3 Line

LARY 3011: High Society PCC

Posted on: April 13, 2015 by Pacific Electric 18 Comments

 

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

By Ralph Cantos

Near-new Los Angeles Railway PCC no. 3011 swings off of Larchmont Boulevard onto West 3rd Street in this 1939 photo.

LARY was very proud of their new PCCs. LARY got the 4th order of St. Louis Car Co. PCCs in the USA, behind Brooklyn & Queens Transit, Pittsburgh Railways, and San Diego Electric Railway. The LARY 3 Line operation along West 3rd Street and Larchmont Boulevard was the most "well to due" area that any Los Angeles streetcar line ventured into. Granted, many LARY car lines operated into some very nice neighborhoods, but the 3 Line operation in the Hancock Park and the Larchmont section of LA had to be at the top of the "high society streetcar" list.

Rail service in this part of town was gradually phased out starting in 1948 when the new 3 Line trolley coach replaced rail service west of Larchmont Blvd. The rail service had gone as far west as La Brea Avenue operating as the S line. Rail service along West 3rd Street past Wilton Place and up Larchmont Blvd. was now operated as the R line. The rail service along Larchmont Boulevard was unique in that the trolley wire center poles were left in place in the pavement after the private right of way along the boulevard was paved over. The lower portion of the poles were painted silver with black stripes in an effort to keep LA motorists from crashing into them.

This section of the 3 Line became a favorite filming location for comedy car chases. In one such film, "FALSE ALARMS," staring The Three Stooges, the boys drive a new 1936 FORD coupe at a high rate of speed up Larchmont all the while darting back and forth between the trolley wire poles, ending in a crash.

That rail service ended in 1954 with no bus replacement. LATL management figured that anyone living along Larchmont Blvd. could easily walk the 3 blocks that separated bus service on 3rd Street, Beverly Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. LATL management surmised that a short walk in this nice neighborhood would do wonders for the former rail passengers heart and vascular systems. There has never been reports of any former rail line passengers dropping dead while hoofing it along Larchmont Boulevard, so LATL management must have felt vindicated.

As a final note, as nice as the LARY PCCs were, they were "bare bones" as far as available options went. The LARY deleted "crank window lifts," heaters, and rear markers. All in all, they were still very nice cars.

I am sure that many, if not all, LA commuters that had been using the PCC-operated rail lines R-S-J-V and P were not very happy on the morning of April 1, 1963 when "Gutter Liner" bus service replaced the smooth riding cars. LA's loss would become Cairo, Egypt's gain.

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

Los Angeles Railway No. 3016: When Patriotism Rode the Rails

Posted on: January 25, 2015 by Pacific Electric 2 Comments

 

 Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

By Ralph Cantos

This very rare color photo of Los Angeles Railway PCC no. 3016 was taken in 1943 on West 6th Street near Westmoreland Avenue. The 3016 is eastbound on the rails of the 3 Line.

Throughout World War II, many US transit systems across the country painted both buses and streetcars in patriotic themes, with schemes promoting becoming a "trolley pilot" to buying War Bonds. World War II united this country like no other war before or since.

At least one other LARY PCC was painted in a war-themed paint job, that car being the 3010. While many other railway systems painted older relics in war-themed paint jobs, to my knowledge, no LARY "Standard" or H class cars were every given patriotic themed paint job. Only the modern progressive PCCs in LA enjoyed these special paint jobs.

The PE painted PCC no. 5000 in a very attractive blue paint job for the US Navy.

It is safe to say that we will never see ANY US transit vehicle painted up in such patriotic messages ever again. These days, hand painted messages on US transit vehicles have given way to "shrink wrap," advertising everything from "BIB MACK'S" to "Crunchy Tacos."

Ralph Cantos Collection

 

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

By Ralph Cantos

Los Angeles Transit Lines PCC no. 3029 is seen here working the 3 Line, stopped at 6th & Rampart Blvd. in the Spring of 1947. Trolley Bus overhead is up and bus stop signs are in place.

In just a few months, transit history will be made here in Los Angeles for the second time, and its nothing to be proud of.

The PCC-operated 3 Line will be replaced by trolley buses. The 3 Line will go down in history as the second PCC-operated rail line in the United States to give way to rubber tire transit.

The dubious distinction of abandoning the FIRST rail line with PCCs in America goes to our own beloved Pacific Electric, who "pulled the plug" on the East Broadway line in Glendale in 1946 (it had been PCC operated since 1941). August 3, 1947 would see the PCC-operated 3 Line change over to Trolley Bus operation, for better or worse. This abandonment represented a terrible blow to the esteem of the PCC in its bid to rescue rail lines across America.

Not long after the 3 Line fell to rubber-tired transit, the dignity of PCCs took another major hit when the PCCs of San Diego Electric Railway gave way to buses in one fell swoop in 1948. That dastardly deed was perpetrated by trolley hater Jessie L. Hough, who had purchased the San Diego Electric Railway just months before, wasting no time in dispatching the near-new PCCs into dead storage, to await sale to anyone smart enough to snap them up. That same SOB would scuttle the PCCs on the Glendale-Burbank a few years later.

The "RAILS TO RUBBER REVOLUTION" had begun and it was going to get ugly before things would get better a half-century later.

Ralph Cantos Collection

Los Angeles Railway Cars in “Shopworn” (1932)

Posted on: November 27, 2012 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

From David Thompson comes this tip on LARy cars seen in a vintage movie on YouTube:

The 1932 Barbara Stanwyck movie "Shopworn" has a couple brief scenes of LA Railway cars. At about minute 9:00 & 11:00 a "V" line car can be seen outside the door of Fred's Campus Inn. Looks like Monroe Ave. At about minute 40:00, a "3" line sowbelly can be seen at Larchmont & Melrose (I think).

Thank you, David!

9117 and 146 at the Division 1 Barn

Posted on: June 12, 2010 by PERyHS 2 Comments

 

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

 
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority wrecker no. 146 pushes an LAMTA trolley bus into the Division 1 Barn. No. 9117 from the 3 Line rests in the next stall. The date is March 30, 1963.
 
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

9117 at the Division 1 Barn

Posted on: June 12, 2010 by PERyHS No Comments

 

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

 
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority 3 Line trolley bus no. 9117 awaits dispatch in this image captured on March 30, 1963.
 
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

9003 at 7th and Central

Posted on: June 12, 2010 by PERyHS No Comments

 

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

 
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority trolley bus no. 9003 moves through the intersection of 7th Street and Central in this 3 Line image from February 15, 1963.
 
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection
 
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9017 Just off Central Avenue

Posted on: June 11, 2010 by PERyHS 1 Comment

 

Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Collection

 
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority trolley bus no. 9017 navigates around a 1956 Cadillac as part of 3 Line Service ("W. Third to Fairfax"). The image dates to March 1963.
 
Alan Weeks Collection

9104 at 6th and Gladys

Posted on: June 11, 2010 by PERyHS 2 Comments

 

Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Collection

 
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority trolley bus no. 9104 pauses for passengers at the intersection of 6th and Gladys just east of downtown in this 3 Line image captured on March 26, 1963.
 
Alan Weeks Collection
 
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9023 on 3 Line Service

Posted on: June 11, 2010 by PERyHS No Comments

 

Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Collection

 
Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority trolley bus no. 9023 rolls down 6th Street as a GMC bus providing 71 Pasadena service keeps pace in this image dated March 1963. An LAPD 1962 Plymouth police cruiser completes the scene.
 
Alan Weeks Collection