Santa Maria Valley Railroad Announces New Appointments

Santa Maria Valley Railroad has announced two appointments effective immediately.

Al Sheff has been promoted to General Manager, replacing Dave Jennings, who retired in January after 30 plus years with the railroad. Mr. Sheff was hired in July as Manager of Train Operations and Business Development Manager, replacing James Andrews, who served with the railroad for the past two years. Mr. Sheff previously worked at Union Pacific Railroad for 6 years and prior to that worked for several aerospace firms. Mr. Sheff is in the process of upgrading train operations and will continue to hold the appointment as Business Development Manager. Mr. Sheff has increased marketing to potential customers and improved customer service to current customers.

Dale Blakey has been appointed as Chief Mechanical Officer. Mr. Blakey was hired in April 2010 as Chief Mechanic and has been appointed Signal Maintainer and Train Conductor. Mr. Blakey was previously employed as a truck and auto technician and railroad steam locomotive repair and restoration. Mr. Blakey has upgraded the railroad’s maintenance program and is rebuilding equipment overdue on renovation work.

The Santa Maria Valley Railroad offices and yard is located in the Betteravia Industrial Park at 2820 W. Betteravia Road, Santa Maria, California. The Santa Maria Valley Railroad is a 14 mile shortline railroad interchanging with the Union Pacific Railroad at Guadalupe and serves the Santa Maria Valley. Transload facilities are also located at the Betteravia Industrial Park enabling Santa Maria Valley Railroad to serve customers in all of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Santa Maria Valley Railroad customers can ship or receive shipments anywhere in North America that is served by our national railroad system. For freight shipping inquiries contact our General Manager and Business Development Manager Al Sheff at (805) 922-7941 or visit our website at