Vandals paint graffiti on Harmar train cars

Photo by Janelle Patterson Graffiti is scrawled across the front and side of B&O rail cars in Harmar Friday

MARIETTA — Without a witness to stop them, vandals added their imprint to the antique railroad cars in Harmar last weekend.

Now owners of the train cars, the Historic Harmar Bridge Company, are in search of the right shades of paint to remove the graffiti from the sides and front of the monuments to Marietta’s past.

“We’re going to get them painted once we find the right red paint, we’re pretty sure we have the right blue color so far,” said Chuck Swaney, vice president of the company. “We’ve tried to do a little cleaning to get the spray-painted graffiti off but it’s going to take a new top coat to cover it all.”

The Baltimore and Ohio train cars are an ode to the city’s roots as a train stop along the B&O line, said Swaney. And the newest addition, a gray passenger car, was thankfully not vandalized.

“I don’t want to cast any blame but there’s a sense of who may have done it, but without cameras or a signature on it how can we prove it” said Swaney.

The graffiti isn’t easily seen from Gilman Avenue, nor would foot traffic passing from the Historic Harmar Railroad Bridge catch the attention of local shops like Wilson Heating on Crawford Street.

“People walk by all the time with bags and bottles in their hands,” said Diana Harris, who works at the heating and air conditioning shop. “And no one is really back there checking after the Busy Bee closes for lunch. I don’t even walk that way much because I park on the street over here and just walk to and from my car.”

But Harris did have a suggestion for preventing future vandalism: trail cameras.

“Those are motion-sensing and battery operated so they might be a deterrent from any more malicious action like this,” she said. “There’s no reason for being so horrible, especially with something historic.”

Swaney said the graffiti will be painted over within the next two weeks but future plans for the train cars, now just used for storage, will require greater resources than the company currently has at its disposal.

“It takes revenue and resources to move these projects forward,” said Swaney. “For now they’ll sit there as nice assets with the old post office.”