By Ralph Cantos
These two photos taken by the late Jerry Squire are from the Andy Goddard Collection. On the left, LAMTA no. 3025 takes spot time on the New Hampshire Avenue leg of the City College “Y.” January, February and March of 1963 was a very rainy period as LA’s immaculate PCC system faced imminent destruction. Even as the PCCs had only weeks of service life remaining before abandonment, repairs to the canvas center section of the air cars’ roof and windshield wiper maintenance continued at a high level as the cars faced extinction.
The photo on the right taken in March of 1973 shows SCRTD GM New Look coach no. 5467 (class of 1961) on the same spot where the photo of 3025 was taken just ten years before. The remnants of the reverse “Y” are clearly visible. The 5467 was photographed while on a bus fan charter celebrating the ten year anniversary victory of rubber over rail transit in LA.
After the abandonment of LA’s PCC system, the car tracks were hastily paved over to insure the PCCs would never return to the streets of LA. A large portion of the rail system was quickly paved over even before the overhead wires could be removed, an action that had never been seen before in the history of streetcar abandonments in LA.
The abandonment of LA’s PCCs was not very popular with the thousands of daily commuters the rode the fast, smooth PCCs. In years past, the abandoned rails remained untouched, sometimes for several years after the last trolley passed over said rails, and where the overhead wires had once hung above the rails, long gone.
The LAMTA made sure the PCCs would never return, come HELL or high water.
Jerry Squire Photos, Andy Goddard Collection