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Group Running Free Mini Train Rides In Costa Mesa Gets Boost After Finding Junction Vandalized

COSTA MESA (CBSLA) — A group that gives free mini train rides at Costa Mesa's Fairview Park is back on track after vandals wreaked havoc on their tiny train depot.

oc model engineers
(credit: CBS)

"We were so sad that people decided to vandalize our beloved trains," Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, and a former mayor of Costa Mesa, said.

Foley presented the Orange County Model Engineers with a $15,000 check Thursday to help pay for repairs to the tiny Goat Hill Junction depot and a new security system, which the city of Costa Mesa said they will match. The group had arrived at the train depot Wednesday to find it vandalized.

"It's not a lot of money to most people, but anything that we have to shell out, we have to solicit, so it's a big deal for us," said Hank Castignetti of Orange County Model Engineers.

Castignetti said that the funding is a boon after losing revenue due to the pandemic.

oc train depot shingles torn
(credit: CBS)

Roof shingles had been ripped off the depot and scattered onto a parking lot, and a metal security window was smashed. The group was concerned the damage started with so many shingles could lead to even more problems in the event of a big storm.

The mini trains were locked up tight, so they weren't damaged by the vandals.

Orange County Model Engineers is a non-profit group of train lovers that run the mini railroad, offering free rides to the public on the third Saturday and following Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The group gives approximately 3,000 free rides a month.

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