Southern District

Video: 8mm Film of Southern District

Posted on: November 20, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

1959 Ride on Pacific Electric/MTA Red Car "Blimp" from Margaret Ma on Vimeo.

Margaret Ma was kind enough to share with us her father's digitized 8mm films of Southern District action, likely near the end in 1961, depicting MTA blimps in action and 6th and Main Street station shots.

498 at West Basin

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

By Stephen Dudley

More from the February 16, 1958 excursion using Metropolitan Coach Lines car no. 498. Here we see the 498 stopped northbound on San Pedro line's West Basin trackage.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

MCL 498 in the fog

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

By Stephen Dudley

More from the February 16, 1958 excursion using Metropolitan Coach Lines car no. 498. Here we see the 498 stopped southbound near San Pedro before the fog had cleared.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Excursion 498 on the El Segundo Line

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

By Stephen Dudley

More from the February 16, 1958 excursion using Metropolitan Coach Lines car no. 498. In this image, 498 is stopped on the El Segundo Line just past the Watts Car House which can be seen in the distance. Trolley wire was maintained on the southbound track to allow cars to access the car house from the south. Wire on northbound track had been removed. Once trolley poles were reversed, 498 would run north on the southbound track to re-join the southbound main. Someone had appropriately inserted
in the train number display "X-498".

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

498 Excursion with the Motorman

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

By Stephen Dudley

An amazing, moody shot of the Metropolitan Coach Lines motorman operating ex-Pacific Electric no. 498 on the February 16, 1958 excursion. This view was taken while running southbound near Compton.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

February 16, 1958 Excursion with 498 – 2

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

By Stephen Dudley

Here's another shot from the February 16, 1958 excursion using ex-Pacific Electric car no. 498. In this image, 498 is stopped southbound on the Bellflower Line.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

February 16, 1958 Excursion with 498

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

By Stephen Dudley

Stopped for a photo shoot heading southbound and just north of Watts, 498 was on the local track and being passed by a Long Beach train. Note "private car" dash sign. Except for the occasional excursion, car 498 was regularly assigned to the Catalina Special train each summer and now it is in the collection at the Orange Empire Trolley Museum.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

PE 1219 Mishap: The Santa Ana Line claims another PE train

Posted on: October 27, 2017 by Pacific Electric 2 Comments

 

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

By Ralph Cantos

This photo taken around 1947 shows speedster no. 1219 in the ditch after smashing into a large tractor-trailer rig on the notorious Santa Ana line. The 1219 and train were properly rolling along at a "mile-a-minute" clip when the big rig loomed at a crossing on the track ahead. One can only imagine what the motorman must have shouted out loud (OH +#^*!!) as he threw the 1219 and train into the "BIG WHOLE" and braced for the inevitable crash and "pile up."

With no "PA" systems on the trains back in those days to warn of the impending disaster, passengers on both cars could only hold onto the seat frame in front of them while the conductors on both cars must have tumbled down the isles as the emergency brakes were activated. The partial remains of the big rig can be seen in the photo. Both the 1219 and the 1262 came out of this mess in better shape than the truck. Both cars would live on for a few more years. The entire 1200 class, save for 1299, were scrapped at Kaiser Steel Fontana in 1951, ending a distinguishing career of PE's finest interurban cars.

Ralph Cantos Collection

Pacific Electric 313: A Nash Airflyte Flies No More

Posted on: September 13, 2017 by Pacific Electric 5 Comments

 

Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

by Ralph Cantos

This photo taken in mid-1951 shows the result of a grade crossing accident on the Bellflower Line. Pacific Electric no. 313 smashed the hell out of the 1950 Nash Airflyte sedan that dared to challenge the 313 at one of the many 45-degree crossings on the Bellflower Line. In the photo, the motorman and others inspect the minor damage to 313's steps and the safety light bulb.

Before the line was cut back from Santa Ana, accidents on the Bellflower-to-Santa Ana portion of the line were numerous and severe. Most often, hay trucks and other large commercial vehicles were involved. The drivers of these large vehicles seemed to be oblivious to the high speed of the PE trains.

To make matters worse, east of Watts, just about every grade crossing on the line was at a 45-degree angle. At best, these crossing were "protected" by worthless "wig-wags" and at worst, wooden cross bucks. The line between Bellflower and the Santa Ana city limits saw some of the highest speeds on the PE system. Before 1950, regular equipment of the Santa Ana line was usually provided by 10s, 12s, and "hot rod" Blimps. All three classes were capable of speeds in excess of 55 mph (Blimps) to about 65 mph (10s and 12s). The 45-degree angle crossings may have been responsible in part for all the carnage.

But even after the line was cut back to Bellflower, accidents never stopped, but more often than not, by this time, autos were the victims of the Blimps that stalked the line like hungry lions in the automotive jungle. The 1950 Nash was eaten by the 313, just one of many that fell victim to the hungry, marauding Blimps.

Ralph Cantos Collection

Old PE Rail Unearthed in Orange

Posted on: August 31, 2017 by Pacific Electric 8 Comments

 

Matt McMenamin Photo

From Matt McMenamin:

I am the Resident Engineer on a new parking structure project for the City of Orange in old town Orange, CA. We have started the clearing and grubbing work on the site. The environmental document stated the site was clear, but when we began excavating, we uncovered old PE freight tracks dating back to the Fruit Parking house days. I'm a bit of a railroad buff and love to find these types of things and thought of you guys.

Matt McMenamin Photos

Matt McMenamin Photo

Matt McMenamin Photo

Matt McMenamin Photo