Palma.—The Majorcan Railway Service has said that it is chiefly rolling stock and the railway stations that fall prey to what the company views as increasingly violent vandalism.

An internal SFM report said that on occasions, the windows of trains have been smashed, and ticket machines destroyed along with the automated exit and entrance facilities along station platforms.

The report highlighted how much such vandalism inhibits the provision of a normal service to the public. It suggested that at the end of the line, it is the passengers that suffer. At times, technicians said, it wasn't possible to execute immediate repairs because the nature of the vandalism had been so destructive to railway infrastructure.

The majority of the attacks apparently happen at night, especially in the instance of vandals who engage in “graffiti.” They daub paint the whole length of rolling stock resulting in the whole of the train having to be repainted.

SFM said that in extreme cases, trains have been stopped illegally during a journey in order for vandals to paint them whilst the rolling stock is inbetween stations.

Such action, says the SFM puts both vandals and passengers at grave risk. The railway company said that each wagon costs between 2'000 and 12'000 euros to repaint.

SFM has pointed to the poor image that is created for the whole of the railway network by such vandalism, particularly when it includes the smashing of passenger platform shelters and breaking toilet facilities in the station premises.

Technicians said that sometimes it is not just a question of destructive vandalism but also of theft in the form of the careful removal of air conditioning units or taps in bathrooms.

Thieves also target items in the carriages that are designed for public safety such as fire extinguishers and hammers for breaking windows in an emergency. The report made specific mention of the fact that the level of violent vandalism has been growing steadily right across the railway network which is ultimately the responsibility of the Balearic government's Ministry for Territory, Environment and Agriculture. The cost of repairs has an inhibiting effect on the extent to which the railway company can spend on improving services for passengers.