© 2011 Fillmore & Western Railway. All Rights Reserved.
Short Line Enterprises was founded in 1967. Between 1967
and 1972, the company bought, sold and traded locomotives, passenger
cars and freight cars, mostly of 19th century origin. The majority of
the equipment was acquired from the property departments of three major
movie studios: MGM, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. This activity,
combined with Short Line's experience in buying, selling and evaluating
railroad equipment led to the company's emergence as one of the
foremost appraisers in America of rolling stock and other
railroad-related items. It also focused the company on its long-term
path of providing movie trains for the film industry.
By 1976, Short's Line's collection of rolling stock was
anything but short. The company moved lock stock and locomotive, to the
Sierra Railroad in Jamestown, California, which provided a better
location for film work. It was also close to Sacramento, where
principals of Short Line had been engaged by the California Department
of Parks and Recreation to supervise restoration of the extensive and
historic collection of the California State Railroad Museum.
Short Line was also retained as the prime contractor by
the Nevada State Museum on restoration projects in Carson City. This
series of projects ran from 1979 to 1988, and resulted in the
restoration of three derelict steam locomotives and seven 19th Century
passenger and freight cars.
During this time (1985), Short Line moved its movie
operations to the Newhall Ranch, placing it within the Hollywood
production zone. Between 1985 and 1990, Short Line was used in over
seventy feature films, television series and commercials. No Hollywood
railroad location had ever amassed that number of credits in such a
brief period of time. The track lease was cancelled in 1990 when the
Newhall Land and Farming Company decided to develop the surrounding
area in a way, which was incompatible with movie operations.
A search began for a new home for Hollywood's "movie
trains". All potential sites in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San
Bernardino and Ventura Counties were explored. The only line that met
the specific needs of the film industry was Southern Pacific's Santa
Paula Branch in rural Ventura County. The pastoral surroundings of the
area also bode suitable for development of a passenger excursion
business. The City of Fillmore showed great enthusiasm for the
operation of a vintage train in conjunction with the revival of its
1920-era Central Business District. The objective - to create a major
visitor destination that features the movie trains, passenger
excursions and dinner trains as the master theme for the community
The "Movie Trains" found a home, and Fillmore became "Train Town".
In 1996, Short Line Enterprises became the film division of the
Fillmore & Western Railway Company. Operations expanded from movie
work and limited passenger trips to regularly scheduled daytime
passenger excursions and Saturday Night Dinner Trains.
The antique trains of Fillmore & Western rolled into
the 21st. Century as involved as ever in the magic of movies, while the
company's passenger excursions, dinner trains, private parties and
corporate events provide the means of travel to a bygone era.
Fillmore & Western Railway/Short Line Enterprises History