PERRIS: Model railway supplier becomes president of Orange Empire Railway Museum
George Huckaby Jr., an HO scale model electric railway supplier and retired aerospace and aircraft engineer, was recently named President/CEO of the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California.
The appointment of this former San Bernardino resident comes at a time when the 1,600-member museum is expanding its educational outreach through the construction of a Southern California railway history library and a permanent exhibit on the Harvey Girls, a pioneering women’s work force in the Western railroad.
Huckaby of Los Angeles says his and the board’s priorities are fundraising for the museum capital and restoration projects and improving volunteer facilities. Four hundred volunteers punch tickets, run excursions, staff events and preserve and restore the rolling stock at the 56-year-old, non profit museum. “Volunteers are the heart of the organization,” Huckaby says.
At 250 cars, spanning Southern California and Western railway history, the museum owns, restores, maintains and operates one of the largest collections of rolling stock in the country.
“The promotion of rail history to younger generations and bringing newcomers into the pastime of preservation are important parts of our mission,” Huckaby says.
Huckaby and the Board of Directors are looking at ways to extend the Orange Empire Railway Museum’s track to reach the Perris Depot, which the 100-acre, museum owns. Once complete, visitors can take public transit to the museum from Perris, which is expected to be tied in to the planned Metrolink extension from Riverside.
Huckaby, who founded the Southern California Traction Club and is owner/CEO of Custom Traxx, has volunteered as a rail operator at the Orange Empire Railway Museum since 1972. He joined the board a year ago, and now succeeds Riverside attorney Tom Jacobson, who was President/CEO since the 1980s. Jacobson continues as Board Chairman and heads Day Out With Thomas (the Tank Engine), the museum’s largest festival fundraiser which draws 30,000 to the rail museum for five days every November.
For more information, contact the Orange Empire Railway Museum at (951) 943-3020 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or like OERM at www.facebook.com/orangeempirerailwaymuseum
About Orange Empire Railway Museum
The non-profit Orange Empire Railway Museum has been preserving Southern California’s railway history since 1956. The museum’s mission is to educate the public on the technology, history, and impact of the rail transportation industry in the West. Over 200 railcars and locomotives, ranging from Los Angeles streetcars to modern diesel locomotives, are preserved at the museum’s 100-acre site in Perris, California. Located mid-way between Los Angeles and San Diego, the museum is open 363 days a year. The museum railway operates every weekend, and visitors can experience a ride on a Pacific Electric “Big Red Car”, a Los Angeles city streetcar, and a steam road passenger train all in the same visit. Special events are held throughout the year, including steam-powered passenger trains.