Old 11-05-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
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Default Major RR Museum Vandalism Incident In Williamantic, CT (USA)

Verbatim copy and paste from today's (11/05/09) online edition of the WTNH-TV (New Haven, CT):

Willimantic [CT-USA](WTNH-TV) - Police say a vandal, or vandals, targeted historic trains at a museum, run by volunteers, in Willimantic.

"I saw one of our members who is in his 70's and works very hard here, he was in tears," said Adrian Atkins, a volunteer for the Connecticut Train Museum.

Working train engines, frozen in time at the Connecticut Train Museum, were loving rebuilt by volunteers.

Now, a 1934 steam engine rests on the tracks, damaged and covered in swastikas.

"We are lucky to get some of the things we have got here. We got a steam engine; there are only two of them that are made like this one," said Atkins.

Wednesday morning, volunteers found their round house were in shambles; window-after-window was blown out with bricks, rocks and fire extinguishers. The gift shop at the non-profit is smashed and destroyed. And, antique trains were torn apart and marked with paint.

"We are trying to restore history here and this is going to put us back quite a bit," said volunteer Jean Lambert.

One of the destroyed engines is more than 60-years-old. And glass like that can't be found very easily if at all.

One of the problems they have is that it is all volunteer; they put there heart and soul into it and when they come in and find there place wrecked, it's devastating.

"I'm a little bit of everything. I'm going to cry for everyone that has been here and I'm sure everyone else is going to have the same emotions that I have right now," said volunteer Jean Lambert.

Investigators say several people broke into the museum sometime over night Tuesday and right now they have recovered evidence and have leads in the case which could lead to felony arrests because of the extent of the damage.

Now volunteers will have to rebuild the museum almost from the ground up just like they did nearly two decades ago when they brought life back into the old engines.

"We have put all of the railroad tracks back in here that were here in 1892 when the building was first built [and] the roundhouse was rebuilt," Lambert said.


This article does NOT speak to what, if any, security system(s) this museum has. IF it has any, they failed miserably. Security, including fire detection type, is expensive to install & operate and will need ongoing maintenance too. That's easier said than done for an all volunteer operation. But this article speaks to the consequences. I have no easy answers for any museum that is vulnerable to these kinds of thugs.
JackInCT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Here's an idea: When the idiots are caught, make them fix every single bit of damage they caused as a part of their sentencing...and BEFORE any jail time is served. They should also have to pay for the materials used in the repairs.

Those volunteers deserve better than to have their years of labor ruined by a bunch of morons with too much time and not enough to do.
PipePlayr is offline   Reply With Quote

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