The Orange Empire Railway Museum opens at
9 a.m. Plan to arrive at opening time to see
them bring out the steamed-up VC 2 for the day's duty. Above, the
Yardmaster had just given the engineer authority to run north to the
Perris, California Station. During the day it would run passenger
car excursions to the same spot north of the museum for anyone who had
paid admission to the museum for the day. I believe the
tree is California Pepper.
Steam-VC 2 Ventura County Number 2,
commonly referred to as VC2 is a steam locomotive built in 1922. The
Ventura County Railway No. 2 is the Museum’s operating steam engine.
Some photos were converted to black
and white to make them more vintage. Others were treated with the
Painterly filter in HDR software called Photomatix Lite.
Trolley cantinary lines above the steam engine were removed by the app
The fellow on the left was a
volunteer receiving training on oiling the bearings on No. 2 before the
first run and was later seen in the cab on a run.
Name plate on No. 2
No. 2 sitting beside other vintage equipment made a nice 'group
Cantinary lines are for trolleys that can run on the same line.
Moving up to the platform.
My good friend and photographer Bob Williams used the App,
"TouchRetouch" to take out the unsightly trolley cantinary wires.
I wanted just the paint-pealing door, but though I should include
"Railway Express Agency" for old time sake.
Some of the "Rusty Bucket" cars needed some HDR treatment.
They have a Party Caboose for onsite celebrations.
The Trolley Barn - Car House #1. The Los Angeles Railway
The Los Angeles Railway (LARy) was
the city’s local streetcar system. The streetcars used a yellow paint
scheme, so they became known as the Yellow Cars. Guided by real
estate and utility tycoon Henry Huntington, the system grew rapidly
through the first decade of the 20th century, when the population of
Los Angeles more than tripled. During the 1940s about a million people
lived within about a half mile of the bus and streetcar lines of
LARY/LATL. By 1950 some LATL bus lines penetrated as far as Beverly
Hills on the west side, and the 5 streetcar line – the longest line –
reached 13 miles south to Hawthorne. But for the most part Yellow Car
services were concentrated in the area that today would be called
central Los Angeles, and it covered this area fairly intensively.
Ridership declined significantly in the years following World War II.
The public increasingly saw the private automobile and the expanding
freeway system as the preferred method of travel. In 1958 LATL was sold
to the newly formed Los Angeles MTA, which instituted a program of
replacing the streetcars with buses. The final five streetcar routes
were converted to bus in 1963, ending an era of more than 65 years of
electric railway transportation within the city.
The Museum has a collection of over 25 streetcars from the Yellow Car
system, spanning the history of the company from 1895 to 1963.
Grizzly Flats Engine House No. 6
houses a 3 foot narrow gauge steam locomotive, passenger cars, freight
cars and related artifacts dating from 1880s. Narrow gauge
railways served many mining, agricultural and lumber communities in the
Nice painting on the back of the Emma Nevada formerly owned by Ward
A large collection of cars and engines from Southern Pacific
Lines on site.
Water bag hanging on the back of a caboose
No. 2 steams northward past Cottonwood Station, used in several
movies as a small town station.
On July of 2001, the Grizzly Flats
Railroad was further expanded with the addition of a replica Southern
Pacific “gallows” type turntable, built on site by Museum volunteers
with financial support from Ward and Betty Kimball. Ward Kimball passed
away one year later, in July of 2002. Betty and the rest of the Kimball
family continued steaming up the original Grizzly Flats Railroad in San
Gabriel until the summer of 2006. The Chloe and her cars arrived at
OERM shortly thereafter, and went on display in the Grizzly Flats
engine house in early 2007.
3100 Type P-2 PCC St. Louis 1943 – 1963
On the round trip to Perris, I rode in SP 2144
Poster in one of the cars SP 2144
On our ride to Perris, we passed 1474 SP S-4 Switcher Alco 1952
Car House #7, holding unrestored cars and locomotives not usually open
942 UP E-8A EMD 1953 (Exterior completely restored, but engine looked
I thought the comfortable seats outside this red trolley might give the
impression they were the type of seats inside.
193673 ATSF Foreman’s Car ATSF 1932
Want to restore a railcar?
717 PE “Hollywood Car” MU Brill 1922 – 1959
View from 717 to No. 2 running northbound.
I remember seeing these phone booths along the B&O behind our farm
in Hayden, Indiana, between Cincinnati and St. Louis.
No. 2 continued to make runs up to Perris and I continued to photograph
her when I passed by. This one with vintage signals and weathered
suitcases in the foreground might make a good Black and White.
Every time the engineer started another trip north, he "let off steam"
which made a nice photo or video.