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admin 16.04.2015

GMRC is a club of railroad enthusiasts who are modeling (HO Scale) middle Arizona during the mid 50's era.
Additionally, there is an automated display with the trains running through the town of Gilbert as the key diorama. Hank Castignetti a member of the OC Model Engineers club looks at a chain that a metal picnic table was secured with.
COSTA MESA – Part of a railroad track was pulled up and six picnic tables were found heavily damaged this week in the latest vandalism incident targeting a scale-model train system that runs through 40 acres of a public park. Orange County Model Engineers club member Hank Castignetti said he discovered the damage Tuesday, three weeks after an overnight break-in that caused an estimated $9,000 in damage and losses at the group’s Fairview Park headquarters in Costa Mesa. While the primary reason for the March 1 incident appeared to be to steal scrap metal, the latest break-in was solely to cause destruction, Castignetti said. The vandal or vandals smashed six wooden and metal picnic tables in a grove area along the train tracks that is used to host private parties, Castignetti said. Under a wooden train bridge about 100 yards away, the vandal or vandals pried loose a 3-foot-long rebar beam from a train track and used it to smash open a metal utility box that controls an unused irrigation system, Castignetti said. The vandal or vandals also dragged one of the metal picnic tables from the grove area to underneath the bridge – and they smashed that table as well, Castignetti said.
Castignetti said club members were still working Wednesday to put a dollar figure on the extent of the damage, which they preliminarily estimated at $400 or $500. The vandalism likely took place overnight on Saturday or Sunday, and occurred in areas with no fence or gate, Castignetti said. People are known to hang out near the scale-model train tracks in groups late at night, especially under the wooden bridge that the model trains pass both over and under, Castignetti said.

Castignetti said a volunteer already has offered to haul away all of the damaged picnic tables, fix the ones that can be salvaged, and return them to the picnic area. Since the break-in overnight on March 1, the nonprofit club has raised about $6,000 to install a new security system, Castignetti said.
Supporters have been offering their time, expertise and tools to help the club’s 120 members rebuild, Castignetti said.
During the March 1 train depot break-in, a decorative, 8-foot-tall signal bridge was ripped off its base and parts of it were stolen, dozens of aluminum train rails were seized from a locked storage yard, and a hole was punched in a metal crossing arm.
No Orange County train article would be complete without mention of the Disneyland Railroad. Founded in 1988 by a dedicated group of train lovers, the scale and miniature Goat Hill Junction Railroad sprawls over five miles through scenic Fairview Park in Costa Mesa.
A small trip south of Orange County for you train enthusiasts, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is well worth the journey.
Also, a little bit down the road, the Orange Empire Railway Museum houses over 200 historic engines and train cars.
Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. The all-volunteer Orange County Model Engineers club has seen its trains vandalized twice this month. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars more in donations are arriving by mail every day and have yet to be added to the total, he added.
Since that is what you seem to do every summer, why not enjoy something a little different with the family this year?

The railroad is open seven days a week, except during rare inclement weather, and is ideal for families, parties and enthusiasts. An original Disney attraction, envisioned and created by Walt Disney himself, the Disneyland Railroad is the perfect introduction to a day at the park. Goat Hill Junction is open to members and visitors to spectate, participate and, yes, take a ride on any one of six engine-driven locomotives. The 90-acre railroad Perris parkland invites families and fans to come take a weekend train journey and tour the facility any day of the year except Christmas.
Enjoy a variety of exciting outdoor activities in the surrounding park like bike and boat rental, pony rides and the Orange County Zoo, or simply take a walk or sit on a bench and watch the trains roll by. Witness, marvel and become educated through the sprawling 27,000-square-foot facility bustling with trains, tracks, historical notes and display pieces. A multitude of trains adorn and navigate the property, inspired by and capturing the spirit of this nation’s history. The sound of the whistle, the chug of the engine and the immaculate glimmer of gold, steel and circus-bright paint will become an inseparable element of a day at Disneyland and an important, lasting family memory.
Cared for and conducted by the Orange County Model Engineers Inc., family train rides are free, though your support is greatly appreciated.
See classic trains in the style of those that once traversed the country, trolleys from old Los Angeles and even a Disney-fashioned locomotive.

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