The Orrville Union Depot was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) at the junction of the its Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago and Cleveland Akron & Columbus railroads in 1868. ORHS Purchased and restored the building in 1982. The main waiting room contains railroad related displays and is used for meetings and social events. The former freight office, next to the main waiting room, has also been restored and contains cabinets of railroad artifacts on display. The baggage room on the east side of the building is used for work projects and craft displays during Railroad Days celebrations. The ticket office, off the main waiting room, is restored typically as it was when operated by the PRR. The Station Master’s office, on the north side of the depot, now houses the Depot Gift Shop.
The former PRR Orrville signal tower, which controlled the railroad traffic at the junction and railroad yard entrance, was also acquired by the ORHS in 1982. The tower was then relocated to a site adjacent to the depot. A former PRR class N5C caboose was added to create a heritage cluster of buildings in 1989. That cluster depicts the glory days of the PRR in Orrville, Ohio. The foundation between the depot and the block tower was that of the former Adams Express Company, part of the Railway Express Agency.
The depot museum offers tours of our depot and each year hosts Orrville city schools third graders for their annual spring outing. Each year the ORHS offers railroad grade crossing safety sessions with Orrville fourth and eleventh graders.
Group tours to visit the Orrville Union Depot Museum can be arranged by contacting the ORHS at (330) 683-2426.
Orrville Union Depot
Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) is an international rail safety organization that was started in the U.S. in 1972 by concerned railroad workers who wanted to reduce the number of crashes between trains and vehicles at grade crossings.
According to national statistics released by the Federal Railroad Administration, the numbers of vehicle-train collisions and injuries at grade crossings are creeping upward from 2010 through 2018. In 2019, Ohio ranked #9 in grade crossing collisions and #8 in trespassing casualties . Educating an increasingly distracted public about the dangers around railroad tracks continues to be a challenge. ORHS aims to help lower these numbers.
If you would like to volunteer as a presenter or donate to OHRS Operation Lifesaver activities, please contact us.
For more information about Operation Lifesaver, visit www.oli.org.