Fillmore and Western Railway

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Fillmore and Western Railway
FWRY Engines.JPG
Fillmore and Western Railway EMD F7 No. 101 and GP35 No. 3502.
Locale Ventura County, California, USA
Commercial operations
Built by Southern Pacific Railroad
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preserved operations
Owned by Track owned by the
Ventura County Transportation Commission
Rolling stock owned by Fillmore and Western Railway
Operated by Fillmore and Western Railway
Reporting mark FWRY
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Preservation history
Headquarters Fillmore
Website
www.fwry.com
Route map
miles
to Santa Clarita
0.00 Piru
7.09 Fillmore
23.99 Santa Paula
28.25 Saticoy
East Ventura (Metrolink station)
Coast Line (UP)

The Fillmore and Western Railway (reporting mark FWRY) is a railroad owned by the Fillmore and Western Railway Company. The company operates on track owned by the Ventura County Transportation Commission.[1] The majority of F&W rolling stock was acquired from three major studios: 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros, and MGM. The rolling stock and right-of-way are frequently used for the filming of television series, motion pictures and commercials and as a locale for private and commercial still photography, Visitors to Fillmore often see filming activity as well as sets and support equipment at the company's rail yard and along the tracks between Santa Paula and Piru.

The F&W has been used in more than 400 movie, TV and commercial shots. Movies shot on the railroad include Throw Momma from the Train,[2] The Three Amigos,[2] Seabiscuit, Get Smart, Rails & Ties, & Race to Witch Mountain.[3][4] Television series CSI and Criminal Minds have used the railroad for location shooting.[5]

The railroad also operates a year-round tourist train and offers numerous special events, including the Railroad Days Festival, the Pumpkinliner, Christmas Tree Trains,[6][7][8] the North Pole Express, and the Day Out with Thomas. The normal schedule involves weekend excursions, dinner trains, murder mystery trains, barbecue trains, and shopping excursions to nearby Santa Paula.[9][10][11][12]

History

The track is a standard gauge railroad constructed in 1887 by Southern Pacific Railroad through the Santa Clara River Valley in Ventura County, California. This line was originally part of the Southern Pacific's main line between San Francisco and Los Angeles before a shorter route was built through the Santa Susana Mountains in 1904. State Route 126 follows roughly the same route from Ventura to Santa Clarita. The track was used extensively by Southern Pacific as late as the 1950s to haul citrus from packing houses at the communities along the Santa Clara River. In 1989, the branch line that connects at its west end to the Union Pacific at Montalvo in Ventura was purchased from Southern Pacific by the Ventura County Transportation Commission. The eastern end of the line now terminates in Piru as storm damage in 1979 severed the eastern end of the line to Saugus in Los Angeles County.

Short Line Enterprises[2] was a company that provided railcars for use in movie productions.[13][14][15][16] They came to Fillmore in 1991 to use the rail line and eventually added tourist and dinner trains.[17]

Future plans

Fillmore & Western Railway Railroad Days Festival, March 2004.

Transportation planners in the Southern California region have been studying the feasibility of restoring the eastern end of the line between Santa Paula and Santa Clarita in order to establish Metrolink service, at least since 2006.[18] This would require bringing existing track up to passenger standards, adding passing sidings and acquisition of new right-of-way for track between the current eastern terminus of the line located just west of Interstate 5 (I-5) and Metrolink's Antelope Valley line. The new line would also require construction of a bridge over the south fork of the Santa Clara River and an at-grade crossing or a flying junction at San Fernando Road. This line would have the potential to relieve some of the current commuter load on the I-5 corridor between State Route 126 and State Route 14 as well as providing future commute options for housing development in northern Los Angeles County and Ventura County communities in the Santa Clara River Valley.

FWRY v. Ventura County Transportation Commission

Ventura County Transportation Commission reached a settlement with Fillmore and Western Railway, trains will continue to operate for at least until 2021.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39]

Current equipment

The roster of the F&W includes two GP35s, two F7s from General Motors Electro-Motive Division and an S6 and RS32 from Alco. The railroad also owns numerous coaches, freight cars, cabooses and excursion cars. The F&W roster also includes an Ex-Duluth and Northeastern Baldwin #14 2-8-0 Consolidation steam locomotive. Also in operation is an 0-4-0 Porter tank engine, the Sespe.[40]

The Thomas the Tank Engine train is actually powered by a diesel at the other end in a push-pull operation down the F&W branch line towards Piru.[41][42]
Fillmore and Western Railway tracks. The ex-Canadian turntable is being installed just on the other side of the buildings on the left of the photograph.

The rail yard is located adjacent to the restored city hall in downtown Fillmore and is part of the revitalized section of the city rebuilt after the extensive damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake that brought down the facades of many nearby businesses. A vintage 1906 80-ton turntable bridge originally installed in Capreol, Ontario, was purchased from the Canadian National Railway by the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society (SCRVRHS) and was installed in a newly constructed pit on February 7, 2007. The turntable allows not only turning of locomotives and cars but also access to planned facilities on tracks in the narrow yard area. This area is planned to be the center of a proposed railway heritage park complex that will also feature a roundhouse and a Railroad Interpretive Center Museum.

See also

References

  1. ^ Harris, Mike (July 25, 2014). "Railway's eviction is back in force". Ventura County Star. 
  2. ^ a b c "SHORT LINE ENTERPRISES COLLECTION". oac.cdlib.org. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  3. ^ "Shooting a huge headache - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  4. ^ "Disney Filming - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  5. ^ Verrier, Richard (July 21, 2010). "His trains have a great Hollywood track record". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Santa Claus Comes to Fillmore - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  7. ^ "Santa Train - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "Fillmore Historical Museum and Railway decorated for Christmas - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  9. ^ "The California Honey Harvest Festival - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  10. ^ "Dad's Day Express delights the whole family - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  11. ^ "SCV Railroad Historical Society's Rail Fest 2013 - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  12. ^ "4th of July Car Show entries down 30% - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  13. ^ "How We Came About". www.fwry.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  14. ^ HULSE, JANE (24 June 1993). "Locomotive Ride Is a Throwback to Rural Times : Rail firm is hooking up steam engine No. 51 to its string of 11 vintage rail cars for a series of trips over the July 4 weekend". Retrieved 19 August 2018 – via LA Times. 
  15. ^ HULSE, JANE (29 September 1994). "JAUNTS : Old Depot Is Right Stop for Train Buffs : Facility is the site of an Autumn Rail Festival that includes historical exhibits and a barbecue". Retrieved 19 August 2018 – via LA Times. 
  16. ^ "Business of the Year - Fillmore & Western Railway Co. - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  17. ^ Harris, Mike (September 8, 2014). "Fillmore railroad owner tires of legal battle". Ventura County Star. 
  18. ^ Paul Dyson (28 February 2007). "RailPAC President's COMMENTARY: Why I oppose the plan to reopen the Santa Paula Line". Rail Passenger Association of California – via archive.org. 
  19. ^ "$950,000 Shortfall for Fiscal Year 2011 to be addressed - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  20. ^ "Western Railway, VCTC still at odds over track maintenance, lease - The Fillmore Gazette". www.fillmoregazette.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018. 
  21. ^ "Transportation commission and Fillmore & Western Railway reach settlement to keep trains running". vcstar.com. Camarillo, California: Ventura County Star. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  22. ^ "Appellate court reverses Fillmore & Western Railway's eviction". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  23. ^ "Fillmore railroad owner tires of legal battle". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  24. ^ "Transportation commission seeks injunction against Fillmore & Western Railway". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  25. ^ "Fillmore & Western Railway dismisses suit against transportation commission". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  26. ^ "Fillmore & Western Railway told to halt operations or face eviction". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  27. ^ "Railway's eviction is back in force". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  28. ^ "Fillmore railway sells vintage car to help fund litigation". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  29. ^ "Appellate court hears arguments in Fillmore & Western Railway eviction". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  30. ^ "Fillmore & Western barred from running tourist trains on branch line". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  31. ^ "Fillmore railway again seeks delay of its eviction". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  32. ^ "Judge delays eviction of Fillmore & Western Railway". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  33. ^ "Judge upholds Fillmore railroad lease termination, but trains to keep running". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  34. ^ "Fillmore & Western trains resume at least temporarily". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  35. ^ "Historical society cancels Fillmore festival over railroad uncertainty". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  36. ^ "Railway won't run trains until insurance matter is resolved". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  37. ^ "Fillmore & Western plans to run Christmas trains, with or without a lease". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  38. ^ "Christmas tree train runs despite lease termination". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  39. ^ "Fillmore & Western could reach settlement with commission". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  40. ^ Harris, Mike (July 1, 2014). "Fillmore railway sells vintage car to help fund litigation". Ventura County Star. 
  41. ^ "Thomas the Tank Engine visits Fillmore". vcstar.com. Camarillo, California: Ventura County Star. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  42. ^ "Traveling with Thomas". vcstar.com. Retrieved 18 August 2018. 

Further reading

  • Tourist Trains 2005. Kalmbach Publishing Company. 2005. p. 26. 1546-2730. 

External links

  • Official website fwry.com
  • fwry-blog.com via archive.org
  • Santa Clara River Valley Historical Society
  • Paul Dyson (28 February 2007). "RailPAC President's COMMENTARY: Why I oppose the plan to reopen the Santa Paula Line". Rail Passenger Association of California – via archive.org. 
  • The Center for Land Use Interpretation. "Fillmore Train Tracks - Land Use Database". clui.org.  . Map

Coordinates: 34°23′57″N 118°54′39″W / 34.399031°N 118.910716°W / 34.399031; -118.910716

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