Southern District

Pacific Electric 313: A Nash Airflyte Flies No More

Posted on: September 13, 2017 by Pacific Electric 2 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

MCL-Era Railfan Film Collection

Posted on: August 13, 2017 by Pacific Electric 2 Comments

 

Here's a railfan film collection edited together showing a wide variety of subjects, mostly from the Metropolitan Coach Lines era of the late 1950s. Included is footage of PCCs being loaded into ships at the harbor, as well as a lot of Southern District / Long Beach Line and 6th and Main activity. Thank you to Terry William Hamilton for unearthing this on YouTube!

June 28, 1957: American Legion Parade in Long Beach

Posted on: August 13, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

By Stephen Dudley

On June 28, 1957 there was an American Legion Parade on Ocean Avenue in Long Beach that blocked the tracks at the end of the Long Beach Line. For several hours, trains operated from the North Long Beach stop at Willow Street where there was room to spot additional cars and safely transfer passengers to/from buses. This was a Friday, so extra cars were placed there for the later afternoon traffic loads. The Willow Station of the Blue Line now occupies this exact area.


Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Transferring passengers from bus to a departing north-bound train. Another 2-car train positioned behind it. Single car no. 318 positioned on southbound main and Car no. 409 parked on the rarely used freight siding. Freight-only Newport line branches off to the left.


Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

In the center of the picture, no. 318 parked awaiting arrival of no. #314 which will then be coupled to form a northbound 2-car train.


Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Side view of no. 409 on the freight siding.


Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Cars nos. 314 and 318 with a northbound train taking the cross-over to the northbound track. Car no. 314 had previously arrived as a single car train and coupled on to 318 parked on the southbound track. Car 314 has been mentioned as being preserved at the Orange Empire Trolley Museum -- thus, another picture during its operating days.


Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Car no. 409 had been previously parked on the freight track and was being repositioned to the southbound track to couple with a yet-to-arrive single car southbound train and then would head north as a later two-car train.


Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

The portable substation no. 0187 at the Willow Street substation -- on a substation siding off the Newport line. This portable substation had been there for many years and remained until the end of service on the Long Beach line.

Stephen Dudley Photos, Stephen Dudley Collection

Lynwood Station 1976-1977

Posted on: August 2, 2017 by Pacific Electric 2 Comments

 

A collection of images taken by Paul Smedley in 1976 and 1977 of the Pacific Electric's Lynwood Station in Lynwood, California.

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

Paul Smedley Photos, Paul Smedley Collection

 

From a 1926-vintage issue of Railway Signaling Magazine comes this reprint (courtesy Google) by Charles H. Lay, General Construction Foreman for the PE, entitled" "Pacific Electric Moves Electric Interlocking Machine 'Ensemble'". It shows the physical relocation of the interlocking machine from the old wayside tower to the steel bridge spanning the Four Tracks.

Click here to download the reprint in PDF format.

Northbound Approaching the Los Angeles River

Posted on: June 28, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

February 24, 1957: northbound later in the afternoon from Los Cerritos on the single track approach to the bridge of the Los Angeles River.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Northbound on Long Beach Boulevard

Posted on: June 28, 2017 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

February 24, 1957: on Long Beach Blvd with 5167 now the lead car on the northbound return to Los Angeles.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Fairbanks Yard

Posted on: June 28, 2017 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

February 24, 1957: Fairbanks Yard in Long Beach, where all significant repairs on the fleet were performed. The excursion train pulled into the yard and passengers are observing the work being done on jacked-up car no. 302. Two 5050 cars, including an unusually clean 5122 with a long-unused destination sign showing, were parked in the yard pending return to service out of Watts.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection

Stopped at Cerritos

Posted on: June 28, 2017 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

February 24, 1957: Stopped southbound at Los Cerritos — probably the most beautiful stop on the entire line, with steps up from the tracks and a driveway between the two sets of steps so autos could pick up passengers.

At the time, many bankers and other business people from the adjacent Los Cerritos neighborhood took the PE to jobs in downtown Los Angeles. Because of the heavy patronage, Los Cerritos was the first stop outbound for the 3-car Long Beach Express trains.

The photographer grew up in the neighborhood and remembers the traffic jam at this stop on weekdays when two 3-car express trains arrived not far apart, each followed minutes later by a similarly size limited train.

Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection