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Orchard Park Update - November 2002

Tractor and Trailer arrival. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)The Boxcars have arrived! With the ties on both the inside and outside of the rails, the tractor has no problem dropping the specially rigged trailer. Once down, the boxcar truck wheel guides are connected and matched to the siding rails. With the handbrake set ever so lightly, a cable attached to the coupler, pulls the car onto the rails and up the track.

Ramps being put into place. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Boxcar coming down the ramp. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Pulling onto the siding. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

The first car is slowly pulled to the end of the siding and the handbrake set and the wheels chocked. Once it is in place, the second car is spotted in the same manner. Looking not much unlike a slightly used "Roundhouse"® Kit, the two 40 foot cars will need a little work to make them look new again. A "Portapower"® ram will help straighten out the bent ladders and brake rigging. All the doors work quite well considering these cars were built in 1927! They were among the first all steel box cars built and share many of the same characteristics to the "X-29" type cars developed by the Pennsylvania railroad in 1924. Originally built by a subsidiary of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, our cars were part of a group of 13 identical box cars bought in 1967 by the Arcade and Attica Railroad. These thirteen cars were the first A&A cars used in interchange service for the shipment of "Creamora" from the Borden Company plant in Arcade. Reisdorf Brothers Feed Mill in North Java, NY., bought them from the A&A in 1969 until now, where they have found a home next to the same rails that they may have traveled over 50 years ago! Some of our Society members are working on tracing their exact heritage based on reporting marks buried deep under many layers of paint. With the weather closing in on the depot site, lettering will be put on hold until next spring.

Coming to the end of siding. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Two cars on siding. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Different Doors. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

Looking East. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Car Two. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) 80 Feet of Boxcars. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

Orchard Park Update - April 2003

With Spring coming late to the Western New York area, work slowed on the box cars, limited to general cleaning and sorting of parts. In early April, the weather broke and the crew got back to some heavy duty work. First on the list was the replacement of the two couplers which had to be removed to enable the cars to fit on the trailer. Some working space was needed between the cars, so a 4x4 F250 was chained to the second car to give it a little "tug." Unfortunately, the car moved much easier than anticipated, and ended up stopping when one axle set rolled off the end of the rails and into the tailgate of the Ford! They had more than enough room to work now! Undaunted by their slight mishap, the "carknockers" got down to the business at hand. Four of the guys were able to lift and insert the couplers into the pockets and the retaining pins were replaced. Now they had to get the two cars back together. Fortunately, the Ford was a "work" truck, and was none the worse for the wear! Since the car rolled so easy, it was determined that using some wedges, a "comealong," and some chains on the rail, would solve the problem. And it did! With a little extra muscle from the 4x4,the car rolled back to a smooth coupling and the knuckles locked.

Lifting the coupler. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) 300lbs divided by four guys. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Installing the coupler. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

The coupler is now ready to go to work. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Ford F250 with axel set on ground. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Come-a-long and chains pull car back onto rail. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

Orchard Park Update - May 2003

With the good weather in May, the boxcar crew was able to start in ernest, removing the old and decayed floor boards. Recycled pressure treated yellow pine 2x8's are being used for the new subfloor. As the old maple planks are ripped out, with not very much effort, the new boards are being cut and notched to fit over the frame rivets, and being dropped in place. Then, 3/4' plywood will go over the planks, and the walls will go on top.

Unloading new lumber. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Floor removed and you can see the frame. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Old flooring removed and the new going in. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

New lumber ready to go in. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) Cutting and notching the new floor boards. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K) The new floor almost finished. Click to ENLARGE (12K)-(55K)

The exteriors of the boxcars will be restored to their original road names, while the interiors will be fitted with paneling, shelving, lighting, climate and fire protection control and prepared to store the Societies archives. With the archives removed from the freight house, much needed room will be available for museum displays and a society store. Thanks to Robert Snyder, another member of the depot crew, for providing many of these pictures. Bob is also chairman of the Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday at the depot. Up to 20 vendors show up some weekends, rain or shine to sell their produce to the Orchard Park Community. Please stop back to view our progress. And of course, a big Thank You to TRAINS Magazine for this award. A very nice article appeared in the December, 2001 issue of Trains Magazine.

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