E Line

Deluxe Cars of the LARy

Posted on: May 13, 2013 by Pacific Electric 7 Comments
Ralph Cantos Collection

Ralph Cantos Collection

By Ralph Cantos

By 1929, the Los Angeles Railway was desperate for a fare increase. The PUC granted a 2-cent fare increase on the provision that the LARy improve the "Spartan accommodations" of the "interurban cars" used on the LARY E line.

Running from Eagle Rock on the north to Hawthorne on the south, the E line was almost 20 miles long. It was the longest on the LARy. Running time was almost 2 hours from end to end. The average operator could only make 2 round trips in an 8 hour day. The M line would later be changed to become the 5 line; it was a real "bladder buster".

So to get the 2 cent fare increase, the LARY took 35 cars from the last order of H-4s, numbers 1416 to 1450, and put them through South Park Shops. When the first car, no. 1444, emerged from the rebuilding in 1929, several improvements were very apparent. The former open end sections were enclosed with brass sash windows. Interiors of the cars were given new improvements as well. The old wood slat seats were replaced with soft leather walk over seats. New interior lighting over each seat was placed in a smooth white headliner.

To make sure that the traveling public would recognized the improved DELUXE CARS, the 35 cars were given a new attractive green and cream paint scheme with gold pin striping. The car numbers were and LARy logo were also in gold paint. The roof was painted silver. The first cars to be rebuilt came out of the rebuilding with the standard slat roof mounted route sign.

Soon however, the rebuilt cars were given a new recessed Hunter roller sign box. The rebuilt cars were now classified as H-3....

Los Angeles transportation historian Wally Shilder found a short 16mm real estate promotional film from 1931 which showed DELUXE CAR no. 1449 passing the camera. No color photos of the green and cream H-3 cars were known to have been taken. So, ERHA-SC president and computer wiz John Heller took a single frame of the film and Photoshopped it with the resulting beautiful image. The green paint job lasted only about 5 years. By 1935, all the H-3s had been repainted back into the standard yellow and brown LARY paint job.

Ralph Cantos Collection

7 Responses

  1. Bob Davis

    May 13, 2013

    Of this group of cars, 1423, 1435 and 1450 have all survived into the 21st Century. 1423 and 1450 are at Orange Empire, and 1435 (after a long strange trip) is stored next to the former PE Subway Terminal Bldg. in downtown LA.

  2. Duncan Still

    May 14, 2013

    Perhaps one reason the 1929 PUC referred to cars running on the “M” and later the “5” lines as “Interurban Cars” was because the southern portion of the 5 line used the old Los Angeles and Redondo tracks and right of way. This trackage became LARY property when the LARY and the PE predecessor companies were split in the Great Merger of 1911. Much of the southern portion of the 5 line remained on private right of way through the mid-1940’s. For example, the track on Santa Barbara (now MLK) was private way west of Vermont, through Liemert Park, and on Crenshaw.

  3. Duncan Still

    May 14, 2013

    Gotta correct myself on the above post. The 5 line was previously the “E” line.

  4. Gary Boughton

    May 20, 2013

    Duncan, u still around?

  5. Jim Gannon

    December 28, 2016

    PUC had authority over the operation of the cars and buses that ran across/outside of enabling jurisdictions same as transit companies such as Long Beach Motor Bus Company. State regulations were changed in the late 50’s releasing most transit operators from PUC control. Enabling legislation for Public Transit Agencies/Corporations further modified regulation by local regulatory authority.

  6. Bob Davis

    December 30, 2016

    But as I recall, the late, lamented San Pedro Waterfront Red Car line had to comply with PUC requirements, as does the Gold Line Foothill Extension.

    • dave garcia

      January 12, 2017

      Yes, the Waterfront Red Car Line at San Pedro had to comply with Cal-PUC requirements. Also Federal Railroad Administration rules,etc.


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