This branch line was originally constructed in the 1890s as the Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad, and was purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad within a few years. (Ojai is pronounced OH-hi.) Most customers were citrus growers and other agricultural businesses. The SP referred to this line as the Ojai Branch.
It branched off the SP Coast Line at Ventura Junction, which is just west of the existing Amtrak platform at Ventura. The line extended north along the Ventura River, through Chrisman, Wedstrom, Ortonville and Nitroshell to Mira Monte. At Mira Monte the line turned east to the end of the line at Ojai. The northern portion of the branch was abandoned by 1975; the southern part might have lasted a few years longer.
The right-of-way, now owned by the city of Ventura, is easily traced today, as much of it has been converted to a bicycle trail, called the "Ojai Valley Trail" and the "Ventura River Trail".
Frank Maxim provides a Notice of Interim Trail Use filed with the STB for a portion of the line.