SALAMANCA- The Salamanca Rail Museum is celebrating the history of Western New York once again this holiday season.
The 2014 edition of the Salamanca Rail Museum calendar is now available. The Salamanca Rail Museum has printed these calendars annually since 1981 both to educate and raise funds for the museum.
"In the Western New York area, railroads played a very important part," said Gerald Fordham, curator for the Salamanca Rail Museum. "Salamanca wouldn't even be in existence without the railroads."
Fordham said railroads began to lose their prominence in the 1960s after World War II when President Dwight Eisenhower created the highway system. The growth of the airline industry took over the long-distance travel and the automobile killed off the short haul. The Post Office put the final nail in the railroad coffin by taking the mail off the rails, Fordham said.
The Salamanca Rail Museum formed in 1981 to collect and preserve railroad memorabilia, and to collect and disseminate historical information on railroads, particularly how they relate to Salamanca and the surrounding areas.
This year's calendar cover is a photograph of the Salamanca station built by the Erie Railroad 110 years ago. January features a photograph of a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad snow plow in East Salamanca in the late 1940s. February shows Erie Railroad diesels at work in the Salamanca yard near the remains of the old roundhouse, turntable and coaling facilities. March is a shot of Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotives pushing a freight train up the grade near Mayville shortly after World War II. In April, a shot of a special passenger train arriving at the classic Victorian Erie Railroad station at Bradford, Pa. in the 1890s is seen. May shows a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad passenger train departing East Salamanca in the early 1950s. June is a shot of an Erie Railroad passenger train arriving at Salamanca in the 1950s with a large crowd gathered to witness its arrival. July is a picture of a marching band about to play for a railroad sponsored event at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad facilities in July 1959. In August, Erie Railroad men at work icing refrigerator cars at Hornell can be seen. September has a picture of the Erie Railroad dormitory built in the 1940s and torn down less than 20 years later. October's presentation is a shot of a derailment on the Pennsylvania Railroad in Salamanca in October 1911. November shows Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh section gangs at work in 1927. December is a view of Santa Claus arriving at the Erie Railroad's Salamanca passenger station in the 1950s. The inside back covers show shots of railroad facilities in Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh days, as well as later Baltimore and Ohio Railroad when the railroads were prominent.
The calendar is available by mail at $5 each. Interested parties can send a check or money order to the Salamanca Rail Museum, 170 Main St., Salamanca, NY 14779 or use Visa, Mastercard or Discover card by mail or calling 945-3133.
Membership for the museum costs $8 per year and $5 for citizens 55 years and older.