State funds keep railroad museum on track

By Belinda Paschal

April 6, 2014

By Belinda M. Paschal


BRADFORD — Once the ink of the governor’s signature has dried, an award of $275,000 will make renovation plans at the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum (BORM) a reality.

The money, which will come through the state’s 2015-2016 appropriations for the capital budget, will allow expansion of the museum’s permanent exhibit, said Dr. Marilyn Kosier, founder and trustee of the BORM. To that end, the museum has partnered with Exhibit Concepts of Vandalia to help make their design dreams come true.

This isn’t the first capital appropriation the museum has received to further its promotion of Bradford’s contributions to railroad history. In 2004, an appropriation of $100,000 was awarded with the intent of building a tower and a depot.

“We never got to do the depot, but we had the tower restored,” Kosier said. “In 2006, we received at $30,000 capital appropriation and with that, we did the exterior of the museum. We did the interior with private money.

“In 12 years, we’ve gone from having no artifacts to having the tower restored, building an exhibit hall with a children’s area and a working N-Scale model of the rail yards.”

The N-Scale model that Mike Desch and Rick Miller have been working on for more than a year will be operational with an active turntable to demonstrate the hostlers’ job of serving the engines, Kosier said. “There was once over 60 miles of track in the middle of Bradford. There was a railroad Y.M.C.A. that was used by the railroaders as their home away from home. It stood in the middle of the yards and was the hub of social activities.”
The model will be on permanent display at the museum and will be debuted on Sunday, April 13, when the museum opens its 2014 season.

“The next phase will be a permanent exhibit with the history of Bradford’s railroads,” Kosier said. “It’s close to a $500,000 project.”

The remainder of the funds required for the permanent exhibit will be procured through donations, Kosier explained. “We turn to foundations, individuals, corporations and hold events like Dining By Rail.”

Those wishing to contribute to the BORM’s ongoing campaign can send a check to: The Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 101, Bradford OH 45308.

“You don’t have to be a member to contribute,” Kosier noted. “If you want to see the world succeed and children have a place to learn the history of the railroads, (the BORM) preserves that. The railroads built this country and continue to be a vital sources of goods and services.”

Located at 200 N. Miami Ave., in Bradford, the museum is open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays from April through December. Admission is $4 general; $2 for seniors 65+ and teens 13-18. Children 12 and and under are admitted for free.

Upcoming events include the Dining by Rail fundraiser on Saturday, April 12 at the Turtle Creek Golf Club (formerly the Greenville Country Club), 6545 U.S. Route 36 East, Greenville. The evening will begin with a silent auction and music at 6 p.m., followed at 6:45 p.m. by a dinner prepared from authentic dining car recipes.

The auction, which will close after dinner, will include such items as gift cards, a Railroad Oil of Slate, symphony and Kings Island tickets, dinner reservations and OSU items.

Cost to attend is $30 per person. There also will be a cash bar.

Salute to Railroaders will take place from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 13. Past and present railroaders, their families and friends are invited to attend, bring memorabilia and stories to share. The new children’s area will be dedicated during the event.

For more information about the Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum, visit www.BradfordRRMuseum.org.

Belinda M. Paschal may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.