Orange Empire Railway Museum
in Perris, California
Disclaimer: This is NOT an official OERM web site.
I was an occasional visitor to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California. The museum is located at the end of track of what was once California Southern's (later Santa Fe's) main line from Riverside to San Diego via Temecula and the notorious Santa Margarita River canyon.
It was fun to go ride the trolleys: Flanges singing in the tight curves, the hum of the motors and the hammering of the air compressors was music to my ears while the aromas of old oil, grease, ozone and creosote added their own flavor to the experience. But most of all I enjoyed the special weekends when they would roll out the big guns, with steam and diesel trains running to the historic Santa Fe depot in downtown Perris. On one such weekend, my friend Debra Hoelscher and I were treated to the sounds of an eclectic jazz band and the rather amusing sight of a most irregularly-clad fireman aboard ex-Southern Pacific U25B #3100: