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OP DEPOT 2002 & AWARD UPDATE



ORCHARD PARK DEPOT UPDATES
TRAINS AWARD UPDATES

September - 2002

       The new storage siding has been graded and has been prepared for the new roadbed. Over 120 feet of overburden was removed and stock piled at the corner of the freight depot to be used to fill in low spots at other places on the property. The Society owns a New York Central, 6-10 Sleeper, the "Hocking River," as seen in the photo. It is now stored in South Buffalo. It was originally delivered by the BR&P in late August of 2002.

It took two full loads of #1 crushed stone to prepare the roadbed for the ties. It always helps to have an experienced operator to be able to lay the stone down evenly, which saved a lot of work! Dave Schuster of Orchard Park generously came to help with his Ford tractor to smooth out the ballast and pack it down.

       Here the first of the ties are lifted into place the old fashion way, using "Tie Tongs!" After the ballast was tamped into place, to give a smooth, solid surface, each tie was spaced 24" on center to standard railroad siding practice. A 4" flexible drain pipe was buried to assure good drainage. All the ties and 100lb rail, were recovered from the old demolished Buffalo Forge Plant at the east end of CSX's Frontier Yard.

After 4 or 5 ties are in place, Dave Schuster's one yard bucket on the tractor made short work of filling in the tie spaces. The ballast is leveled out and again carefully tamped into place so as not to disturb the tie spacing. "Section Boss" Bob R. keeps a close eye on the crew!

       After a good eight hours of sweaty work, over sixty feet of ties are in place. Not a record, but it represents another move forward toward getting our Freight Depot turned into a museum! Once the rail is in place, the railhead will be at the same height as the adjacent siding.

October - 2002

The weather was perfect the first part of October to finish the siding. Dave Schuster was back with his Ford tractor to lend a hand. Dave lifted one "stick" of rail at a time and spotted each one approximately where it needed to be. Then, eight strong backs were needed to move the 1100 pound stick of rail using "two man rail tongs" into place.

As each piece of rail was aligned into place on ties plates, spikes were driven into the existing holes on each tie. Then, eight "gandy dancers" moved another section of "high iron" into place further up the line.

Nearing the end of the line, the guys aligned the ties to the straight rail and then more spikes were driven. The sun was starting to set when the crew finished driving the last spike. We now have a very straight 125 foot siding were the boxcars will be placed.

November - 2002

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.


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.






This page was last updated: May 18th, 2020

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