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October 16, 2013

Wires cut on locomotive at Lake Placid station

Vandals cut wires on locomotive in Lake Placid, canceling rides

LAKE PLACID — Operators of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad found more than a dozen wires cut on one of their locomotives kept at the train station here.

Lake Placid Police are investigating the vandalism, which happened sometime between Oct. 5 and 9, railroad officials say.

CABLES PULLED OUT

Police have not released details, but Adirondack Railway Preservation Society President Bob Branson said it is a sad turn of events, with the train booked to carry more than 300 passengers on upcoming Halloween runs.

It is expected total lost revenue will total more than $45,000, officials said in a press release late Tuesday that also announced Adirondack Scenic Railroad is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the crime. 

In an interview Tuesday morning, he described the damage, which was discovered by railroad volunteers late last week when they attempted to start engine GP9 No. 6076.

“Somebody got into the locomotive, into the electrical cabinet, and they pulled a dozen or more cables out and cut them at various places in the machine.

“We’re just trying to find them all. We can see some of it, but they could have gotten underneath it and cut cables there,” he said.

“We’re going through the locomotive carefully to make sure that we haven’t missed something that would compromise safety or the operation of the engine.”

INTENT

Branson said the actions suggest someone intended to sabotage the train’s safe operation.

“Vandalism is taking spray paint and spraying the outside of the cars. But somebody intended to damage this machine,” he said.

“They went in quite deliberately and cut electrical components that are important to the operation of the engine.”

FEDERAL PROBE

Meantime, the Federal Railway Administration has also opened its investigation of the alleged sabotage.

“The Federal Railway Administration is taking this seriously,” Branson said. “They consider this to be no less important than tampering with an airplane, as with any malicious damage that could compromise safety.

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