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Police looking for teens who vandalized West Chester Railroad, leaving thousands in damage

<i></i><br/>Police are looking for the teens who vandalized a West Chester Railroad train
Lawrence, Nakia

Police are looking for the teens who vandalized a West Chester Railroad train

By Briana Smith

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    WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — Built in the 1800s, the West Chester Railroad is known for its nostalgic train trips and holiday rides throughout the year.

But on Friday night, a group of teenagers vandalized this piece of history.

“It’s very disappointing to find this damage,” said Tyler Haney, who is the president of the West Chester Railroad Heritage Association and conductor. “We’re 100% volunteer operated. Our volunteers maintain our locomotives and track and operate all of our trains.”

West Chester police said surveillance video shows nine teenagers climbing on the trains and smashing windows.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to take a report like this, especially to something that brings people to our community,” said Dave March, who is the West Chester police and fire public information officer.

“We have four broken windows on this diesel locomotive. This is a historic diesel locomotive built in 1949,” said Haney.

Haney said this damage alone could cost about $16,000 to repair. They need special windows required by the Federal Railroad Administration.

“This is the spot on our dining car where another window was broken,” said Haney. “Thankfully we already have a supply of extra window panes on hand just in case of situations like this.”

Haney said teenagers also shattered the windshield of a truck that’s used to inspect the railroad, and he said it could cost hundreds of dollars to fix.

As the volunteers try to raise money to make the repairs, they want the teens to pay for their actions.

“Mostly, it’s paying back or paying for the damages you’ve done, citations, things of that nature,” said March.

“We take pride in our work and the equipment we maintain, and we really hope people will respect that in the future,” said Haney.

Haney said the community is already stepping up to help by donating money and supplies to fix the train.

If you have any information about this incident or the group of teenagers, call Wester Chester police.

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