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HDC News 2022

News Updates - 2022

February - 2022

"RAILMASTER" TRAIN RECOVERED - 2/5/22

In the early hours of November 21st, 2021, thieves cut the chain on our main gate, went to our trailer, cut its locks, hooked up and drove off with our priceless Railmaster Amusement Park Train inside. We had feared that was the last that we would ever see it again.

For three months, Buffalo Police Department "A" District Detectives had been following up on many dead end leads. However, on Saturday afternoon, 2/5/22, we received a phone call from Detective Connors that they had found and recovered our trailer with the train still intact. There was significant damage to the trailer and some to the train set that we are currently assessing. It is now safely stored at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center.

Again, a huge Thank You goes out to the Buffalo Police Department "A" District Detectives for their diligent follow up on this theft. Now we need to make a more secure environment for the train set. We want to build a permanent Train Shed to store the train that would allow us easy access but guarantee its safety.

Please consider making a much needed tax deductible donation to the Society to help us preserve this wonderful piece of WNY History. Just use the safe and secure PayPal "Donate" button below. You do not need a PayPal account to donate. Thank You!

February 26th and 27th, 2022. Its time to for the WNYRHS 30th Annual Winter Train & Toy Show at the Event Center on the Fairgrounds in Hamburg, New York.

Dads, Moms and Kids of all ages will love the variety of items see and buy. Over 350 tables full of great railroad, model railroad, vintage toys and more! Five layouts - Two "HO" gauge. one "N" gauge, one "O" gauge and one "S" gauge will have trains running both days. Queen City Amusements will be there with their carnival layout. The Williamsville Lehigh Valley Depot crew is ready to go with their ever popular basket raffle. Speakers and demonstrators are lined up for both days of the event.

There is ample free parking and Admission is only $8.00 , KIDS 12 and under are FREE! Hours: Saturday - 10am to 5pm, Sunday - 10am to 4pm.

April - 2022

Many of you have read that the last remaining mile of the original Buffalo Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad track was being torn up south of our Orchard Park Depot. This is to facilitate the construction of the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail’s 27-mile hiking trail. The rails in back of the Society's Orchard Park Depot will remain. The Society stepped up to purchase that 10,000 feet of rail and associated tie plates for construction of the display tracks at the Heritage DiscoveRY Center Buffalo. Thanks to TJ Winter of Winters Rigging for the removal, delivery and stacking of the rail at the museum site.

May - 2022

          May at the Heritage Discovery Center has started out great with some wonderful donations that will transform the look and functions at the HDC for many years to come. Below are some of the more significant acquisitions. The WNYRHS appreciates each and every one, and is very grateful for for their donors generosity.

Thanks to our friends at the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad for the donation of some former  Pennsylvania Railroad  trackside signals to the museum. They came of the PRR Buffalo Line between Olean and Eldred PA. We hope to start restoring them and would like to start placing them on permanent display over the summer with the help of more volunteers.

Other recent May donations were a 24' cloth Lackawanna Banner that was most likely used for special displays and events by the railroad. This was followed by some finely crafted models representing several of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition buildings. They were made by students to recreate the Pan-Am in model form. We were told that once is was all put together, it would measure 25' x 25'. We hope one day to have a room to set all of it up for the public to enjoy. This large building is a model of the "Electricity Building."

Margaret L. Wendt Foundation Grant

For those of you who have visited the Heritage DiscoveRY Center over the past years may have noticed the stained ceiling tiles or perhaps side-stepped buckets in the hallway to catch the roof leaks. We have continually struggled to find and patch the leaks, however our nearly 40-year old roof has seen better days. The only permanent solution is a total roof replacement.

        We are please to announce that the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation has graciously awarded us a $206,809 grant to help offset the cost of the roof replacement. Work will begin on May 31st with Solar Liberty first removing the 50KW of Solar panels from the roof to facilitate the roof work. We have contracted with Murray Roofing to do the replacement work on the three separate roof sections and that work will begin after the Solar panels are removed. The panels will be re-installed after the roof replacement is completed.

        The total cost of the project is just a little over $233,000 now due to supply chain issues and inflation leaving us $26,000 short. But is it of vital importance to finally seal up the roof leaks to secure the valuable artifacts in the museum from potential damage from further leaks.

        If you are interested in making a donation to help offset the increased cost of the project, you can send a check payable to WNYRHS, Inc 100 Lee Street Buffalo, NY 14210 or use the Safe and Secure PayPal button below. We very much appreciate your support of the museum.

June - 2022

          June started out on a very positive note at the Heritage Discovery Center with more generous donations. John M. Marriott donated some of his collection of handmade "O" Scale, "International Railway Company" Streetcars. The detail he put into these models is spectacular. Thank you John!

          Other donations to the museum were glass tumblers from the New York Central Mutual Association bank, a Winters Rigging coffee mug, New York Central dining ware china from the 20th Century Limited and a Niagara Hudson Power Company employee badge. More work has been added to our HO scale model of the Bethlehem Steel plant.

July - 2022

        Thanks to the very generous Margaret L. Wendt Foundation grant, the repacement of the old rubber membrane roof began in early July. After Solar Liberty removed and stored all of our Solar Panel array,  "Murray Roofing"  started the first section of roof.

        Before any new membrane can be applied, all the old rubber is removed down the roof insulation. Prior to that, the crushed stone which protects the membrane, was removed and stored for reuse.

        Murray Roofing has been doing this type of work for over 40 years and really knows what to bring and how to do it. Rubber membrane roofs can last up to 50 years and if carefully walked on, can last longer. The leaks we dealt with for over 10 years will finally become a thing of the past.


This page was last updated: June 15th, 2022

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