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Historical Society Celebrates 60th Anniversary of the Demise of the NYO&W
March 29th, 1957 marked a sad day day in railroad history when the last revenue train made its final pass along the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad (NYO&W) route. It was not long after that the imprint that the “Old and Weary” made on the towns it passed through began to fade and gave birth to a group of people looking to keep it’s spirit alive. The Ontario and Western Railroad Historical Society (O&WRHS), founded in 1978, has done an impressive job of both documenting the history of the NYO&W though its many publications and sharing it with others at their monthly meetings. Rolling into the year 2017, sixty years after the demise of the O&W, the society has taken a major step forward by purchasing former the NYO&W locomotive No.105 through the help of member Norman Barrett. The engine , a GE “44 Tonner” was one of the first diesels delivered to the railroad in 1940’s. The 105 was last operated ten years ago as a yard switcher in southern New Jersey, and was close to being lost to history and scrapped before the O&WRHS stepped in at the 11th hour to purchase the engine last year. It has since been moved to the Steamtown National Historic Site grounds in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This 44 Tonner is one of three from the NYO&W left in existence (the other two being in Georgia and California) and despite being left outside for ten years, it remains in remarkably good condition and will be hopefully be up and running at some point in the very near future. To get there, the society needs volunteers to begin working on cosmetic issues like window repairs and painting, as well as repairing one of the engines. Anyone wishing to join the adventure of volunteering to rebuild this wonderful piece of railroad history must first become a “Volunteer In Parks” (VIP) member. They can request the Volunteer Application from Norman J. Barrett at: NYOWfan@msn.com. Interested in other society events, why not join the O&WRHS! Meetings are held on the first friday of every month (except for July, August, and November) at the Mullberry Senior Center (62-70 W. Main St, Middletown, NY). For any other questions, please contact Ray Pinglora at rpinglora@nyswths.org.
A look at O&WRHS society member Norman J. Barrett alongside NYO&W engine No. 105 in Scranton, PA. It was through his help and dedication that the O&WRHS was able to acquire this rare gem from being scrapped.
An overall look at NYO&W No. 105. After sitting outside for ten years, the engine has surprisingly stood up quite well with only two broke windows, surface rust, and graffiti. To get the diesel cosmetically restored and running in the future, the society needs volunteers, and those who want to work on 105 can request the Volunteer Application from Norman J. Barrett at: NYOWfan@msn.com.