East Litchfield cleanup

Peter Lipeika, an employee of O&G Industries in Torrington, uses a Bobcat to collect railroad ties at the train depot in East Litchfield on Tuesday. The ties were deposited into Dumpsters that will be hauled away as part of a cleanup effort.
Peter Lipeika, an employee of O&G Industries in Torrington, uses a Bobcat to collect railroad ties at the train depot in East Litchfield on Tuesday. The ties were deposited into Dumpsters that will be hauled away as part of a cleanup effort.
May 10, 2017

Work to improve the look of the railroad depot in East Litchfield took another step forward Tuesday with the help of O&G Industries.

The Torrington construction company provided equipment and manpower to move a pile of railroad ties into two Dumpsters the East Litchfield Village Improvement Society that were rented using a $1,300 grant from the Connecticut Community Foundation.

O&G employees Peter Daddona and Peter Lipeika spent a couple of hours moving the ties, which are considered hazardous waste because they are soaked in creosote.

“It just keeps getting better and better,” East Litchfield Village Improvement Society member Eileen Schmidt said of the condition of the depot while she watched Daddona and Lipeika work. “This is a prominent location in the community and we’re trying to make it presentable.”

The Dumpsters will be hauled away by Cherry Hill Construction of Watertown for disposal at a hazardous waste facility in Hartford.

ELVIS member Sharon Hall, chairman of the organization’s depot committee, contacted O&G to request help with the railroad ties. The company provided the equipment at no cost.

The ties were removed from the tracks and replaced with new ties by the Thomaston-based Railroad Museum of New England as part of a track renovation a few years ago. The organization runs tourist trains on the tracks between Thomaston and Torrington.

The depot has come a long way since ELVIS began cleaning it up in 2012, Schmidt said. Gone are a rusting passenger car owned by the Railroad Museum of New England, tons of metal debris and trash, and overgrown brush.

ELVIS is attempting to create a parklike setting in the area bordering the Naugatuck River. The organization will hold its annual spring cleanup at the site on Saturday at 9 a.m. Work will focus on removing more brush and dead trees, Schmidt said.