Industrial Heritage Society president Pete Geddes looks through one of the broken train windows at the blackberry bushes where a pair of youth have been weeding and picking up shattered glass after a vandalism incident at the heritage roundhouse in Port Alberni. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Mom’s orders: accused Vancouver Island vandals spend two days cleaning mess

Youth suspected of vandalism return to clean up heritage rail cars in Port Alberni

Two youth accused of vandalizing a pair of heritage rail cars at the Alberni Pacific Railway’s roundhouse returned to the scene of the crime last week — with their mothers.

The pair spent two full days cleaning up the mess left behind when they allegedly kicked out all the windows of two covered cars. Several fire extinguishers were expelled in the incident, and the youth cleaned that up too.

Industrial Heritage Society president Pete Geddes said the cost to replace all the glass will be around $6,000, not including damage done to some of the seats in the cars, as well as replacement of the fire extinguishers.

“It looks a lot better now than it did the other day,” Geddes said during a recent tour through the damaged cars. “That was a plus that both mothers phoned me. Both of the mothers said ‘you’ve got them here until you don’t need them.’”

RELATED: Heritage Alberni rail cars hit by vandals for second time this month

A volunteer had attended the roundhouse earlier this month to work on a restoration project when he heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the direction of the heritage rail cars, which are stored outdoors at the roundhouse. The cars have not been used this summer as the City of Port Alberni decided to leave the tourist trains idle while it works out financing and other issues surrounding the railway and McLean Mill National Historic Site.

Police were called and caught two youth in the act of vandalizing the rail cars.

Two volunteers from the Industrial Heritage Society supervised last Thursday, Aug. 22 as the youth cleaned up, including one volunteer who travelled from Nanoose for both days.

One of the boys’ mothers handed Geddes some money, saying it represented three months of her son’s allowance.

Geddes said the youth are expected back this week to continue cleaning up glass as well as weeding around the tracks and switches.

The windows were made of tempered glass and exploded when they were smashed. Broken glass was two and three inches thick both inside and outside the cars, Geddes said.

RELATED: Residents, volunteers weigh in on future of McLean Mill National Historic Site

Geddes had to give his permission for the youth to be at the roundhouse. “The police told them if they get caught on the property again they will be charged with trespassing.”

The two youth still face a court date, in about three months’ time, he added. No one has been convicted in this incident.

“The mothers didn’t want this mess to exist that long.”

While the rail cars are insured through the City of Port Alberni, a gofundme account was started because people were reaching out to the Industrial Heritage Society to help financially.

The campaign has raised more than $3,000 so far and can be found at gofundme.com (search “Vandals hit Alberni Pacific Railway”).



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Parksville wants consultant to examine feasibility of rec centre

Strong demand from residents for a multi-sport facility

Developers withdraw rezoning application for huge Parksville waterfront plan

IAG to create new draft after processing public feedback

Part Three: 10 questions with a Qualicum Beach historian

Local guide shares stories of town’s foundations

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

B.C. Ferries wants input on concepts for a Horseshoe Bay terminal re-design

Ferry corporation accepting public feedback until Oct. 13

Most Read