Programs

Friends members and the public are invited.

March 22, 2017

"Chinese Workers building local Railroads". Phil Tillman will be speaking about the role of Chinese workers who built local railroads on the Central Coast including parts of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. Phil discusses some of the trials and tribulations the Chinese went through. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard Hall (421 S. McClelland Street). 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. Photos...

January 25, 2017

"Santa Maria Valley Railroad's Vision for the Future". Santa Maria Valley Railroad's President Rob Himoto will be revealing some of the long term visions and goals of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard Hall (421 S. McClelland Street). 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.

September 21, 2016

Your Community Your Railroad. How to be a railroad advocate in our community. At this Friends of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad's presentation hosted by the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, Rob Himoto, president, will be talking about the trials and tribulations the Santa Maria Valley Railroad has in regards to city and local government interactions. He will be talking about how you can help be an advocate in getting local municipalities and governments to understand the important role that a local community railroad plays as an economic engine. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard Hall (421 S. McClelland Street). Doors open at 5:30pm. Admission is $5, or free if you grab dinner from the Cafe right next to the Hall. The program will start at 6pm. Please RSVP by calling 805-922-7941 or email newsinfo@smvrr.com.

January 27, 2016

"We Built This City". Enjoy Rob Himoto's new 40-minute slideshow spanning the existence of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad and its impact on the development of the City of Santa Maria. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard Hall (421 S. McClelland Street). 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. 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.

September 18, 2014

Phillips 66 Rail Project. Jim Anderson from Phillips 66 will talk about the rail expansion project at their Nipomo facility. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard's 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.

April 3, 2014

Rail Safety. Railroad safety seems to be the hot topic these days, particularly in regards to the transportation of hazardous materials and homeland security. We will talk about the railroad industry's reaction and solutions to recent incidences and new procedures the Santa Maria Valley Railroad has instituted for the safe transportation of hazardous materials. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library's Shepard's 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. Note: This is a Thursday.

January 22, 2014

Signals: Gary See will present how crossing signals work and Rob Himoto will talk about crossing signals on the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library’s Shepard’s 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. Photos...

October 13, 2013

Railroad Industry Update: Presentations at the Central Coast Railroad Festival. Join us in this special set of presentations by the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad Company, and the Federal Railroad Administration talking about the current state of the railroad industry in the Central Coast and California. The presentations will be held at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum's opening weekend on Sunday October 13th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. This is open to the public so bring your friends and prospective Friends members. Details about these presentations and all Festival activities are available at the CCRRF website.

June 19, 2013

Captain Hancock. Jane Brennan, great-granddaughter of Alan Hancock, will present "Recollections of Captain Hancock". This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library’s Shepard’s 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. Photos...

March 12, 2013

Surf. John Roskoski will reprise his famous presentation on historic Surf depot and town. This program will be held at the Santa Maria Library’s Shepard’s 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.

September 26, 2012

6pm, Santa Maria Library, Shepard's Hall. "What's up at the railroad for the next 12 months." Admission is $5 unless you buy dinner at the cafe there in the Library, in which case admission is free.

June 27, 2012

6pm, Santa Maria Library, Shepard's Hall. Our speaker will be Tom Murray, railroad consultant and writer, talking about railroads as investments. Photos...

April 11, 2012

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. SMVRR Green Marketing

March 14, 2012

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. Plans for National Train Day, Friends' Goals

February 8, 2012

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. "Advances in Railroad Technology".

January 11, 2012

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. "Recent Shortline Success Stories" (Rob).

November 9, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. A report from the CA Shortline Railroad Association meeting last week, an update on other shortlines, and an update on SMVRR operations (Rob).

October 12, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. Overview of Central Coast railroading opportunities, including photos from the Railroad Festival weekend (Jamie).

September 14, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. Report from the Union Pacific's Shortline Conference in Omaha.

August 10, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. SMVRR and the Jones Street Corridor: Present and Future.

July 13, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. "SMVRR Update" by Rob and Al.

June 8, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. "Signals" by Gary See.

May 11, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. The CA Short Line Railroad Association (CSLRA) and its Reno UPRR Special.

April 13, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. Freight Cars: Ownership, Inspections, Repairs, Reporting Marks...

March 9, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. "Railroad Crossings, Public and Private Partnerships"

February 9, 2011

Wednesday, 6pm, at Petra's in SLO. "How Companies become Railroad Customers: Getting into the System"

No January meeting.

October 14, 2010

Central Coast Railroad Festival slide show; 4th anniversary of SMVRR current ownership

September 9, 2010

Railroads: the Green Way

August 12, 2010

"SMVRR: Meet Me on Facebook", Matt Regusci

June 10, 2010

"Railroad Financials 101" by Rob Himoto

May 13, 2010

"White Hills" by Bruce Morden.

April 8, 2010

"Safety" by Mary and James.

March 11, 2010

"Surf" by John Roskoski.

January 14, 2010

"Air Brakes" by James Andrews.

December 10, 2009

"Track Warrants" by Virlon

November 12, 2009

Report on the CA Shortline Association meeting and Pacific Harbor Line tour.

October 8, 2009

SLO Farmers Market. We'll join in with the rest of the Central Coast Railroad Festival folks at their opening night activities in San Luis Obispo.

September 10, 2009

Track: maintenance and inspection.

August 13, 2009

Chapel Cars. Jamie Foster and Barry Hague presented slides and a talk about chapel cars. See pictures from their June 6, 2009 chapel car event.

July 12, 2009

SMVRR's 98th Anniversary.

July 9, 2009

Hand signals by Virlon Smoot

June 11, 2009

SMVRR Locomotives.

May 14, 2009

Maintenance of Way Equipment. Tour of the MOW equipment used by the SMVRR to maintain and build railroad track.

April 9, 2009

Walking Tour of Betteravia. The first phase of a walking tour of Betteravia. This short easy walk features buildings nearby the SMVRR corporate office.

March 12, 2009

Operation Lifesaver. Operation Lifesaver presenter Bill Schertle will lead this presentation about making communities safer at railroad crossings and railroad right of ways.

February 12, 2009

SMVRR in the 1950s and 1960s. A peek at the Santa Maria Valley Railroad in the 1950's and 1960's when Captain Hancock was still at the throttle and the SMVRR was one of the busiest shortline railroads in the west.

January 8, 2009

SMVRR Track System. Presentation of the present 14-mile mainline track system of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad. Sidings and spurs and present day operations.

December 11, 2008

Betteravia Industrial Park.

November 13, 2008

Private railcars, by Dave Rohr.

October 9, 2008

Friends' Open House at the railroad's new "Digs" at the Betteravia Industrial Park.

September 11, 2008

Recapping in pictures the SMVRR since being sold to Coast Belle Rail in 2006.

July 10, 2008

All about the Freight Depot.

June 12, 2008

History of the electric railways which ran in Santa Maria, by Hal Madson

May 8, 2008

How the Central Coast will benefit from the SMVRR, by Rob Himoto

April 10, 2008

Railroading in a Santa Maria Third Grade Classroom, by Jamie Foster. See the AASRR web site.

March 13, 2008

Speeders, by Bill Schertle

January 10, 2008

1980s Slides of Local Railroading, by Karl Hovanitz

December 13, 2007

Holiday Dinner and Dessert, $6 at 6pm.

November 8, 2007

All about the La Condesa.

October 28, 2007

Fall Train Fest at the Bitter Creek Western RR - a fundraiser for the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum.

October 11, 2007

Brad LaRose will talk about current activities at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum.

September 30, 2007

Depot Day at the South Coast Railroad Museum in Goleta. 25th annual Depot Day commemorating the preservation of the Goleta Depot from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. This is also their annual fundraiser. Address: 300 North Las Carneros Road, Goleta. Phone (805) 964-3540. Website: www.goletadepot.org

September 29, 2007

Clean Up Day at the Historic Santa Maria Valley Railroad Freight Depot.

September 13, 2007

Bob Orach and Ray Deutsch will talk about the community vision for the downtown area, including Jones Street and the rail yard.

August 9, 2007

Steam! And a tour of the Blacksmith Shop.

July 12, 2007

Dave Basquet talks about the plans to develop an ethanol plant in Betteravia.

June 14, 2007

Hal Madson talks about the history of Betteravia.