Orrville Railroad Heritage Society

About ORHS

A timeline of our history

Our Mission is to promote and preserve our Ohio railroad heritage.

ORHS Timeline

1978

ORHC is Formed

The Orrville Railroad Heritage Committee was founded by a small group of railroad enthusiasts in 1978 to promote the preservation of our Ohio railroad heritage in Orrville, Ohio, a town that owes its very existence and development to the railroad industry.

1981-1982

Membership Opened

In 1981, membership was opened to the general public and there are currently about 200 paid members in the organization. Membership is open to anyone interested in preserving the railroad heritage of the area. Also in 1981, the first Depot Days were held, an annual event that continues today as Orrville Railroad Day.

1982

Depot & Tower Purchased

The committee purchased and restored the former 1868 Pennsylvania Railroad Union Station in 1982. The station is a well-known historical landmark. The signal tower was also purchased in 1982 and was moved across the tracks to its current location adjacent to the station.

The committee started operating passenger excursions using both steam and diesel locomotives to support our restoration projects. There have been over 130 excursions carrying over 90,000 passengers. These trips have been powered by such famous steam locomotives as Nickel Plate 765, Chesapeake & Ohio 2765, Norfolk and Western 611 and 1218, Ohio Central 1551, 1293 and 6325 and various diesel locomotives of Conrail, Norfolk Southern, Ohio Central, and Wheeling & Lake Erie.

1984-1986

Equipment Purchased

The committee purchases its own locomotives, an F9 A-unit and two F7 B-units of Milwaukee Road and Burlington Northern heritage.

The Committee purchases and refurbishes passenger cars for excursion use. The cars enter service as RPCX numbers 101, 102, 103 and 104.

Diner #8008 was also purchased but was not restored.

1989

Cabin Car Purchased

The Committee acquired the Pennsylvania Railroad type N5C cabin car from Conrail and relocated it to its current site adjacent to the depot and tower. This acquisition added to the core cluster of buildings and equipment which house ORHS headquarters and serve as an educational center.

1992

Name Change

The Committee adopted its current name of the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society. The change was adopted to more accurately reflect the growth of the organization since its beginning.

1993

Concession Car Enters Service

The Society purchases ex-Amtrak "shorty" baggage car and converts it for use as a concession car.

2000

GP7u Purchased

The three F-units were by now in need of an expensive rebuilding. The F-units are sold and our GP7u was purchased to replace them.

2008

"Millie" Purchased

Fairmont A-4 motor car M-2180 "Millie" was purchased and restored.

2013-2014

Fleet Changes

Long time excursion regular RPCX 3850 was purchased in 2013 and added to the ORHS fleet as a First Class Parlor car.

In 2014, RPCX 101, 102, 103, 104 and 106 were derailed in transit and suffered varying degrees of damage. Nos. 103, 104 and 106 were subsequently sold. Nos. 101 and 102 were repaired and returned to service.

2015-2017

Excursions End, Rail Facility Purchased

ORHS ends its long tradition of excursions around Ohio and Pennsylvania. ORHS purchases DABO, Inc. and moves all rail equipment to this facility. RPCX 101, 102, 105 and 3850 are sold to the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum in 2017 and continue their excursion duties.

2018-

What's Next

ORHS now returns its focus to expanding and updating the Depot complex, rebuilding the rail yard and restoring historic equipment. Join us as we start writing a new chapter in our story.

Address

145 Depot Street                    
Orrville, Ohio 44667

Contacts

Phone: (330) 683-2426         Fax: (330) 682-2426