Sunday, March 09, 2014

Model Train Engineers Need Help

As some may have already heard, overnight on Saturday, March 1, 2014, some miscreants broke into the Orange County Model Engineers (OCME) compound at Fairview Park on the east side of Placentia Avenue, committed acts of vandalism and stole aluminum rails and other items to the tune of at least $9,000 damage.

According to reports by Diane Hill at United Neighbors and sources in the OCME, the criminals vandalized property, stole lengths of track that were stored behind a locked chain link fence and actually destroyed a signal bridge that spanned the track near the Goat Hill Junction station and stole aluminum segments of it.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly since the vandalism, inspecting and repairing as needed segments of the 5 miles of track so the facility will able to serve the public with free train rides next weekend, March 15th and 16th from 10 a.m. - 3:30 pm.

The OCME is looking for help in the form of donations to help replace the lost and damaged materials, for the acquisition and installation of a security system and for skills in the form of electrical, carpentry and metal working to help with the re-construction of the damaged infrastructure.    They suggest there may be opportunities for  students to earn service credits helping with the many projects necessary at the site.  And, there are many opportunities for Eagle Scout projects, as well.

The OCME is also looking for a source of possible donations of metal shipping containers - they are used to store the trains and equipment - because some of their existing storage units are beginning to show significant rust.
The Orange County Model Engineers are in their 26th year of providing free train rides the third weekend of each month.  Typically, more than 2,500 people will ride their trains on a weekend.  According to information provided to me, more than 1,000,000 people have ridden the trains at Fairview Park since they were introduced.

The OCME is a 501C3 charity, so all donations are tax deductible.  Checks can be made out to Orange County Model Engineers or OCME and sent to PO Box 3216, Costa Mesa, CA 92628.

For more information you can contact Dixon Sheldon at

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Has any of it shown up at local recyclers? Or are there enough police to do an investigation? Just a reminder, even if Costa Mesa has 99.9% law-abiding citizens, the few who have no regard for others can make things miserable. This is an opportunity for the rest of the community to step up and lend a hand.

3/09/2014 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I think Von's just donated a shipping container to the Costa Mesa Community Foundation, could have been Ralph's. Trying to hit up a Grocery chain or another big retail outfit is their best bet. They would get some press and exposure. Who doesn't love the Trains in Fairview park? Aside form those asshats that just vandalized them and a few a City a council members wanted to only extend their lease for another year.

3/10/2014 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike Scheafer, President said...

Geoff, just to let you know, the Costa Mesa-Newport Harbor Lions Club is sending a check today to the OCME for $1,000. The Fish Fry is intended to help local groups, and this is one we are proud to support. We hope other service clubs, and the community step up to help as well.

3/10/2014 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Mike, that is so wonderful! This is when Costa Mesans make me proud. Thank you.

Also, I have some friends up in the desert that use those containers from the railroads for storage on their property. I'm not sure, but they are relatively inexpensive through the railroads, I think. And..they deliver them right to the door. I think they got them somewhere out of Barstow.

3/10/2014 04:55:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home