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Western Railroad Discussion > Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura County


Date: 09/09/21 16:02
Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura County
Author: WP921

On Friday, September 10, 2021, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) will meet.  The agenda for the meeting can be found on their website under "Meetings and Events."  I have reviewed the agenda and found some noteworthy information.

Item #10 on the Agenda is entitled "Amendment No. 1 to Santa Paula Branch Line Track and Signal Maintenance Agreement."  A narrative is included on page 70 and 71 of the agenda that describes the end of operations under Fillmore & Western Railway, effective June 30, 2021.  The narrative goes on to explain that VCTC contracted with Sierra Northern Railway from July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021 to provide "Track and Signal Maintenance" at a rate of $15,000.00 per month and up to $5,000.00 in related expenses, not to exceed a total of $50,000.00 for the three month period.

Item #10 is an amendment to the existing maintenance agreement with Sierra Northern Railway to extend this arrangement from October 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.  VCTC would continue to pay Sierra Northern Railway $15,000.00 for each of the three remaining months of proposed amended contract plus up to $10,000.00 in related expenses.

Under a paragraph entitled "Discussion:" which begins at the bottom of page 71 and continues onto page 72, VCTC confirms that Sierra Northern Railway is the Rail Operator they have been negotiating with to take over operation of the Santa Paula Branch.  The paragraph includes this quote: "At this time, VCTC Executive Director, Staff and General Counsel, and representatives of Sierra Northern Railway continue to negotiate in good faith toward an agreement for long-term operations and maintenance of the SPBL.  However, additional time is needed to reach agreement on the final terms of the Rail Operator Lease."

As an educated guess, I suppose the earliest the Rail Operator Lease between VCTC and Sierra Northern Railway might be voted on is at the October meeting.  I suspect operations would not commence prior to January 2022.



Date: 09/09/21 23:11
Re: Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura Count
Author: SLORailfanning

Sierra Northern has made the best offer, and will probably be the operator in the final contract.



Date: 09/10/21 10:17
Re: Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura Count
Author: PHall

Anybody know what name the Sierra Northern will use for this operation?



Date: 09/10/21 13:50
Re: Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura Count
Author: WP921

I don't know PHall.  The easiest thing to do would be to simply operate the line under the old name of Fillmore & Western Railway.  They wouldn't have to repaint or re-letter any of the existing F&W equipment.  Whether they will or not is unknown.  Hopefully all of the equipment currently on the property will be purchased by Sierra Northern.  I suspect a lot of it no longer qualifies for movement on Union Pacific or other Class 1 Railroads, so getting it out of there for resale elsewhere might be problematic.



Date: 09/10/21 14:01
Re: Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura Count
Author: jst3751

WP921 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know PHall.  The easiest thing to do
> would be to simply operate the line under the old
> name of Fillmore & Western Railway. 

That would be hard to do, since the Fillmore and Western Railway is a company that exists.



Date: 09/10/21 14:39
Re: Update on New Operator of Santa Paula Branch in Ventura Count
Author: callum_out

Serra (Northern) has become a widespread operator of gensets and considering the area I'd say at least normal
ops would most likely be gensets. And the steamer on hydrogen?

Out 



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