Railway Preservation News

David L. Garcia
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Author:  Brian Norden [ Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  David L. Garcia

I have received the sad news that David L. Garcia of Orange Empire died this afternoon of a heart attack. He had been hospitalized due to the virus.

Dave was variously known for his deep knowledge of air brakes, streetcar and interurban electrical equipment, an interest in narrow gauge railroads, and work at re-powering and fixing model (mostly HOn3) locomotives.

He would have been about 74-75 years of age.

Author:  Bill Kohler [ Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

Sorry to hear of Dave's passing. He was a great guy who was always willing to share his knowledge.

Author:  Harry Nicholls [ Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

We have lost a great friend and my sympathy goes to his family and to OERM for this loss.


Author:  CCDW [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

I am sorry to hear this. Dave was brilliant when it came to air brakes, unpretentious, willing to share his knowledge with out reserve, and a fun person to talk to. The community lost a great resource with Dave’s passing. I always enjoyed his company and I will miss him very much.

Author:  Brian Smith [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

Dave was one of the first people I met when I joined OERM in 1976. His knowledge was vast on many subjects outside of railway preservation as well. He will be missed by many.

R.I.P. Dave

Author:  C W Craven [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

A true loss to railway preservation.
Dave will be missed.


Author:  Kelly Anderson [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

I'm sorry to hear that. He was our go-to guy for insoluble air brake questions.

My condolences to his family.

Author:  Erich Armpriester [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

I am tremendously sorry to hear this. I last spoke to Dave on the phone about two months ago, and I was aware at that point that he was battling some health issues. I had been meaning since to give him a call back and check on how he was doing. I guess I'll add not calling him and never meeting him in person to the growing list of regrets in my life.

As others have mentioned, Dave was an encyclopedia of knowledge on almost anything historical and technical, especially when it came to his knowledge of air brakes. If there was an answer to a question he didn't have or couldn't find, it was likely nobody did and was something lost to the sands of time.

On a related note, I got the impression in talking to Dave over the years that he amassed quite the collection of air brake and other technical material, including obscure company documents and hardware such as test racks and the like. I'm sure in our conversations we only scratched the surface of what he had, and I sincerely hope upon hope that his collection makes its way to a place that is safe, secure and preserved for future generations.

He will be sorely missed.

Author:  RCB [ Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

Always the student - a technology sponge. Our travels remain indelible memories.
Ulm 1968.pdf [98.01 KiB]
Downloaded 311 times

The 'air room' at SCRM-Orange Empire with its numerous test stands fixtures and adapter plates is a testament to his understanding and appreciation of (the mysteries of) air work when air work meant lapped pistons and bushings. The archives hold much of his comprehensive collection of technical bulletins and company correspondence. It's the curator that's missing!

Rest in peace Dave.

Richard Berk

Author:  VTTom [ Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

David was so generous in giving of his time and knowledge of air brakes. He took great delight and really supported historic railroad preservation. He was also a fascinating military historian having served at a special time. Thank you Dave!

Author:  Brian Norden [ Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

VTTom wrote:
He was also a fascinating military historian having served at a special time.
Dave served with the Army Signal Corps in Munich for two years. This was during the Czechoslovakia reform movement known as the "Prague Spring," which ended in a Soviet-led invasion in 1968. Dave told of watching live Czech TV of the Soviet tanks in Prague.

When he left the service, he was told to apply with the Bell Telephone System as it hired Signal Corps people. So Dave told of going in and filling out an application and then left the building -- a human resource man came running out of the building and asked when could he start!

Dave's father was a Signal Corp photographer during WW2 in North Afirca and then into France on D-day, etc. Grandfather Garcia was a surveyor who served with the US Expeditionary Forces in France during WW1. Maternal grandfather was in and out of the Navy; was with Bureau of Ships and flew from Mare Island to Pearl Harbor on December 8th, 1941; and was retired as an Admiral.

Dave enjoyed telling and retelling all the various stories.

Author:  JeffH [ Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

Dave was the go-to guy for many museums for any air brake questions. He was always very generous with his time and expertise.

Within the hobby, we have steam foamers, trolley foamers, track foamers, whistle foamers, and so on. Dave was a self-described "test rack foamer!" In addition to a half-dozen or so test racks which are in service at OERM's unit room, Dave must have had another dozen in his possession. One of his trophies was an early Feed Valve test rack which was the "first one" made as a prototype by the guy at WABCO who developed that test code.

Attached is a photo of Dave from 2005 with a "slightly used" 3-T test rack. He traded this to me/Branford for some WH switch group parts, and guided me (mostly over the phone) through the tedious process of restoring it.

I guess the greatest honor was when Dave called me with questions. Mostly, these were concerning traction universal valves, such as U4, U5A and UE5.

oerm-feb2005-jh.jpg [ 339.19 KiB | Viewed 4342 times ]

Author:  6-ET [ Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

I was a teenager growing up at Orange Empire in the early 2000s, and I talked with Dave pretty often. I had inherited a long-neck oilcan that had belonged to my great-great-grandfather, who worked for the Santa Fe. Near the end of the neck it had developed a crack. Dave offered to help me fix it. He had me get a piece of copper tubing, split it longitudinally, and slide it down the spout over the crack. Then he brazed around the tubing to create a fluid-tight seal. It was a good rugged repair.

After we were done, we had a brief exchange:
Dave: "Huh. So what's its provenance?"
Me: "What does provenance mean?"
Dave: "Oh...like...where did it come from? How did you get it?"
Me: "Oh. It's a family heirloom I guess."
Dave: "Oh! I wish I had known. I would have done a better repair on it."
Me: "No no, this is good. This is in keeping with railroad practice."

Dave was a really nice guy. And, as a young guy at the time, I appreciated the fact that he was kind and respectful even if you weren't over 50 years old.

Author:  Brian Norden [ Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: David L. Garcia

6-ET wrote:
Dave was a really nice guy. And, as a young guy at the time, I appreciated the fact that he was kind and respectful even if you weren't over 50 years old.


Dave started coming out as a teenager.

Overall, some of us tended to treat everyone equally. Age does not equal skill or knowledge. Sometimes to have to teach the same skills one day to a teenager and the next to a senior.

Now that created a problem with a member's son. He was in Junior High (middle school) or maybe only 6th grade. On the weekend we treated him as an equal. His father told us that his son carried over that relationship to school on Monday -- he had to learn that school was different from the weekend at the museum. The young man turned out real good; years later he was my boss at work for several years; and currently he is running the municipal water system in a city with a population of over 200,000.

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