Two youths facing mischief charges in connection with acts of vandalism on two vintage rail coaches in Port Alberni are starting to clean up the mess.
The Western Vancouver Industrial Heritage Society says the two boys were at the Alberni Pacific Valley Railway roundhouse for several hours on Tuesday morning.
“The two boys worked from 09:00 hr until 12:45 hr cleaning up broken glass and cleaning powder from fire extinguishers,” an update reads.
“They will be back Wednesday to finish cleaning and to do some weed eating on the railbed and around the switches. Their mothers also helped clean. One young fellow’s allowance for the next few months is going towards the repairs.”
The “Grandy” and “Sharpe” passenger coaches were badly damaged on Monday, August 12.
In broad daylight, the vandals broke windows to gain entry to the locked coaches, set off eight fire extinguishers, and broke more windows while inside.
“One of our fellows was coming down to do some work here and he looked out at the train and saw some people in it so he phoned the police and they came down and caught the kids coming out of the coaches,” said Society President Pete Geddes last week.
The rail cars are sitting in the city-owned yard because the ride is idle this summer.
It is not the first act of vandalism to target the train this summer.
In July, unknown vandals destroyed some passenger seats and smashed two windows in other open coaches.
The Society has started a fundraising campaign to try to help pay for the repairs. You can find a link here.
“It is going to take a lot of volunteer work to replace the windows, upholstery and safety equipment. The WVIIHS’s many volunteers are trying to get the heritage railway operational again. We do not want these random acts of vandalism to set us back.”
The Society is thanking those who’ve already contributed more than $2,800 towards the cost of the repairs.