Historic rail car vandalized in Craig

Janelle O'Dea
On Jan. 9, the Craig Police Department received a report of vandalism. The letters "THC" are spray-painted on the car and likely won't be removed until summer.
Janelle O’Dea

— If David Moffat were still alive in the county named after him, he’d have a message for Craig’s graffiti artists.

On Friday, Jan. 9, the Craig Police Department received a complaint that the Marcia Car was vandalized. Chief Walt Vanatta said officers still aren’t sure who spray-painted “THC” on the back of the historical rail car.

“We always hope that we will catch whoever did it but it’s difficult to catch people doing graffiti, unless we have a witness or catch someone with a can of paint,” Vanatta said.

The Marcia Car was David Moffat’s private rail car, and is named after his daughter. He received credit for building the rail lines in and out of Craig that are still in use today for carrying coal.

Craig’s Chamber of Commerce currently owns the Marcia Car. Executive Director Christina Oxley said the car usually suffers some type of vandalism at least once a year. In the past, it’s been broken windows or pieces of the car ripped off.

“It’s too bad, because it’s a great asset for our community with no funding source,” Oxley said.

The car doesn’t have independent funding and used to be owned by the county. Because the county no longer owns it and therefore it is not insured under its policy, the chamber picks up the tab for repairs when the car gets abused.

Oxley said they likely wouldn’t be able to paint over the graffiti until summer hits, when the weather will provide a better environment for the repair. She said she’s working on getting in touch with the painters who worked on the car last year to see if they still have the historically accurate color.

Last year, Oxley said the chamber got a “pretty significant” grant through the Colorado Historic Society to repaint the Marcia Car. The paint job preserves the car’s integrity and historical value.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or or follow her on Twitter @jayohday.

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