B.C. railroad buffs are scrambling to get a heritage train back in working order in time for a visit from celebrity Thomas the Tank Engine after copper thieves caused thousands of dollars in damage.

The West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish has been hit by a series of break-ins and thieves have disabled electrical systems by cutting copper cables from the undersides of several coaches on the featured train, according to the West Coast Railway Association. That leaves the train without lighting or ventilation, with just a little more than two months to go before the annual "Day out with Thomas."

The association's president, Don Evans, says volunteers with the non-profit group are now straining to find the cash to make the necessary repairs.

"Stealing from a charitable organization and the people who donate their time and expertise is about as low as anyone could go," Evans said in a release.

He says the group is also working on ways to keep its 12-acre heritage park safe from thieves.

During the "Day out with Thomas" event, scheduled for June 2, 3, 9 and 10, the heritage park is converted into a Thomas the Tank Engine theme park, featuring rides on a replica of the fictional cartoon locomotive.

For more information about the West Coast Railway Association and its events, or to make a donation, visit the WCRA website.