bournemouth Echo: The Poole Park railway stationThe Poole Park railway station

The council do not expect the work to be complete until April, with the service finally operational in the summer after years of issues and delays.

On the burglary, Poole Town ward and People People party councillor Andy Hadley said: "It is a great shame and I really hope it does not delay the work. I am also sorry for the for the contractors. It is hard enough to do these things to deadline without experiencing something like this.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Andy HadleyCllr Andy Hadley

"I would encourage anyone who knows anything about the incident to contact police."

Police officers have appealed for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area between 2.45pm on Friday, February 18, and 8am on Monday, February 21, to contact the force on 101, quoting reference number 55220029451.