Online News

2016

September 29

Nominating Committee for 2017 Officers Announced

ORHS Chairman Anna Davidson has appointed Bill Engel, Joe Breindel, and Ed Hershey to be the Nominating Committee for the slate of officers for 2017. The Election of Officers will be held during the Annual Meeting on December 6, 2016. If you are interested in serving as an officer, or wish to recommend someone to serve as an officer please contact a member of the nominating committee. If you are recommending someone, please be sure they are willing to serve before nominating them.

Send your nominations via email by using our Contact form or call the Depot at (330) 683-2426 and leave a message

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2015

October 14

ORHS Train Departs Deeser Siding for the Last Time

After months of preparation, ORHS has finally vacated the longtime home of our equipment at Deeser Siding on Pine Street to take up new residence at DABO. All stored materials and miscellaneous equipment have been moved and the last train out departed at about 11:00 AM October 14 for the trip across town. Special thanks goes to all the NS employees that helped make the move happen. All images below by Anna Davidson unless noted.

Train assembled and ready.
The train, assembled and inspected, awaits the day the orders to
move arrive.

Doc Higgins

Starting the move.
On the morning of October 14, the train gets ready to move.

Leaving Deeser Siding.
Leaving Deeser Siding for the last time, the train approaches Main
Street with OHRS President Ed Hershey ready to guard the crossing.

Onto the interchange.
The 471 and its train head onto the NS Interchange.

Crossing McGill Street.
The rest of the train as it crosses Mcgill Street.

Exiting W&LE track.
The last of the cars exiting W&LE tracks.

Running on the CA&C main.
The 471 leads the train down the old CA&C main...

Westbound to Dabo.
...and continues west towards DABO.

NS 5631 brings up the rear.
NS 5631 brings up the rear.

471 ducks into the Scott's siding to make way.
471 ducks into the Scott's siding to make way for the shove into
DABO.

NS 5631 shoves the cars into DABO.
NS 5631 shoves the cars into DABO.


Short video: On the move to DABO.

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September 26

ORHS Equipment Ready to Move to DABO

A lot has been happening in the past few months at ORHS. We've been diligently working to move all our rail-related assets from our old location off Pine Street across town to DABO, Inc. This has been a long arduous process that has involved moving 25 years worth of accumulated materials and parts as well as arranging the movement of our remaining passenger and freight cars via Norfolk Southern. Also recently completed was the initial track rehabilitation at DABO to enable the move onto the property. Special thanks goes to Lynn Butts, Joseph Butts, Doc Higgins and Kevin Welch for their herculean effort and many hours volunteered in getting everything moved.

The train to DABO is assembled and ready to go any day now. We'll post images of the move when it occurs.

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Work Continues in Preparation of Our Move

In preparation of our move, a lot of work was needed on all the rolling stock. Some of this equipment hasn't moved in over 20 years! Bearing lubrication, brake and appliance repairs and truck installation was just the tip of the iceberg. All this work will enable us to move all the equipment.

Crossing gates loaded for transport.
Crossing gates loaded for transport.
Ed Hershey

The CR Construction crew working on track at DABO.
The CR Construction crew working on track at DABO.
Ed Hershey

Newly resurfaced wheels being installed in the 
			101's truck.
Newly resurfaced wheels being installed in the 101's truck.
Kevin Welch

Kevin and Doc supervise a load of ties being 
			dropped off at DABO.
Kevin and Doc supervise a load of ties being dropped off at DABO.
Ed Hershey

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July 8

Richard Jacobs, 1932 - 2015

Richard Jacobs
Richard Jacobs

Long time member Richard "Jake" Jacobs passed away on June 23. Jake was a prolific photographer whose images documented ORHS events and excursions. Jake was also the voice and editor of our newsletter, All Aboard, for many years. Many of Jake's photos and stories have appeared on this web site, our newsletter, the Akron Railroad Club blog and he also contributed images for books published about local railroads. Railfans could meet Jake trackside, camera in hand, almost anywhere in Northeast Ohio. Jake also traveled the country riding and photographing trains.

We'll miss the stories of your adventures, told in that big baritone voice.

High green, Jake.

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June 23

ORHS Rail Assets to Move to DABO Site

All Siding Events Cancelled

On June 15, ORHS received notice that the track lease held since 1994 has been cancelled by the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway necessitating ORHS to vacate the property. Plans are now underway to move our equipment to the yard of our newly acquired subsidiary, DABO, Inc. Track at DABO is now being prepared to receive our equipment. Work is quickly being arranged or completed on rolling stock that was under repair. It is likely that the equipment that cannot be interchanged will be scrapped in place.

All events that would have utilized our leased track have been cancelled.

This is a huge, unplanned project in the amount of work involved in a very short time as well as a major financial impact. If you would like to help in any way or wish to donate to help offset the cost, please contact the Depot at (330) 683-2426. If unanswered, please leave a message.

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June 2

ORHS Acquires Dabo, Inc.

The 101 is parked on the main after returning from Bellvue.
ORHS Chairman Anna Davidson and President Ed Hershey sign the
agreement to purchase all shares of Dabo, Inc. stock.

Eric Schlentner

Investing for the future of our organization, Orrville Railroad Heritage Society (ORHS) has acquired Dabo, Inc. through a stock purchase agreement. ORHS purchased the company from the estate of the late Art Davis who was a long time member.

Located southwest of town, the Dabo property consists of about 17 acres of land with a small railroad yard and a stretch of what was once the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus (CA&C) main line to Columbus.

Also included in the deal is all the owned equipment on the Dabo property such as an ex-USATC RSD1 diesel locomotive that saw service in Iran during World War II, Sturm & Dillard 0-6-0 switcher from their gravel pit that was located in Circleville, Ohio, three 250 ton cranes - one diesel, two steam - and various vintage freight and passenger cars.
The intent of the purchase is to restart Dabo as a for-profit business as a used railroad equipment dealer, scrapper, railcar storage facility and/or any other related opportunities come its way. All current equipment on the property will be offered for sale.

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May 9

ORHS Celebrates National Train Day

It felt like summer with the temperature in the 80's for our National Train Day celebration in Orrville. Track cars traveled from McGill Street to Orrville Junction and back throughout  the afternoon. Even though we couldn't run the train due to a defect on the siding, attendence was excellent.The Depot was open to the public and the concession car was also available for snacks and gifts. As always, thanks goes to NARCOA members for graciously bringing their track cars and donating their time for our event.

Track cars are ready for their first run up to 
			Orrville Junction.
All loaded and ready to go.
Eric Schlentner

Spring is finally evident as the track cars 
			head for the junction.
And we're off to Orrville Junction!
Eric Schlentner

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2014

December 2

Membership Dinner

Our 2014 Membership dinner was held on the evening of December 2 and was well attended. Delicious food was provided by Village Catering Company. Our guest speaker was Jane Ann Turzillo. Ms. Turzillo has written and published three Ohio railroad-related books: Wicked Women of Northeast Ohio, Murder & Mayhem on Ohio Rails, and Ohio Train Disasters. Regular business was discussed with inclusion of voting for the 2015 officers, results of which are: Anna Davidson, Chairman; Ed Hershey, President; Eric Schlentner, Vice President; Patty Schwalbach, Secretary; and Kathy Green, Treasurer. The 2014 Member of the Year award went to both Glenn Bowman and Tom Jaite for their tireless work in getting our cars repaired after the July derailment.

Author Jane Truzillo discusses her books on 
			crime, disasters, and railroads.
Author Jane Turzillo discusses her books on crime, disasters, and
railroads.

Eric Schlentner

Toppled display case.
Officers elected for 2015 are (left to right): Ed Hershey, President;
Anna Davidson, Chairman; Patty Schwalbach, Secretary;
Eric Schlentner, Vice President; and Kathy Green, Treasurer.

Richard Jacobs

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November 29

Riding with Santa

The double trips to Orrville Junction of the W&LE mainline provided about a 3 mile round trip for Santa and the kids. Dean Mark, Santa and his elf Deb travelled through the two coaches visiting each child and collecting Christmas wish lists from the youngsters. Parents were busy snapping photos of their kids in Santa’s arms.

Holiday music was provided by guitarist. Harry Arble from the John Knox Presbyterian Church. Don Curie read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to the kids assisted by his wife Emily.

The ORHS 2014 Riding with Santa train is ready to depart Orrville for the 2 pm run.
The ORHS 2014 "Riding with Santa" train is ready to depart
Orrville for the 2 pm run.

Richard Jacobs

Passengers are boarding the ORHS Riding with Santa 2014 train at McGill Street in Orrville.
Passengers are boarding the ORHS Riding with Santa 2014 train at
McGill Street in Orrville.

Richard Jacobs

Santa reads the Christas wish list from a young passenger.
Santa reads the Christmas wish list from a young passenger.
Richard Jacobs

Santa waves a Welcome Aboard greeting.
Santa waves a "Welcome Aboard" greeting.
Richard Jacobs

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November 27

101 Returns

The 101 is parked on the main after returning from Bellvue.
The 101 is parked on the main after returning from Bellevue.
Anna Davidson

ORHS coach 101 has returned to Orrville from Bellevue, Ohio after the completion of major repairs. Some of the repairs performed included rebuilding of the trucks and couplers, new wheel sets and frame repairs. While the car was being repaired, the periodic COT&S (clean, oil, test & stencil) was also done to the brake system. This includes federally mandated replacement of certain brake components to ensure that the brake system is in top operating condition. Some cosmetic repairs still need to be done but the car is now officially back in service.

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November 13

Orrville Autumn Express Cancelled

The Orrville Autumn Express scheduled to run on November 15 has been cancelled. Because of circumstances beyond our control, we were forced to make the difficult decision to cancel what was to be our final excursion for the foreseeable future. Full refunds will be given to all ticketed passengers.

Our decision to cancel was not made lightly. Since the July derailment, a huge effort was made to get at least some of our cars repaired, inspected and ready to run but we were unable to get our repaired cars delivered to Orrville in time. Due to the current railroading upswing in freight traffic, we were also unable to bring in leased cars.

We acknowledge the disappointment of our ticketed passengers and we appreciate the support of all our patrons past and present.

Please continue to watch our website and Facebook page for future ORHS events.

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November 11

Consist Changes Affect Autumn Express Ticketing and Seating

Repairs to our cars are taking much longer than anticipated forcing us to revised the consist of the train and much of the seating. We've stopped direct sales of tickets at this time so we don't over-sell the available seats.

Repairs to the 102 are not yet complete so this car will not be in the consist. All major repairs to the 101 have been completed. Norfolk Southern has inspected the car and it is ready to move to the Wheeling and Lake Erie interchange in Bellevue, Ohio. At this writing, we are unsure if the 101 will make it back to Orrville in time for the trip.

Due to the current railroading climate, we have been unable to bring in any replacement cars. However, ORHS member Glenn Bowman has made available the 10626, Woodland Stream for our use. This is a sleeper-lounge car that has been under restoration and should be ready to roll at trip time. We are also looking ways to power the 5688, a 56 seat coach in private ownership, if necessary.

With all the last minute changes in car availability, please be aware that if you purchased a ticket for the 101 or 102, your seat may be changed to a different car just prior to the trip.

Again, we regret any inconveniences and greatly appreciate your understanding.

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October 25

ORHS Celebrates Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree

ORHS held its annual Jumpin' Pumpkin Jamboree on Saturday, October 25. Good weather and a huge crowd helped make this event a success.

Boarding the track cars for another run to Orrville Junction.
Boarding the track cars for another run to Orrville Junction.
Eric Schlentner

On our way!
On our way!
Eric Schlentner

The ORHS concession car was busy with visitors seeking snacks or souvenirs.
The ORHS concession car was busy with visitors seeking snacks or
souvenirs.

Richard Jacobs

Visitors look for souvenirs in the Gift Shop of the Orrville Depot Museum.
Visitors look for souvenirs in the Gift Shop of the Orrville Depot
Museum.

Richard Jacobs

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October 22

Remaining Orrville Autumn Express Tickets Available On-Line

The remaining tickets for the rescheduled Orrville Autumn Express on November 15 are now available online. For more information about this excursion, click here to view.

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Autumn Express Rescheduled to November 15

The Orrville Autumn Express scheduled to run on October 11 has been rescheduled for November 15. Departure and arrival times have also been adjusted to 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM respectively.

Repairs to the cars are taking longer than originally anticipated as finding and quickly reconditioning parts for cars that average 75 years old has been a challenge. We are currently contacting all current ticket holders and those on the waiting list concerning the rescheduling. Ticket holders that can't make the trip will be offered refunds. We do truly regret any inconvenience we've caused and hope that everyone will still ride with us on what may be our last mainline excursion for the foreseeable future.

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October 16

Denny Deeser Honored

Denny Deeser at the facility that now bears 
			his name. Denny Deeser at the facility that now bears his name.
Eric Schlentner

The morning may have been dreary but the circumstances certainly were not. ORHS honored long-time member Denny Deeser by naming our car storage and maintenance facility "Deeser Siding" in recognition for his extraordinary service to the organization.

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September 13

Ticket Orders for the Orrville Autumn Express Being Processed

We are currently processing ticket orders for the Orrville Autumn Express. Current paid ticket holders will have a seat on the excursion and we are working our way through the waiting list. Please bear with us as this may take longer than our normal ticketing process. Our train set for this trip will be shorter than normal (see "Passenger Car Status" below) so for those on the waiting list, your preferred class of tickets may not be available but we will try to accommodate everyone as best we can. Passengers on the waiting list will be contacted via email in the order that your request was received. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause.

You can check for any change in status by visiting our web site, Facebook page or calling the Depot.

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Passenger Car Status

As most of our members and fans know, some of our coaches were damaged in a derailment earlier this summer. The cars were in transit and unoccupied. There were no injuries. Having the various inspections and repairs completed on as many cars possible in the time frame we have has been a huge undertaking for our organization. Thus, it has been difficult to determine which cars will be available for our fall excursion. At this time, we expect that coaches 101 and 102 will be available for the trip though the class of seating in one or both may change. The status of coach 103 is still undetermined. Coaches 104 and 106 will not be a part of the consist. Our first class cars, 3125 and 3850 and our concession car 105 were not involved and they should be ready to go prior to the trip.

You can check for any change in status by visiting our web site, Facebook page or calling the Depot.

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Changes Coming to "Riding with Santa"

This year's "Riding with Santa", held in conjunction with our "Holidays at the Depot" event will have a change in schedule and operation. The revised event will be held on Saturday, November 29. The longer "Santa" trips of previous years will be replaced by shorter and more frequent runs from McGill Street to Orrville Junction and back. Click here for more information.

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Track Car Fun at Orrville Railroad Day

With the unavailability of our coaches, this year's Railroad Day on August 16 was a track car extravaganza. We had twenty track cars, or speeders as they are sometimes called, running from McGill Street up to Orrville Junction and back. It was a beautiful, sunny day and a quick ride in the breeze was the perfect way to cool off. The Depot was also open to the public and the depot gift shop did a brisk business.

ORHS's Railroad Day coincides with the annual Orrville Rib and Music Fest. This year the fest was organized by the Orrville Lions Club and they did a fantastic job. If you missed out on this two day celebration, be sure to attend next year as it promises to be better yet.

Track cars are ready for their first run up to 
			Orrville Junction.
The ORHS gift shop doing a brisk business.
Richard Jacobs

Spring is finally evident as the track cars 
			head for the junction.
Budding railfans visit with Thomas.
Richard Jacobs

Ride the train, train, track cars or both? We 
			like both.
Doing it the old fashioned way - with people power.
Eric Schlentner

The 471 with four cars in tow heads to the 
			junction.
Riders enjoying the run to the junction in an open speeder.
Eric Schlentner

Ride the train, train, track cars or both? We 
			like both.
ORHS M-2180 leads the way.
Eric Schlentner

The 471 with four cars in tow heads to the 
			junction.
Cab tours in the 471 are always a hit.
Eric Schlentner

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July 17

Orrville Autumn Express Ticket Sales Suspended

Orrville Railroad Heritage Society is temporarily suspending the sale of tickets for the Orrville Autumn Express due to circumstances beyond our control. A waiting list has been established for those that wish to purchase tickets if and when they again become available. For more information and to reserve space on the waiting list, please click on the link below. Existing ticket holders are automatically placed on the list. Please note that if sales resume, reservations on the waiting list will be processed in the order received. ORHS will send notifications via email, phone or mail. Also note that a reservation on the waiting list is not a guarantee that tickets will be available. We regret this inconvenience.

You can check for any change in status by visiting our web site, Facebook page or calling the Depot.

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May 20

Depot Struck by Car

The Orrville Union Depot Museum is currently under repair and restoration after being struck by an automobile on May 20. Significant damage was done to the 1868 unreinforced masonry structure as well as to contents inside. The crash occurred during an outing of third graders from Orrville Elementary for History Day. There were no injuries to any students or the driver in the accident but quite a few nerves were rattled.

Damage to the exterior of the Depot is 
			significant.
Damage to the exterior of the Depot is significant. A large portion
of the wall from the window to the doorway will be replaced.

Richard Jacobs

Toppled display case.
Toppled display case.
Richard Jacobs

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May 10

ORHS Celebrates National Train Day

Spring was finally in the air for the National Train Day celebration in Orrville. Trains and track cars traveled from McGill Street to Orrville Junction and back during the afternoon. The Depot was open to the public and the concession car was also available for snacks and gifts. We had a nice turnout for this event and a good time was had by all.

Track cars are ready for their first run up to 
			Orrville Junction.
Track cars are ready for their first run up to Orrville Junction.
Eric Schlentner

Spring is finally evident as the track cars 
			head for the junction.
Spring is evident as the track cars head for the junction.
Eric Schlentner

Ride the train, train, track cars or both? We 
			like both.
Ride the train, track cars or both? We like both.
Eric Schlentner

The 471 with four cars in tow heads to the 
			junction.
The 471 with four cars in tow heads to the junction.
Richard Jacobs

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May 6

Safety Training

Kathy Green puts out a fuel fire. Kathy Green puts out a fuel fire.
Eric Schlentner

Safety is paramount at ORHS. Part of this years safety training was a refresher on the use of fire extinguishers. The Orrville Fire Department provided dry chemical extinguishers of the same type as installed in our cars and a pan for a simulated diesel fuel fire.

Members of the car host and mechanical crews were instructed on extinguisher use and were able to practice with a live fire.

Thanks goes to Chris Bishop - Assistant Chief, City of Orrville, Department of Fire for providing the demonstration.

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April 26

Akron Visited by Orrville Spring Flyer

The sky cleared and the temperature warmed for a perfect day for a spring excursion.  Keepsake again provided entertainment during the trip providing their three-part harmony to a variety of musical styles. This was the first trip by ORHS to have Akron as the mid-trip stop.

Lunch for Premium and Coach passengers was provided by Luigi's Restaurant which opened at 12:30 specifically for our passengers. Our First Class passengers dined on a "Tour of Italy" provided by Devitis Italian Market & Deli.

The City of Akron provided transportation throughout downtown and many downtown businesses provided discounts for our passengers.

ORHS wishes to thank the City of Akron, Luigi's Restaurant, Devitis Market and the many merchants that helped make this trip a success.

The view from the conductor's seat in the W&LE 
			108 looking back.
The view from the conductor's seat looking back as the mechanical
crew brings up the train early in the morning.

Eric Schlentner

Boarding begins for the Orrville Spring Flyer.
Boarding begins for the Orrville Spring Flyer.
Eric Schlentner

The Akron Trolley busses are queued at North 
			Main Street.
The Akron Trolley busses are queued at North Main Street in
Akron's Northside District to take our passengers around to
downtown attractions.

Eric Schlentner

The Orrville Spring Flyer skirts the edge of 
			Wingfoot Lake.
The Orrville Spring Flyer skirts the edge of Wingfoot Lake on its
way back to Orrville.

Craig Sanders

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March 5

Working in the Yard

Denny Deeser prepares to install a replacement 
		coupler in the 102
Denny Deeser prepares to install a replacement coupler in the 102.
Eric Schlentner

Keeping our fleet maintained is a top priority for ORHS. Something always needs to be done with passenger cars averaging a little more than 70 years old.

We're also working on an upgrade project to replace our ancient toilets with self contained systems including updated water supply systems and holding tanks. This winter's harsh weather has pushed us behind schedule but we're slowly getting it done.

If you'd like to volunteer to help with the fleet maintenance, contact the Depot at (330) 683-2426.

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