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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. The weather broke in early April, so 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.

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.

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.

November - 2003

The summer was a busy one for the "boxcar" guys with many projects in the works. The floor in car one (nearest the freight house) is complete and work on the floor in number two has commenced.

Attention was returned to the passenger depot where many other projects had been put on hold. Electrical wizard, Bob R. has completed the last of the new electrical wiring even in the "attic" area for the hanging lamps in the depot and lights for the attic area itself. More of the reproduction "enameled green shade" waiting platform lights have been installed, greatly adding to the use of the depot for evening activities.

The second garden island directly in front of the freight house has been completed and looks great! All of the "overburden" from the track placement has been removed between the boxcars and the freight siding, making it much easier to access the cars.

A first class security system has been put into operation that covers the interiors of both buildings and the exteriors with wireless cameras that can "see" all of the property. One of the most dramatic changes in the depot scene is the exterior of the boxcars. With a break in the weather the depot crew attacked the roofs and sides of the cars making them weather tight. A fresh coat of "Boxcar Red" was applied with an "airless" sprayer and it was time to apply the lettering. A professional stencil company was employed to cut the up to eight foot templates. RustOLeum" white spray paint was shot through the stencils and the results were quite impressive!

With the winter weather setting in, most all outdoor work will come to an end but with a weathertight interior to work in, the interior walls and shelving can be worked on. With the shelving complete, much needed room in the freight house can be made for a large, warm and dry temporary workspace.

Things We Accomplished - 2003

1. Disassembled and stored Christmas decorations
2. Collected and stored Christmas tree outside light wiring.
3. Completely cleaned the crawl space, (removed rubble, stacked brick) and
     recovered the floor with vapor barrier.
4. Attended Farmers Market meetings.
5. Purchased and installed lighting and outlets in the attic of the depot.
6. Sprayed for bees and plugged bee holes.
7. Opened and cleaned the depot for the annual Garden Club May plant sale.
8. Removed old floor and installed wood sub flooring in box car no. 1.
9. Held open house at the depot every Saturday from May through October.
10. Managed the Farmers Market.
11. Sold hot dogs, etc. for 26 Saturdays during the Farmers Market.
12. Planted some new flowers in the corner gardens.
13. Weeded the freight house corner garden and other gardens all season long.
14. Boy Scout volunteers painted the walls and ceiling of both lavatories.
15. Painted outside window frames at the depot and 2 at the freight house.
16. Moved rail from in front of the boxcars to storage behind the DPW.
17. Had dirt between the boxcars, caboose, and sleeper removed.
18. Moved pile of crushed stone and spread it by steps of freight depot.
19. Used some of the crushed stone to make track crossings.
20. Moved mini box car out of freight depot to storage in box car no. 2.
21. Did electrical wiring for security system at O.P. depot.
22. Toured a group of 5th graders (Mayville, NY) through the depot, caboose
      and sleeper car.
23. Ran electrical wiring between depots at O.P. for security system.
24. Had security systems installed at O.P. and Williamsville depots.
25. Removed old switches and electrical panel in baggage room.
26. Installed new contractor and time clock switch in baggage room.
27. Installed new time clock in freight depot for receptacle on service pole.
28. Bolted four car stops on panel track, a pair at either end of the cars.
29. Installed new time switch/clock for outside lights on depot.
30. Did patch work on the roof of box car no. 1.
31. Manned the depot for the Fourth of July town fire works display.
32. Held the annual society summer meeting at the depot.
33. Opened, cleaned up and manned the depot for the ice cream social.
34. Installed two large flood lights on pole by DPW (lights shine on box cars).
35. Repainted the Fun Run sign.
36. Hosted the Hunters Hope Charity Fun Run at the depot.
37. Monitored Society answering machine at the depot, returned important calls.
38. Took photos of depot projects for display and for the record.
39. Sold society items at the baggage room store.
40. Signed up new society members.
41. Pressure washed the two boxcars.
42. Primed the front side and ends of both box cars.
43. Lettered both box cars.
44. Cut down a large wind damaged tree on the far side of the tracks.
45. Cleared the center island garden of dead flowers.
46. Mounted a very large evergreen tree in the garden for Holiday in the Park.
47. Had broken vandalized windows replaced.
48. Cleaned, decorated, and manned depot for Holiday in the Park.

This page was last updated: May 18th, 2020

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