Welcome to Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad

The mission of the Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad (SMVRR) is to preserve, improve, and interpret historical and contemporary aspects of the SMVRR. We provide our members and the public with educational programs such as history, current business practices, and trends related to railroading in general and the SMVRR in particular. Friends also conducts various activities to get us out into the field. Friends is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organization. See About.

May 9, 2015

San Luis Obispo Train Day. Friends will be exhibiting at the SLO Railroad Museum: details. (This used to be called National Train Day.)

June 19-21, 2015

Friends/SMVRR Summer BBQ Weekend. See all the details on the Activities page.

Recently Completed:


April 23, 2015

Puttin' on the Ritz. This was a great evening of fun and entertainment resplendent in a Roaring 20s theme. Dinner, live and silent auctions, and music and dance. Photos are here.

February 21, 2015

SMV History Museum. Join the Friends for a private guided tour of the Santa Maria Valley History Museum (616 S. Broadway). They have an interesting Hancock room and Betteravia display along with many other cool exhibits. Meet us there at 10am, and bring some lunch money as we'll be going to The Swiss right afterward (516 N. Broadway). Photos...

January 15, 2015

Proposed Coast Daylight Service. Peter Rodgers of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) will talk about the Coast Daylight proposal to run a daily passenger train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard Hall. Doors open at 5pm. Admission is $5, or free if you grab dinner from the Cafe right next to the Hall. The program will start at 6pm.

November 22, 2014

Tour the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum! A private Friends tour will start at 10am and be done in time for lunch at Del Monte Cafe (right across the street) around noon. Bring lunch money. The Museum is located at 1940 Santa Barbara Avenue, San Luis Obispo [map]; just south of the SLO Amtrak station. Photos...

October 4, 2014

Please join us for this San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara (and back) Rail Excursion on a beautiful private railcar. You will ride the immaculately restored Overland Trail as you enjoy the vistas along the Central Coast and relax in the luxurious lounge while being served complimentary coffee and soda. Several versions of this round-trip excursion from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara and back are available, as well as a lunch option to enjoy on the platform at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. This is a joint event between Friends and the SLO Railroad Museum. Membership is not required. Photos...

August 23, 2014

Santa Maria Valley's Electric Railroad. We'll explore the electrified branches of the Pacific Coast Railway and, ideally, gain some insight to the sometimes conflicting published material about them. Meet in the parking lot at the corner of Battles Road and S. Depot Street at 10:00am and we'll carpool from there. We'll end up in Guadalupe just in time for lunch! Photos...

June 14, 2014

Friends/SMVRR Summer BBQ. Join us at the railroad headquarters in Betteravia for a Santa Maria-style (tri-tip and chicken) Friends Fundraising BBQ Social for only $10/person. 11am to 2pm. Lunch includes beans, garlic bread, drinks, and dessert. Come celebrate summer and the upgrades and updates on the Santa Maria Valley Railroad's locomotives! The fun starts at 11am. Must be a Friends member for insurance purposes on railroad property (you can join on the spot). Photos...



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