heather_garcia

Heather Garcia opreates LARy 1201In April 2013, Heather Garcia, a University of La Verne graduate and sorority girl visited Orange Empire Railway Museum and became hooked on the Museum’s collection. “They are real and a snapshot of our history,” she said.

At the Museum, Heather Garcia has helped sand, grind and paint parts for the restoration of Santa Fe Railway 98 to its original appearance as ATSF 108. She has ground the caboose couplers of the Southern Pacific 020 and put crater grease on the trucks. Heather has also learned some track and machine shop work and spends time working in customer service.

“It’s all about volunteering and having fun,” she said.

Heather took the Museum’s motormen’s class so she could operate the restored vehicles. Now she is driving any of the Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) street cars, the streetcars. Under supervision, she has operated the 2954, the SP 3100, USAF 7441, and the Pacific Electric 418 and plans to become certified.

In October, she will take the brakeman’s class and work her way up to be an OERM engineer. Ultimately, she hopes to operate a diesel engine with passengers on the main line. Jeff Williams, Diesel Locomotive Superintendent and Restoration Project Manager for ATSF 108, says he can count on Heather to put in long and hard hours as a volunteer.

 “I like her work ethic,” he said. “She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty.”

Heather said the operators and restorers have embraced her as a crew member. “Even though I hardly understood what they were saying when they spoke ‘train’, they were welcoming and took the time to break things down and explain everything in great detail.” Ken Schwartz, head of operations, said that Heather has also made her mark as an operations crew member.

“We’re really starting to attract a lot of younger people who are training alongside our many skilled older volunteers and technicians. I’m always happy when I see young people like Heather getting involved and enjoying the artifacts of history that some people might think irrelevant.”

Click to learn more about volunteering at the museum, http://www.oerm.org/volunteer  or contact volunteer coordinator Rob Zanin at 951-662-3023 or rjzanin@msn.com.  For media inquiries, contact Ellen Braunstein at (909) 499-3429  at erbbraun1029@gmail.com

Upcoming Events

Apr 19 - Apr 20
May 17 - May 18

Museum News

March 12, 2014 - 17:16
See antique trucks, step onto train cars, take a ride on trolleys! Thousands of truck enthusiasts and rail fans will gather Sunday, May 4 at OERM for the annual Antique Truck Show. This one-day...
March 1, 2014 - 07:23
Gear Up for Steampunk Carnivale - March 15-16 Celebrate the fantasy, history and ingenuity behind Steampunk at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. The Iron Horse/Family Steampunk Carnivale pays homage...

OERM 2014 Calendar

OERM 2014 CalendarThe Orange Empire 2014 Calendar titled "The Street Cars of Los Angeles" is now available. Photographs of the Los Angeles Railway and the Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas enhance each month.. The price is $12.95 each plus sales tax and $5.00 shipping. To order your calendar call 951-943-3020 or e-mail info@oerm.org for more information.