|Nothing substantial, other than a new mail box, has been happening at the depot these last two months, however, the Depot Crew still meets on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 till noon. Our time has been spent in meetings for the projects and fund raisers we will be having for 2017.|
|The Orchard Park Railroad Depot once again has its own mail box. On January 21st, not one of our usual winter days, OP volunteer Bob Reynders attached a new mail box to the side of the passenger station. Our mail should now be addressed to 395 South Lincoln Street, Orchard Park, NY 14127. We no longer have an Orchard Park post office box.|
|Our schedule so far this year:
• We will continue to provide a place for the Native Offerings Co-op farm market which is held at the depot on Tuesdays afternoons from 3 to 6.
• The Orchard Park Garden Club will have its annual plant sale on May 20th at the depot and they may have a flower show at the depot on • August 26th, details for that show have not been finalized yet.
• The Orchard Park Depot Crew will have its first annual "Touch a Truck" fund raiser on Sunday July 2nd.
• The Village of Orchard Park will have its annual Ice Cream Social at the depot on Friday July 28th.
• The Orchard Park Depot Crew will have its annual chicken BBQ on Sunday August 20th.
• The Village of Orchard Park is tentatively scheduled to host its second annual Octoberfest at the depot in early October.
• And the Village of Orchard Park is scheduled to hold its annual Holiday in the Park at the depot on Saturday December 2nd.
The BR&P caboose still needs roof repairs. That will be our top priority when it comes to major projects. We also will be getting an estimate on repairing the Southeast corner of the passenger station. The bricks in that area are loose and are ready to fall off of the building.
Come join us Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 to noon at the Orchard Park Railroad Depot. Our phone number is 716-662-7002.
|As the warmer weather starts to creep into Western New York chances to do some outside work at the depot have gotten better. Twice in March the Depot Crew tried replacing a few of the depots outside lights. On March 18th Bob Reynders did the work while four Depot Crew supervisors gave moral support from ground level. That work is due to continue in May.|
|Early in April a smaller Depot Crew consisting of Bob Reynders, Alex Trank and Jim Slominski picked up yard debris from the lawn next to the station. Then in Late April we had a local brick worker David J. Schiedel from DJS Masonry replace a part of the upper South East corner of the passenger station wall.|
|Much of our inside work has been devoted to our July 2nd, 2017 "Touch A Truck" fund raiser. We have been in the planning stages for several meetings now and will be until the event happens. So far we have secured a good assortment of vehicles, food trucks and "WestHerr Automotive Group™" is our corporate sponsor. Much has been accomplished but there is still plenty of work left to do. Click the image for a full size print and read our "Press Release" here for a complete list of all the trucks you will see at the Depot. Or visit our "OP Depot Facebook" page for a video of our Depot Chairman, Bob Snyder describing the event.|
|The annual Orchard Park Arbor Day tree planting was held Friday April 28th in the park next the passenger station. This year the tree was planted in honor of our good friend and depot supporter Fran Hogenkamp. Fran was chosen for his many years of service to his community. Gary Ludwig and I attended on behalf of the society and because of our endearing friendship with Fran.|
|Thank you to all of the society members who have donated funds to help us maintain and restore the Orchard Park Depot. Recently one of our hardest working Crew members personally donated the funds to replace the mechanical light timer for the passenger station with a new digital electronic device. No more having to reset the timer due to a power outage or because of daylight savings time. He then installed it as part of the deal. Thanks to our own Bob Reynders for another one of his most appreciated projects.|
|The Depot Crew was very busy at the depot during the months of May and June. May 13th, the Orchard Park Garden Club held its annual spring flower sale at the depot. The Garden Club ladies kept things hopping before, during and after the sale. And even though some of our May work days were on the cold side, while the plants were being sold, the Depot Crew managed to finish the relighting on the inside of the freight station. That project was headed up by our|
|master electrician Bob Reynders with help from Dave Mallory, Gary Ludwig, Jim Slominski and Duane Warchocki.|
|Next up on May 20th was a celebration of National Train Day. The activities staff at the Orchard Park Library filled the library show case with a display of information about the Depot and shortly after that the Depot Crew worked with them to celebrate "National Train Day." The depot was opened up to about fifty children and their parents who participate in a variety of train related activities both in the library and at the depot.|
|On May 24th Duane, Jim, Alex and myself replaced one of the old depot signs with a new one. Duane had two signs made up and the second one went up on June 10th.|
|Also in June the library was back for a Lego Day at the depot. This time a smaller group of about twenty children and their parents participated. June 21st saw Gary Ludwig, Jim Slominski and Dave Mallory replacing a broken drive belt on our riding lawn mower. On June 24th the Crew put up our Touch a Truck sign.|
|out on Orchard Parks main drag, Buffalo Street..., the work never ends.|
|Our Sunday July 2nd Touch A Truck fund raiser was the culmination of several months of work for the Orchard Park Railroad Depot Crew. For the seven of us it was a lot of planning, organizing, phone calls, paper work, leg work, sign making, and the inevitable clean up. Our corporate sponsor was West Herr Automotive Group of Orchard Park so they provided some funding and two brand new pickup trucks for the event.|
|The Orchard Park Department of Public Works fenced in the show field for us and provided us with their village snowplow. Orchard Fresh provided doughnuts and the Orchard Park Bee printed a great news story about the event. Olaf Fub in the Buffalo News wrote about us in his Friday June 30th edition of the paper.|
|The event was a huge success. The weather co-operated and by the end of the first two hours over one thousand people had paid $5 each to view the trucks. The list of trucks included an Orchard Park fire truck, an Orchard Park police cruiser, a United Materials pink concrete mixer, Rusiniak's Recovery Service sent a huge tow truck, a new NFTA metro bus, a semi-tractor trailer truck, the Buffalo Public Library book mobile, two motor homes, a Dave's Express Delivery box truck, a high railer and a Tom Greenauer Development dump truck. Also on displayed were three antique trucks a child's pedal truck and three food trucks provided a choice of good things to eat.|
|The Garden Railway Society of Western New York put up an operating G scale display outside on the platform and we had our own O scale train layout operating inside the depot. Thank you to everyone who helped with this event, our neighbors from the Orchard Park Public Library, Spencer Trank for running our O scale layout and especially to the Slominski family who manned the gate.|
| August 17th, 2017 was a great day for the Orchard Park BR&P Depot! Senator Chris Jacobs announced today that he had secured a $150,000 grant to assist with the restoration and structural improvements to the building. This will include restoration of the brick platform, improved drainage, and providing restoration and foundation support for the exterior columns that support the roof. The total project is estimated to be approximately $300,000. With this grant, plus committed pledged of funding, over two-thirds of the required funds have already been raised to complete the restoration project to this historic building.
Along with Senator Jacobs, the Orchard Park Town Supervisor Patrick Keem and Village of Orchard Park Mayor Jo Ann Litwin Clinton joined us to celebrate the grant award. Our Depot Committee Co-Chairman Jim Slominski accepted the ceremonial check on behalf of the Society. Jim also expressed his thanks to Orchard Park Village Trustee Fran Hogenkamp for his active support of the depot. Fran has been a great benefactor to the depot and the major fundraising arm of the depot committee. Fran initially contacted the Senator's office to get the ball rolling for this grant.
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