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Western Railroad Discussion > Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc

Date: 03/03/19 20:01
Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: SaticoyPacific

After a decade-long absence, this is my 1st new post to TO in a long time. The shot is from last Fall, but for the Santa Paula branch this was a "massive" movement (normally it's only 1 carload, not 3).  The crossing is Bristol Road, just a few yards from Saticoy Lemon Assoc. Plant #1 in East Ventura. -- Espee Bob

Date: 03/03/19 20:06
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: CPRR

Headsupcaost reports that UP is going up the branch on Wednesday to switch out cars.

Date: 03/03/19 20:19
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: MojaveBill

Super clouds in Socal this week...

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA

Date: 03/03/19 20:22
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: SaticoyPacific

We live along the Santa Paula Branch ROW and the Local has been running on Wednesdays for the past 3 years, usually twice a month although it didn't run for several months in 2018.  The only rail customer, Spears Manufacturing in Santa Paula, takes plastic pellets delivered by covered hopper.  But recent updates on Headsupcoastfans suggests a new cement customer is asking UP for delivery of aggregate, and negotiations are apparently hung up between UP, Fillmore & Western, and the Ventura County Transportation Commission (who own the line).  A new (small) interchange yard may have to be built near Saticoy, allowing FWRY to deliver cement hoppers for UP's Oxnard Local to collect. Fingers crossed! 

Date: 03/03/19 22:30
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: HogheadMike

CPRR Wrote:
> Headsupcaost reports that UP is going up the
> branch on Wednesday to switch out cars.

I grew up in East Ventura along North Bank Ave.  I would always love to see long strings of boxcars on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when I was at recess at Junipero Sera Elementary.  I had always hoped that the Santa Paula Branch would be rebuilt for some new traffic or Metrolink.  I'm sad to see that not only has this not happened, but that freight has now plummeted to 1 day a week tops.  Nothing ever gets better in America.....it only gets worse.  Give it another couple decades and railroads will be third world, right along with our highways.

Date: 03/04/19 08:22
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: SaticoyPacific

Thanks for sharing branch history, CPRR!  Curious if those "recess" roll-bys you saw were during the 80s when hundreds/thousands of excess Hydra-Cushion and DF boxcars were being stored between Fillmore and the EOT past Piru?  I remember seeing those endless strings each time we drove out 126 on our way to Mammoth -- just about the same time I was discovering those same cars in Athearn Bluebox @ Ventura Hobbies.  Feel free to share more branch history when you can!  

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/19 08:37 by SaticoyPacific.

Date: 03/04/19 09:11
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: CPRR

Saticoy, that was Hoghead Mike on the history. However, I have always followed the history of this line, remembering seeing trains on it when I was a kid in the early 60's. My Mom would always go out to the Piru area for oranges. It is to bad that Newhall Land and Farming will obiterate the ROW on the south side over by Indian Dunes area when they build their latest 10, 000 home, with no way other than roads to clog up in the future. I too wished Ventura would get on board with a Metrolink connectio, but routing through Santa Clarita would be a problem, except along the river banks.

Date: 03/04/19 13:56
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: SaticoyPacific

Thx CPRR & HogheadMike!  As homeowners along the ROW, my wife & I are frankly relieved not to have Metrolinks rumbling by at commuter hours (though we still hear the SCAX horns echoing from Montalvo yard before sunrise & after sunset). BUT as railfans (my Mrs too!) we wish we enjoyed a bit more traffic. The FWRY Santa Train (see video below) only comes thru a single Sunday nite in December...always a treat for the kids to see a steam engine pass our back fence!  Otherwise, we make do with our anorexic Oxnard Local. 

Plenty of Venturans have asked me either "when will" or "why won't" Metrolink connect Montalvo to Santa Clarita, not realizing it's impossible for myriad reasons. Assuming the breaks in the line magically didn't exist, I doubt the alignment and ROW from Santa Paula thru Piru would ever support the speeds Metrolink needs to be profitable. There are quite a few slow S-curves and narrow ROW (backyards too close).  Even if you could upgrade to Class 1 track, I suspect driving the 126 would be a lot faster.  I can only imagine what a slow trudge it must've been in the 1920s-60s when highballs, beet trains and Daylights were forced to detour thru Santa Paula due to tunnel outages at Santa Susanna.  And believe me, I sit out in our backyard imagining those glorious detours almost every night! 

A few years ago I worked with a VCTC board member (a career politician with NO knowledge of railroading) who had HUGE dreams of running trains of imported autos & containers from Port Hueneme thru Montalvo to Santa Clarita as a "short-cut to the Transcon." But that board member and other friends and neighbors I've spoken to don't realize that while the Santa Clara River trestle at Castaic Junction is technically fixable (if VCTC has million$ to do so), the line's biggest break ISN'T -- the quarter mile of elevated ROW that CalTrans carved out of a hillside between Piru and Del Valle in order to widen the 126.  That's as permanent as it gets, and the only way to restore that alignment would be using an "L" (or Elevated like in Chicago or NYC) for a mile or more along the westbound 126 shoulder.  And as you pointed out, Newhall's looming construction binge at Indian Dunes will add yet another nail in the ROW coffin. 

So as a homeowner I'm ok with our "Spur" being quaint and occasionally-used, but as a railfan I'm always wishing I'd lived by these tracks a generation or 2 earlier. Thx for the discussion!

Edited 14 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/19 17:35 by SaticoyPacific.

Date: 03/04/19 14:14
Re: Santa Paula Local @ Saticoy Lemon Assoc
Author: SaticoyPacific

Last year’s Santa Train with FWRY 2-6-0 #14 crossing South Petit on its way towards Serra School and Montalvo.

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