Orrville Railroad Heritage Society


Current News Around the Depot

Welcome to Our New Website

Our new website is now up and running. Take a look around and see how you like it. Not only is the look new, but entire site is now mobile-friendly for smart phones & tablets and it is much easier to maintain. We will soon add an online store with some of our popular branded items. We hope you like the new look.

Southeastern Equipment Company

February 16, 2020
ORHS to Receive New Loader/Backhoe
Through a generous donation from Southeastern Equipment Company to help offset the cost, ORHS will have a new (new to us) loader/backhoe. Our two older 46 year old tractors have both finally bit the dust - one to a loss of engine compression and leaking internal seals, the other leaks hydraulic fluid as fast as you can put it in from every conceivable place and then some. Neither are worth the cost of repairing them. We can now resume our track project as well as doing everything else that needs to be lifted, scooped, dug, spread or moved.

Thank you Southeastern! 

November 6, 2019

Winter Approaches

With cooling water drained, stacks covered and a new carbody tarp installed, the 471 was put to bed for the winter to sleep peacefully until next spring when we'll wake her up and put her back to work. Any light moves over the winter can be performed by the Little Red Engine if needed.

Other work at the yard will continue as weather permits, however. We have scrap bins to fill, parts to strip, equipment to repair, materials to sort, ties to replace and ballast to be spread just to name a few (we have an almost endless list).

If you'd like to volunteer to help at DABO or the Depot, give us a call.

October 13, 2019

First Event Held at DABO

ORHS held its first event, "Speeders n' Spikes", on October 12 at the DABO rail yard in honor of the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike on the transcontinental railroad link and to showcase the work achieved in bringing the facility up to operational status.

Despite the cold rain and wind early in the morning, the sun came out and warmed things a bit for the event and it was very well attended despite the early bluster. Kids young and old enjoyed rides in the speeders, the caboose pulled by the Little Red Engine and cab rides in the 471. Gift shop items were also on display and for sale. The Wayne County Humane Society was there with dogs and kittens for adoption and the Kitty Poo Club displayed their litter options.

Thanks goes to the Swensons Food Truck for keeping bellies full for the event.

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.

Video below courtesy of Jim Simons.

The Little Red Engine and cabboose #330

The "Little Red Engine" and caboose #330 back past the crossover

Speeders head towards the crossover

Speeders getting ready to enter the crossover.

September 24, 2019

ORHS Loses Longtime Member

Long time member and Head Locomotive Engineer Lynn Butts passed away on September 21. Lynn was always willing to help with any project at the Depot or rail yard. He was also known for his light touch and accuracy at the throttle when switching passenger cars which made working with him an enjoyable experience. While Lynn would be serious when need be, he was usually smiling and we'll definitely miss his sense of humor.

Lynn was also very involved with the Buckeye Council Boy Scout Troup #25 in Canton.

Calling hours will be at Wackerly Funeral Home in Canton from 4:00PM to 7:00PM on September 25.

Donations can be made in his name to the Buckeye Council Boy Scouts of America, 3154 13 St NW, Canton, OH 44708

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Becky as well as Lynn's entire family.

High Green, Lynn. You now have the Main....

April 4, 2019

Work Begins at DABO

Spring 'as sprung. The grass is riz. I wonder where th' railroad is? Come to DABO to find out.

The track rehabilitation project has resumed in earnest replacing ties and broken rails with ballasting and surfacing after.

The #471 will be put back in service on April 9. If you want to learn how to service a diesel locomotive, stop by.

Vegetation control will start soon.

We have projects large and small. If you'd like to volunteer to lend a hand, let us know by calling the Depot. We're working most mornings except Sundays.

You must be a member to actively volunteer at DABO.

November 11, 2018
DABO Track Rehab Season Coming to a Close

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.

Steam cranes on rebuilt stable track
Tamping with a jack hammer

August 23, 2018
Track Work Update

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.

July 27, 2018

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.

March 13, 2018

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.

February 24, 2018

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 6:30 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.

ORHS Sesquicentennial

February 4, 2018
Happy Birthday!

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, 2017

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.

2018 Commemorative Boxcar

November 5, 2017
Orrville Union Depot Sesquiscentennial Commemorative Car
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
Click here to download the order form.


145 Depot Street                    
Orrville, Ohio 44667


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