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Orchard Park Depot 2023

March 2023
by Robert Snyder - Depot Co-Chairman

With the weather finally breaking, projects that we have been planning since last year, are finally coming fruition. On Saturday March 25th,  Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail  organization had a meet & greet at the depot. Over 25 members and visitors listened to newly elected Orchard Park Village resident, Mary Brummer, who became the new ECRT Board President January 1st. The trail from Bank St. to Jewett-Holmwood is scheduled to open in May.

The gentleman that has been working on our semaphore motors gave us a call and said they are complete. He hopes he can deliver them the second week of April. He will also help with the installation.

In addition our new Freight House deck construction is supposed to start next month.

We also have two tentative rentals for later this year. We have a PHD graduation party planned for August and a wedding rehearsal in September.

April 2023
by Robert Snyder - Depot Co-Chairman

True to his word, the gentleman that has been working on our semaphore motors showed up at the Depot on Tuesday, April 11th. He brought with him, two "man lifts" to get the 200 pound motors up to the top of the semaphore mast. The man lifts were generously provided by John Wabick, a partner at West Herr Automotive Group, and our contractor, Jeff, brought the people to complete the installation. We can't wait until the wiring is complete and the "Order Boards" reinstalled to bring the depot back to its 1970's appearance.

On Saturday April 29th, the Orchard Park Depot Crew hosted a bus tour group of 26 members, from the  "Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum."  They were given a full tour of the Depot, Freight House, Baggage Car and our BR&P Caboose. After a brief history of the Depot, the R&GVRRM were free to explore the buildings, grounds and rolling stock. Everyone was very impressed with the pristine look of the Depot, equipment and our historical displays. The tour group was at our Heritage Discovery Center on Lee Street earlier in the day.

May 2023
by Jim Slominski - Depot Co-Chairman

National Train Day is celebrated as the day the United States was connected from the east coast to the west coast by the first transcontinental railroad.

It is held each year on the Saturday closest to May 10, the anniversary of the pounding of the "Golden Spike" in Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869.

Train Day at Orchard Park Depot this year was held on Saturday May 13th, 2023. The hours were 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The passenger station, the freight house and the BR&P caboose were open for public inspection. The passenger station had many visual displays along with a personnel presentation of BR&P movies by Brian Angevine. The freight house had a speeder, a velocipede, a set of restored 1950s passenger car seats, a steam engine bell that could be rung, and a non operating HO gauge train.

Our "Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh" caboose was opened at both ends for walk through viewing. On the trackside platform a garden railroad was set up and operated by the WNY Garden Railroad Society of Western New York. An information table was set up and maned by the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc. on the platform next to the baggage room.

Train Day at the Orchard Park Depot was held in conjunction with the Orchard Park Public Library. The library had several activities for young children both at the library and at the train Depot.

Many people of all ages came to the depot for Train Day. The “Depot Crew” was highly complemented on the restoration of the depot, its grounds and for the chance to spend some time at our historic sight.

On the week of May 22nd, our contractor started on the freight house deck. The ground track side was cleaned up and leveled. A 12" post hole digger was used to make the holes for the deck footers. 12 inch "Sonotube" concrete forms were put into the holes and then filled with concrete. By the end of the day on 26th, the ground on the track side was covered with a thick layer of crushed stone. Work will not resume until next week Thursday, as our contractors' best two carpenters are unavailable until then.

Work sessions will continue every Saturday morning from 9:00am to noon.

As spring and summer approach, so do routine chores that keep the Depot so attractive. We have plenty of low stress jobs for anyone interested in helping out. Please call our number, (716)-662-7002, and let us know you are coming.

This page was last updated: May 30th, 2023

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