Spike stealers are Wakefield Steam Train’s new pain

avatar

by Trevor Greenway on September 3, 2009

MRC des Collines Spokesperson Martin Fournel points to a spot along the train tracks where the culprits removed the spikes. Photo by Trevor Greenway of the Low Down.

MRC des Collines Spokesperson Martin Fournel points to a spot along the train tracks where the culprits removed the spikes. Photo by Trevor Greenway of the Low Down.

MRC des Collines Police are on the lookout for a group of partiers who removed close to 30 railway spikes along the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train track to build a diving board just off of Church Rd. in Chelsea, Quebec.

Police received a noise complaint Aug. 31 from a concerned citizen who had been disturbed by late night parties over the weekend, but when officers arrived on the scene to check it out, they came across some disturbing evidence.

“I took a little walk in the bush and I said ‘uh oh, we have a little problem here,’” said Martin Fournel, spokesperson for the MRC des Collines Police.

“I noticed that to climb the tree, they used the spikes from the railway track.”

Fournel traveled back up to the train tracks nearby and spotted several staggered spots where the culprits had pulled the spikes. Although the train is in no immediate danger, Fournel did say that repairs would need to be done soon.

Church Rd is accessed by Hwy 105 just north of the New Chelsea village where the Freshmart is located. Walking through the private, Hydro Quebec trail just off of Church Rd. Fournel points out several signs of trespassing, mischief and damaged property.

“You can see that there are several fire pits here,” he said, pointing to a large pile of ash.

“You can tell that these trees have been cut down.”

At the end of the trail, overlooking the Gatineau River, sits a large tree house platform used for launching into the river. Fournel is concerned that somebody may get hurt.

“We want to prevent a train accident, but we also want to prevent one here,” said Fournel, referring to the unsafe diving platform.

If there were ever an accident on the tracks because of the missing spikes, the people responsible could face criminal negligence charges and spend time behind bars, depending on how bad the accident was. Right now, the culprits face mischief, theft and trespassing charges. Hydro Quebec could also press charges for trespassing on its land and cutting down trees on its property.

Witnesses said they spotted a dark coloured new convertible PT Cruiser parked near the train tracks with another grey Dodge pickup truck. If you have any information, Fournel urges the public to contact him immediately at 819-459-2422.