By the 1980s it became apparent that the station was to be torn down and replaced by a modern, heated and lighted shelter as had been done with other stations of the area.
In 1986, a celebration was held in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Orangedale Station. To the dismay of local residents, permission to paint the station at the community’s expense could not be granted and plans for its demolition continued.
In September 1986, a group of “Friends of the Station” was assembled and from this group the Orangedale Station Association was formed.
Under the direction of this Association, such interested groups as the Lake Ainslie Historical Society, the Iona Connection, the Municipal Advisory Council, the County Heritage Committee, the Inverness County Council, as well as the Orangedale and Whycocomagh Historical Societies began active lobbying of authorities to exert pressure to save the station.
The pressure of these groups finally turned the tide, with both VIA and CN favouring the project. In 1988 the Orangedale Station Association was granted ownership of the station and restoration work began.