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Railfest 2012

The good times are rolling into Fillmore Station

Posted: March 23, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Railfest returns to Fillmore this weekend.

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Whether you're a train fan or merely looking for something new and interesting to do this weekend, you will find what you're looking for just up the road in Fillmore at Railfest 2012.

The Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society (SCRVRHS) will present Railfest 2012 this weekend, Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25. This year's Railfest theme is "Fillmore Steam Railfest." The annual Railfest has become a regional event and, as always, the center of activities will be held in Central Park in Fillmore.

This year Railfest 2012 will be featuring Fillmore & Western Railways' fully operating and restored Baldwin 1913 Consolidation-type steam locomotive #14. This locomotive, a 2-8-0, will be powering the Railfest Special Event train and diesels will be pulling a Scenic Excursion train to Santa Paula.

Railfest hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission and parking are free; however, there is a charge for the train rides.

Railfest 2012 also offers railroad-related venues such as "speeder" rides and informational displays from various railroad-related organizations. There will be arts and crafts booths, model trains in various scales and some unique food vendors, including SCRVRHS' very own Tri-Tip BBQ sandwiches. Other attractions include performances by the famous Frontier Gunfighters and a display of antique farm equipment.

SCRVRHS' 1956 Union Pacific Pullman Sleeping Car, the "National Embassy," a Santa Fe caboose, the "Vicky Vee," and a Pacific Fruit Exchange (PFE) boxcar will be on display in Fillmore adjacent to the railroad turntable.

The railroad turntable is the first to be constructed in California in more than 50 years. Demonstrations will be given throughout the event. The turntable is 96 feet in diameter and weighs 85 tons. It was purchased from the Canadian National Railroad and is now located in Fillmore on Main Street between Central Avenue and Mountain View, just east of the historic Fillmore Depot. The turntable will be operating with a docent to provide information and details about the equipment.

In Fillmore, the Fillmore Historical Society and Museum will be giving guided tours of the Fillmore Railroad Depot, Bunk House and Hinckley Home.

F&W diesel trains will depart from in front of the restored Fillmore Depot to Santa Paula at 1 p.m. both days. The Vintage Steam train will depart at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. These vintage trains will consist mostly of traditional pre-1940 heavyweight passenger cars. On Saturday night one can enjoy the old west with cowboys and characters on F&W's Family Murder Mystery Dinner Train, departing at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required for the dinner train and can be made by calling F&W at (805) 524-2546.

Railfest proceeds benefit the non-profit Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society and its railroad restoration efforts, which include the ongoing restoration of the turntable, a future roundhouse and a Railroad Interpretive Center/Exhibit Hall.

In addition, SCRVRHS' Buy-A-Brick program will be selling bricks with your name, family, organization, company or other slogan engraved on the brick. The bricks will be used to beautify and enhance a new walkway from Main Street to the promenade. Donations to the Buy-A-Brick program are tax deductible.

Donations to the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible. The SCRVRHS Railroad Visitor Center, located across from Fillmore's Central Park at 455 Main St., contains many historical railroad artifacts, a Lionel "0" gauge model train layout, a gift shop and a 20-seat digital theater with surround sound.

Railfest 2012 will be held in Fillmore's Central Park, at the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street, 19 miles west of I-5 via CA-126. For more information email info@svrvrhs.com or visit www.scrvrhs.com.

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