Orange Train Depot receives grant from Union Pacific RR Foundation

Published 11:10 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Orange Train Depot has made a lasting impression on Union Pacific Rail Road Foundation.

“They have done a good job on restoring the depot,” Sr. Director, Public Affairs Louisiana and East Texas Drew Tessier of Union Pacific Rail Road said. “So many of these depots have been lost in history.”

Union Pacific Rail Road Foundation gave the Orange Train Depot a $15,000 grant on Tuesday.

“It is a perfect fit,” Tessier said.

Union Pacific Rail Road has 32,000 miles of tracks in 23 states.

“We have a big presence in the Gulf Coast area,” Tessier said.

The grant is awarded annually, however, it does not mean the depot will automatically receive it every year.

“You will have to apply for it each year,” Tessier told the board members.

The historic Southern Pacific Depot in Orange at 1210 Green Avenue, after four years of fundraising by the Friends of the Orange Depot non-profit organization, opened its doors to the public May 2017.

When writer and television producer Carrie Joiner Woliver, a former resident of Orange, passed by the decaying building on a visit in 2012, she was very disturbed at seeing such a vital part of Orange history fall into neglect. Woliver had recently authored the book The Train Stopped in Orange: A Captivating Family History Revealed through 1917 Texas Diaries, based on her grandparents’ lives, in which the railroad and depot had played an important role, and she and her husband Ron decided to take action to save the structure. They formed the non-profit Friends of the Orange Depot in November 2013 and donated the funds for the Friends to purchase the Depot and to get fundraising operations off the ground.

Friends of the Orange Depot is a non-profit organization founded by Woliver and her husband, Ron, for the purpose of raising funds for restoration to the depot as well as operating costs once the work is completed.