Online News


November 11

Orrville Union Depot Sesquicentennial Commemorative Cars Still Available

2018 Sesquicentennial Boxcar.
Accurail HO scale 40' AAR boxcar custom decorated for the
Orrville Union Depot sesquicentennial.

Eric Schlentner

The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society is proud to announce the Orrville Union Depot sesquicentennial in 2018. To celebrate this milestone, we are offering a limited edition HO scale 40’ AAR boxcar kit produced by Accurail, custom decorated to commemorate the Orrville Union Depot Sesquicentennial.

Get one for your railroad or your favorite railfan!

$47.95 each by mail order
$39.95 each at the Depot Gift Shop

Boxcar Flyer and Order Form Click to download the flyer and order form.

November 11

DABO Track Rehab Season Coming to a Close

Cranes on stable track.
The two steam cranes and the #805 are now spotted on stable track.

Track rehabilitation at our DABO facility is winding down for the winter. We just about reached our goal of 1,000 feet with roughly another 300' ready to be spiked and ballasted as weather permits. The completed work enabled us to spot the two 250T steam cranes and the RSD1 #805 on the rehabbed section of the "Through Track" and push the 250T diesel crane back 50' to rehabbed track on the "North Siding". Next spring, we'll realign the north siding to remove a jog around power poles that have now been removed. This realignment will improve drainage on the north side of the property.

To facilitate the track work, our gasoline powered compressor has been repaired and put back in service. The compressor is much more cost efficient than using the #471 as a giant air compressor. The #471 is now winterized and out of service until next spring.

If you'd like to contribute to the work at DABO in any way, please contact the Depot.

August 23

Track Work Update

Track work continues at DABO.
Making quick work of ballast compaction with a jack hammer
attached to the backhoe.

Track rehabilitation continues at DABO. In this portion, we had to raise it significantly to remove an 80’ long sag. Necessity being the mother of invention, we modified the jackhammer and clamped it to the trenching bucket to use as a tamper since we broke the bit in the smaller hand tamper – twice. We’ll go back to the smaller tamper once the new parts arrive.

We’ve almost completed about 100 yards of track working mostly weekday mornings. After final adjustments in alignment, we'll be ready to start on the adjacent siding to enable us to move the equipment parked there.

If any additional members would like to get good and dirty with us, contact the Depot to find out when and come on down.

Donations of materials and cash are also welcome.

Back to the top.

July 27

Track Work Begins at the DABO Facility

Track at DABO has needed some attention for quite some time. This month, we've started working in earnest to do much needed repairs and "upgrades". We'd like to get 1,000' complete this summer if we can. This work will enable us to move the heavy equipment off the adjacent siding and onto the repaired track to facilitate repairs to the siding. The heavy equipment is causing the siding track to sink.

The repairs include digging the track out of the foundry sand that was placed over it many years ago, replacing bad ties and a broken rail, new ballast and raising and leveling the track. The longer range grand plan is to refurbish all two miles of track and be able to run events there. How fast we accomplish this depends on donations of materials and money.

This is hard but rewarding work for us older guys and some of the younger ones, too, so if you'd like to help with the labor, please contact the Depot and we'll quickly get back to you so you can come out and get dirty with us. Most work is done Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Also, in lieu of labor, any donations you'd like to make towards the project would be greatly appreciated as we may run out of ties and spikes soon depending on how many more ties need replaced.

Train assembled and ready.
This is what we had to deal with.

Starting the move.
Digging and tie replacement has started.

Check back for more progress reports.

Back to the top.

March 13

"Boxcar #30" Gets a New Life

You may have seen something a bit odd leaving Orrville this week - a boxcar rolling down the highway! Actually, it wasn't rolling by itself. It was loaded onto dollies and being trucked to its new home in Chesterton, Indiana. Boxcar #30, ex-D&RGW #60608, will be refurbished and converted into a restroom facility at Thomas Centennial Park in Chesterton. Schlatter's, Inc. of Francesville, IN did the move by jacking the car up off its trucks and setting it back down on dollies custom made for hauling railcars.

Below shows how to move a boxcar over the highway.

Train assembled and ready.
Spread gravel to make access easier.

Starting the move.
Jack up one end of the car.

Leaving Deeser Siding.
Roll out the truck.

Onto the interchange.
Remove any parts in the way.

Crossing McGill Street.
Back in the front dolly.

Exiting W&LE track.
Jack up the rear, roll out the truck and move in the rear dolly.

Running on the CA&C main.
The boxcar is ready to go.

Westbound to Dabo.
Load up the trucks and other equipment.

NS 5631 brings up the rear.
The trucks on the way to Chesterton.

471 ducks into the Scott's siding to make way.
The boxcar will follow.

Back to the top.

February 24

Meeting Dates to Change

The Board of Directors’ meeting and the General Membership meetings have been combined. One monthly meeting will now be held on the LAST Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.

The Board meeting will be the first order of business, and then we will go into the general membership portion of the month’s business. Hopefully this will streamline our process and get items of importance processed more quickly

The February combined meeting will be held Tuesday, February 27 at 7:00pm, thereafter the meetings will be on the last Tuesday of each month.

February 4

Happy Birthday!

2018 Sesquicentennial Boxcar.

The year 2018 is a special year for ORHS. Not only is it the 40th anniversary of our founding in 1978, but it also marks the 150th birthday of the Orrville Union Depot. The depot was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1868 at the junction of its Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad (PFW&C) mainline with the Cleveland, Akron & Columbus Railroad (CA&C) mainline. This depot replaced an earlier wooden structure located east of the junction which was destroyed by fire. At the time the "new" depot was built, Orrville was becoming an important junction and transfer point for passengers and goods.

Come celebrate with us this year at one of our events. Check out our Schedule page or Facebook to find out what's going on. We'll be releasing our 2018 schedule soon so stay tuned.

And be sure to pick up one of our limited edition HO scale boxcars (see below) commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Orrville Union Depot.


November 29

Excess Equipment Available for Purchase

When ORHS acquired the DABO facility back in 2015, vintage rail cars, locomotives, materials and miscellaneous equipment were included with the purchase. Much of this equipment does not fit with our current mission. In lieu of scrapping, which happens all too often, we prefer that it be preserved where possible and it is now offered for sale to others interested in preserving railroading history. If you have an interest, please make an offer. We are happy to report that some pieces have already found good homes in the preservation community and are being put to good use.

In order to help facilitate the sale of equipment, we've added web pages with descriptions and photos. Please note that some of this initial listing is not yet complete in the descriptions and we have a lot of miscellaneous bits, pieces and parts yet to be listed. More will be added as we go along.

Please take a look. The inventory can be accessed here: ORHS Inventory or under the Equipment tab from any page.

September 14

A Sad Day for Rail Preservation

We are sad to report the passing of Jerry Joe Jacobson on September 13. Jerry was a good friend to ORHS and will be missed by all of us. For those few who are not familiar with Jerry, he was the man behind assembling the Ohio Central system and then, after its sale to Genesee & Wyoming, the building of The Age of Steam Roundhouse facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Our sincere condolences to Laura, their children and their entire family.

The official announcement is available on the Age of Steam Roundhouse website Home page: