NEW train carriages at a Ballarat rail production yard have been graffitied by vandals, who are on the run after being caught in the act.
The team of six vandals broke into Alstom’s secure yards in Creswick Road and painted three new train carriages destined for Melbourne’s metropolitan network.
Police said up to six males, aged between 18 and 25 years, were spotted inside the Alstom testing facility as it was being opened for work yesterday morning.
Ballarat Criminal Investigation Unit Senior Constable Andrew Cummins said the group was “preparing the side of the train to tag”, using a variety of equipment including paint rollers, but were disturbed by a security guard who was opening the building.
The six-carriage train was inside the building at the Creswick Road yards for final preparations before being sent to Melbourne to join the Metro Trains fleet.
Senior Constable Cummins said three carriages had been painted by the group, before they were disturbed by security.
“The security staff member has spoken to them and they’ve fled,” he said.
“They escaped by removing a vent from the side of the building and ran towards Howard Street.”
Police are now examining items the group left behind, including painting equipment.
Senior Constable Cummins could not confirm a damage bill, but an earlier report indicated the cost to clean the train could be well into the thousands of dollars.
A spokesman for Alstom said the graffiti spree would not affect the delivery schedule of the new train to Melbourne’s train fleet.
He said the company deplored such behaviour “as any good citizen of Ballarat would do”, but no further comment was made.
The state-based Transit Criminal Investigation Unit is tipped to now take over the case.
Rail manufacturer Alstom is producing the carriages, along with the X’Trapolis trains, for rail services operator Metro.
The Creswick Road workshops had been producing the trains ahead of schedule since receiving the order from the Victorian Government in 2011.
Anyone who witnessed the group leaving the Howard Street entrance of Alstom can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.