Santa Paula Times

Mike Morgan demonstrates the turntable installed at the Fillmore & Western Railway yard in Fillmore Wednesday evening. Sitting behind Morgan is Ken Van Sleet. The 85-ton turntable is one of a handful of operational standard gauge turntables in California. Photo by Don Johnson

“Turntable” demonstration in Fillmore

March 14, 2008
Santa Paula News
Construction is near completion on the 96-foot turntable in Fillmore. The 85-ton turntable, which was demonstrated for the public Wednesday evening, is one of a handful of operational standard gauge turntables in California. The turntable was built in 1906 for the Canadian National Railway, who used it in the railway town of Capreol, Ontario, located approximately 160 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It was obtained by the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society (SCRVRHS) and delivered in August of 1997. SCRVRHS bought it from the Canadians for $15,000, and it took an additional $15,000 for Union Pacific to ship it from Sault Ste. Marie to Fillmore.The turntable will be used extensively by SCRVRHS to demonstrate its operation, display historical equipment, and for Fillmore & Western Railway in its daily operations. SCRVRHS is looking for members who will be trained to operate it, and docents who will give talks on its history.The Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is seeking donations to continue work on the Railroad Interpretive Center and to start the second phase of this project, the construction of an actual railroad roundhouse. When the turntable becomes fully operational, Fillmore & Western’s vintage trains will no longer have to travel to Montalvo to turn around on the wye track located there. Additionally, the turntable is expected to draw railroad enthusiasts from across the country.
Established in 1993, the purpose of SCRVRHS is to assist in the preservation and restoration of the railroad corridor between Montalvo and Saugus, so as to maximize the economic, educational and recreational value of this unique historic asset to the residents of the Santa Clara River Valley and surrounding areas. To this end, it is the mission of the organization to acquire, preserve, restore, exhibit and operate historic railroad equipment, and acquire, preserve, display and make available for study artifacts, information and photographs pertaining to railroad equipment, structures and operations in the Southern California region.