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NRHS Convention 2022 Southern California Railway Museum Trip 5/18/2022



by Chris Guenzler



Today's trip was to the Southern California Railway Museum, a place I had been many times. After I finished the story from yesterday, Elizabeth and I went to the Amber Waves Restaurant in the hotel and I had the buffet breakfast while Elizabeth ordered from the menu. She then had Bus Host Coordinator duties to attend to and I returned to the room and checked the Internet before going down to wait for the buses. James was waiting for me, as was Steve Ferrari, and we talked until my beautiful wife Elizabeth came down and she let us board the bus. James took the usual aisle seat, giving me the window. We chatted all the way to Perris.

NRHS Trip information

This day's event takes us by chartered motor coach to ride and view historic trolleys and trains at the Southern California Railway Museum (formerly named the Orange Empire Railway Museum) at Perris. You will be able to explore the West's largest collection of locomotives, passenger and freight cars, cabooses and streetcars, and interurban cars. A diesel-powered push-pull passenger train is planned to run continuously during our visit. Three of their fleet of antique trolleys are also planned to be operating this day.

Southern California Railway Museum History

What was it that caused fourteen young members of the SC/ERA, the Southern California Division Of The Electric Railroaders' Association, to step forward in the early 1950s and focus on the preservation of electric rail interurbans and streetcars for the purpose of eventually creating an operating museum? In a sentence, "their world was slipping away". The SC/ERA was formed in 1950 to give organizational form to rail fans who were primarily interested in red cars and yellow cars of the local transit operations.

Buses were replacing Red Car and Yellow Car lines. Before long red cars were stacked four high at National Metal and Steel's scrap yard on Terminal Island along with rows of yellow cars. The last of the "Last Runs" were playing out. It was time for the equipment preservation conscious members of SC/ERA to form a separate organization with the purpose of establishing an operating trolley museum. Fourteen members of SC/ERA gathered in the home of Ronald Longworth on the evening of March 23rd, 1956 to discuss such an organization. At that meeting they chose the name Orange Empire Traction Company, adapting the name of an early Pacific Electric excursion through the inland empire of San Bernardino, Redlands and Riverside. At the first meeting, Pat Underwood was elected president, Jim Walker was selected as secretary and Dick Burns became treasurer.

On June 10th, 1956, at the home of Jim Walker in Lynwood, the group adopted articles of incorporation. Three members who were at least 21 years old and thereby eligible to sign a legal document signed the document. Those members were Richard H. Burns, Norman K. Johnson and Patrick L. Underwood. The signatures were notarized by Jim's father, Jim Walker, Sr.

Southern California Railway Museum Timeline

A little over a month later, on July 20th, 1956, the State of California granted a charter of incorporation as a non-profit educational organ

The Orange Empire Traction Company's first home was at Travel Town, an already-established display of retired railway equipment in Los Angeles' Griffith Park. By 1958, the group had changed their name to the Orange Empire Trolley Museum and had brought 10 pieces of equipment to Travel Town. Then came the event that started the wheels in motion to form what would become today's Museum. Ironically, it was the same type of event that had hastened the demise of the equipment they were collecting: the construction of another of L.A.'s famous freeways. The group was informed that the new Ventura Freeway would cut directly through Griffith Park, isolating the site from access to major roadways.

The Orange Empire Trolley Museum found a new home on an abandoned railroad right-of-way just outside of rural Perris, California, some 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Except for a small two-room farmhouse and a rock dugout dating from the 1880s, the site was a lonely, semi-desert field. There was no running water, no indoor plumbing, not much of anything but trolley cars and youthful enthusiasm. The early years at Perris were a time of intense activity, though mostly on weekends, as almost all of the participants worked regular weekday jobs. Track was hurriedly extended as more and more trolleys arrived, eventually evolving into a yard arrangement. The few visitors that found the place thought of it as “the trolley farm” and this moniker would stay with the Museum for years to come. By late 1959 a used Cummins diesel generator power plant was acquired and set up to provide the 600 volt DC electricity for trolley car operation. Overhead wire followed and operations were soon possible on a short stretch of track.

As the 1960's began, tracks were extended further, and more trolleys and hardware acquired.

With streetcar service ending in Los Angeles in 1963, the Orange Empire Trolley Museum began to gather momentum. Museum members travelled to sites throughout the region salvaging abandoned railway infrastructure that could be reused for the Museum. California Southern Railway Museum shared the site, and mainline railroad equipment continued to appear in large numbers.

By the mid-1960s, a core group of dedicated volunteers began to emerge. From among this core emerged leaders who began planning for the Museum's future. They identified more land, protective carhouses, a public restroom and a gift shop as priorities.

By 1968 A trolley line had been constructed along the periphery of the original property, and the Pinacate Station gift shop and a public/member restroom building both opened.

In 1969 construction started on the first carhouse, beginning the process of providing protective cover for the growing collection.

The Santa Fe Railway donated the historic 1892 Perris depot to the Museum. Although at the time the Museum could not yet operate its trains there, the building would later become a focal point in downtown Perris for both the Museum and the city's redevelopment efforts.

Adjacent land was purchased, and the completion of a continuous trolley loop occurred.

A major extension of the standard gauge mainline trackage in 1977 permitted a better demonstration of the growing collection of mainline railroad equipment.

In 1978, regular steam locomotive operations began, together with the concept of holding a large Rail Festival event in an effort to draw more visitors.

A third carhouse opened in 1983, and construction of an ambitious shop facility progressed significantly.

In 1996, Carhouse 4 opened raising the number to fifty railcars in the collection with an indoor home (representing about one-third of the total collection at that time). This same year also saw electrification extended for several blocks over the trackage connecting the Museum's main line to the Santa Fe trackage in downtown Perris.

In 1992, Ward and Betty Kimball donated their 3-foot gauge Grizzly Flats Railroad along with major funding to help assure its continued preservation. The four track Grizzly Flats Enginehouse opened.

In 1993, Landscaped park was added, connecting the center of the Museum with the new enginehouse.

In 2003, Grizzly Flats was further expanded with the addition of a replica Southern Pacific gallows type turntable, built on site by Museum volunteers with financial support from the Kimballs. Acquired 19 additional acres of adjacent property, which gave it the ability to site a major new collections storage facility.

In 2006, OERM celebrated its 50th Anniversary!

In 2007, The 62,000 square foot Ron Ruffulo Carhouse was completed. The Ruffullo Carhouse has six tracks inside, each 600 feet long. This facility doubled the amount of indoor storage space for the Museum’s collections, permitting a major cleanup and reorganization of the entire site.

In 2011, Main visitor parking lot was paved, and the front entrance remodeled. Several generous gifts allowed the Museum to begin a focused program of car and locomotive refurbishment using a contracted painter to supplement its volunteers. The program has turned out beautifully repainted railcars and locomotives at an impressive pace, encouraging additional donations to support the program.

Thomas F. Grose Archival Facility, which houses the Harvey House exhibit and the library, was dedicated in January 2015.

The driver took the car pool lane on CA Highway 91 and then the Fast Trak lanes through Santa Ana Canyon and onto Interstate 15 to CA Highway 74 to the Walmart parking lot in Lake Elsinore where we waited for time as we could not be in Perris before ten o'clock.





We all remained on our bus but Bus 2 passengers were allowed off during their wait then took took us the rest of the way to the trolley museum.

Our Visit

The buses pulled up by the Grizzly Flats Railroad and the washrooms. I then led the way to the train.





Los Angeles Railway Type H Streetcar 1201 built in 1921.





Pacific Electric Interurban MU Coach "Blimp" 418.





Union Pacific E8A 942 built in 1952 by EMD and later Chicago and North Western/Metra 510.





The power of our train which everyone was on.





Chris Guenzler, James Harris and Robin Bowers at our seats.







NRHS members aboard the train. We went to the end of the line and returned to the station area then walked back to Bus 1 which took us to Car Barn 7. The buses were split up so while each would visit the same car barns and attractions at the museum, they would be on a different schedule. I started my photography and looking around outside.





Kerr McGee S-12 845, formerly Southern Pacific 1550, built by Baldwin in 1953.





Kerr McGee S-12 844, formerly Southern Pacific 1543, built by Baldwin in 1953.





Southern Pacific RSD12 2958 built by Alco in 1961 and United States Air Force 1601 built by General Electric in 1951.





Southern Pacific RSD12 2954 built by Alco in 1961.





Port of Los Angeles VO-1000 8 built by Baldwin in 1945 as United States Navy 2.





Southern Pacific U25-B 3100, built by General Electric in 1963, which was first numbered as Southern Pacific 7508, then became Southern Pacific 6708 during the railroad's 1965 general renumbering.





Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority SNS P865 144 built by Nippon Sharyo in 1989 as one of 54 identical "P865" type cars to open service on the Los Angeles-to- Long Beach Blue Line on July 14, 1990 — a date that marked the return of rail to Los Angeles County after a 27-year absence.





Southern Pacific S12 1550 built by Baldwin in 1953.





Southern Pacific outside braced box car 1354 built circa 1925.





Museum scene.





Southern Pacific SW1 1006 built by EMD in 1939.





Santa Fe wooden box car 49131 built by Pullman in 1912.





Santa Fe FP45 108 built by EMD in 1967.





Southern California Railway Museum MRSD-1 1975, built by Alco in 1942 as United States Air Firce 8018 and later became Department of Transportation 015.





Southern Pacific wooden caboose 570 built by Southern Pacific in 1924.





Pacific Electric box car 2721 built in 1924.





San Diego Expo DT city car 167 built by McG-Cumm in 1914.





Pacific Electric Interurban MU Coach "Blimp" 314 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1930.





Southern Pacific business car "Sacramento" built by the Barney and Smith Company in 1900.







The interior of the "Sacramento".





Santa Fe coach/combine baggage car 2419 built by the Ohio Falls Company in 1879.





Mojave Northern 0-6-0T 2 built by Davenport in 1917.





Virginia and Truckee combine 20 built by Hicks Locomotive and Car Works in 1907.





Museum view.





Santa Fe drovers caboose D918 built in 1929.





Museum view.





Key System Articulated Bridge Unit 167 built by Bethlehem Steel in 1937.





Santa Fe wooden caboose 1421 built by American Car and Foundry in 1923.







Museum views.





Pacific Electric Center Entrance MU Suburban "Hollywood Car" 637 built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1922.





Pacific Electric Center Entrance MU Suburban "Hollywood Car" 716 built by J.G. Brill in 1925.









Museum views.





Santa Fe wooden wooden cabosse 1421 built by Santa Fe in 1921.





Pacific Electric office car 1000 built by Jewell Car Company in 1913.





Fresno Traction 83 is a standard double-truck Birney streetcar built by St. Louis Car Company in 1925, later becoming Pacific Electric 152.





San Diego Electric Railway PCC car 528 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1936.





Museum views.





Pacific Electric caboose 1970 built in 1910 by the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern shops.





Museum view.





Pacific Electric caboose 1962 built from a box car.





Pacific Electric wrecker 008 built by Southern Pacific in 1912.





Pacific Electric Railway 179 built by the Pullman Company in 1912.







Museum views.





Union Pacific caboose 25729 built by Standard in 1910.





Pacific Electric wooden caboose 1985.





Museum views.





Pacific Electric Interurban MU coach 314.





Museum views.





San Diego and Arizona Eastern Baggage-RPO 2055 built by Pullman Car and Manufacturing in 1930.





Santa Fe baggage-coach 2602 built by Pullman in 1923.





Pacific Electric wooden caboose 1985.





Museum scene.





Union Pacific station bench.







Museum scenes. We boarded the bus for Car Barn 4.





Soo Line Business Car 54 "Mt. Rubidoux" built by Soo Line in 1923.









Interior views of the "Mt. Rubidoux".





Pacific Electric Officers Car 1299 built by Pullman in 1912.





Santa Fe Baggage-RPO 2055 built by Pullman Car and Manufacturing in 1930.





Interior view of Santa Fe 2055.





Ventura County 2-6-2 2 built by Baldwin in 1922 undergoing its 1,472 day/15 year inspection.





Santa Fe stock car 25840 built by Santa Fe in 1923.





Santa Fe box car 49131 built by Pullman in 1912.





Pacific Coast Railroad box car 704.





Tonopah & Tidewater box car 111 built by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Eastern circa 1885.





Hill of Howth Tramway 2 built in Dublin in 1959.





Southern Pacific wooden caboose 570 built by Southern Pacific in 1924. That finished car barn 4.





Union Pacific E8A 942 built by EMD in 1952. It was then time for lunch and a catered barbecue truck served pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and baked beans. People could either sit outside at the picnic benches or inside the air-conditioned Town Hall. After lunch, I started looking through Pacific Electric car barn.





Pacific Electric Center Entrance MU Suburban "Hollywood Car" 655 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1924.





Pacific Electric 498 built by Pullman in 1913.





San Diego Electric Railway PCC Car 508 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1937.





Union Pacific Buffet/Lounge 4051 built by Pullman in 1928.





Tender of Ventura County 2.





Southern Pacific S-4 1474 built by Alco in 1952.





Union Pacific Buffet/Lounge 4051 built by Pullman in 1928.





Union Pacific caboose 25129 built by Pullman Car and Manufacturing in 1944.





Southern California Railway Museum RSD-1 1956 built by Alco in 1941 as US Army 8009 and later DOT 012.





United States Air Force General Electric B-B-90/90 8540.





Southern California Edison 12 Model ML6 12 built in 1941.





American Potash & Chemical Company E-513 is a 1956 Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton product.





Pullman Sleeper "Corydon" built by Pullman in 1917.





Cab of Ventura County 2. I then walked over to car barn 2.





Los Angeles Railway Funeral Car "Descanso" built in 1909 by Los Angeles Railway. Los Angeles Railway offered funeral car service from 1909 until about 1924. Most cemeteries were connected to urban hubs by rail. With unpaved roads and horse-drawn hearses, the trolley funeral car offered a more dignified ride to one's final resting place. Chartering this car cost $25.





Los Angeles Transit Lines 3100 type P-2 PCC 3100 built by St. Louis Car Company.





Los Angeles Railway 5 Ton derrick 9225 built by Los Angeles Railway in 1912.





Los Angeles Railway Type K-4 1559 built by Los Angeles Railway in 1925.





Los Angeles Railway Type F-4 1160 built by American Car Company in 1899.





Los Angeles Railway Type F-4 1423 built by American Car Company in 1903.





Los Angeles Railway Power Car (Motor Flat) 9209 built by Los Angeles Railway in 1913.





Los Angeles Transit Lines Type P-3 PCC 3165 built by St Louis Car Company in October 1948.





Los Angeles Railway Type B "Huntington Standard" 525 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1906.





California Street Cable Railway 43.





California Street Cable Railway 77 trailer.





Los Angeles Railway Type C Center Entrance "Sowbelly" 936 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1914.





Los Angeles Railway Type P-1 PCC 3001 built by St. Louis Car Company in February 1937.





Los Angeles Railway Type M 2601 built by St. Louis Car Company in 1930.





Kyoto Japan 19 built in 1910.





Los Angeles Railway Rail Grinder 9310 built by the Los Angeles Railway in 1925.





Los Angeles Railway Tower Car 9350 built by the Los Angeles Railway in 1907. Next I went to the Grizzly Flats Railroad barn. This began in Ward and Betty Kimball's San Gabriel, California back yard. Ward, who was then an animator for Walt Disney Studios and avid railroad enthusiast, decided to buy the last passenger coach from Southern Pacific's narrow gauge subsidiary, the Carson & Colorado Railroad. With a friend's prompting, he then bought 2-6-0 2, once named "Sidney Dillon", which had operated on the Nevada Central since 1881.





Grizzly Flats Railroad 0-4-2T 1 "Chloe" built by Baldwin in 1907, originally Waimanalo Sugar 2.





Grizzly Flats Railroad rider open car Southern Pacific 223.





Grizzly Flats Railroad stock car Southern Pacific 65.





Grizzly Flats Railroad rider car 2.





Grizzly Flats Railroad rider car 6.





Southern Pacific gondola 216.





Grizzly Flats Railroad caboose.





Nevada Central Plymouth hydraulic switcher 589 built by the Plymouth Locomotive Works in 1938.





Grizzly Flats Railroad Nevada Central 2-6-0 2 "Emma Nevada".





Southern Pacific narrow gauge box car 449.





The tender of the "Emma Nevada".





Southern Pacific coach 39 built by the Carter Brothers in 1881.





Grizzly Flats coach 5.





Carson & Colorado Business Car 10 "Esmeralda" built by Viginia & Truckee in 1896. After this I went outside.





The Desert Dog motor car.





The Grizzly Flats gallows turntable.





The water tower under construction.





Union Pacific 2-8-2 2564 built by Baldwin in 1922.





Two views of the Cottonwood station.





Denver and Rio Grande Western flat car 6768.





Denver and Rio Grande Western gondola 732.





Mine cars and other railroad items.





Denver and Rio Grande Western gondola 1066.





Southen Pacific stock car 157. I walked over to Hutchinson Northern engine.





Hutchinson Northern steeplecab 1 built by General Electric Company in 1921. Next I went into PE Barn.





Museum view.





Paciifc Electric Center Entrance MU Suburban "Hollywood Car" 717 built by J.G. Brill Company in 1924.





Museum view.





Pacific Electric Interurban MU Coach 1001 built by Jewett Car Company in 1913.





Sacramento Northern steeplecab 653 built by General Electric in 1928.





Pacific Electric steeplecab 1624 built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in 1912.





Yakima Valley Transportation Company 297 built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in 1923 as Glendale & Montrose Railroad 22.





Bakersfield & Kern Electric Railway Double-Ended Single Truck City Car 4 built by Holman in 1900.





Pacific Electric Birney Safety Car 331 Built by J.G. Brill Car Company in 1918.





Bamburger Railroad single-ended double-trucked Interurban 127 built by Brill Car Company in 1932.





Intracity Transit Bus 20118 originally from Modesto. Next I visited the Fred Harvey Museum.





The sign in front of the museum.

The Harvey Girls History

The Harvey Girls defined hospitality in the wild west of the 1880s. More specifically, they were young, single, intelligent women who were also of "good character", and, presumably, had the sort of sense of adventure that propelled them to unknown territory in the 1880s to work as waitresses.

Their legacy: Helping to make travel in the West a lot more enjoyable by serving tasty meals in pleasant surroundings and bringing a touch of graciousness to a mostly unsettled land.

But there would not have been a Harvey Girl without Fred Harvey, the visionary entrepreneur who paved the way for civilized travel when the West was still wild.

As a freight agent in the 1870s, Harvey spent enough time travelling via train in an era before dining cars to experience first-hand the difficulty of finding good food. Roadhouses set up near the tracks offered limited fare of dubious quality and service ranging from indifferent to surly.

Recognizing a business opportunity, Harvey struck a deal with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to operate a system of eateries along its rail lines. His first depot restaurant opened in Topeka, Kansas, in 1876. Within two years, he had opened his first hotel/restaurant in Florence, Kansas. The foundation for what would grow into a hospitality empire was laid. By 1891, 15 Harvey House restaurants were in operation.

.

But Harvey not only created America’s first restaurant chain, he was a pioneer of cultural tourism. In the early 1900s, the Fred Harvey Company created an "Indian Department", which commissioned artists and photographers to convey the exoticism of Indians in the Southwest. The images were printed on everything from menus to brochures to promote the mystique of Indian Country, and, not incidentally, Harvey’s tourist enterprises.

The company also employed Native Americans to demonstrate rug weaving, pottery, jewellery-making and other crafts at his Southwest hotels. The sales of those items in Harvey's stores influenced the design of native arts.

Taking the marketing approach even further, in 1926, the Harvey Company began offering "Indian Detours", chauffeured interpretive tours in which guests at his Southwest hotels were ferried in comfortable Harvey Cars for one-to three-day excursions into Indian settlements in New Mexico and Arizona.

Now I would be able to see this museum, operated by the Harvey Girl Historical Society.





The first display case.





The desk used by a Harvey Girl.





Display Board 1 Memory of Harvey Girls.





Display Board 8 "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Harvey Girls".





Display Board 9 Indian Detour.





Display Board 5 Santa Fe System Eating Houses.





Display 6 Like Indian Beads - Harvey Houses of the Southwest.





A china display case.





Display Board 7 California Southern Railroad.





Display Board 3 Fred Harvey - Creator of Western Hospitality.





Display Board 2 Harvey Girls. That finished my visit to this museum, which was the first time I had been here. Elizabeth and I rode Pacific Electric 418 on the museum's mainline.





An vintage car along Broadway Avenue, the main paved road at the museum. I rode the Los Angeles Railway 1201 around the Loop Ride circle of the museum.





Union Pacifc E8A 942.







Three more pictures of Union Pacifc 942.





The final run of the Pacific Electric car was occuring. I walked over and boarded the bus with James joining me for the quick trip in the FastTrak and carpool lanes back to the hotel. After Elizabeth finished her bus host duties, the two of us went to the Sizzler for dinner with Walter Zullig. After dropping Walter and Elizabeth at the hotel, I drove to our apartment to pick up the mail then returned to the hotel. It had been a great visit to the Orange Empire Railway Museum with the NRHS convention but I was looking forward to tomorrow.



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