Eastern District

1243 to Los Angeles in Claremont

Posted on: December 17, 2009 by PERyHS 7 Comments
Jack Finn Collection

Jack Finn Collection

Pacific Electric interurban no. 1243 with a full passenger load rolls past the Claremont station on the Eastern Division.

Modified based on comment

Jack Finn Collection

7 Responses

  1. Steve Crise

    April 8, 2010

    Is it possible that the wonderful looking building in the background is the Redlands Depot? – Steve Crise

    Reply
  2. Paul Kakazu

    June 18, 2010

    Claremont Depot. Car 1243 has the wings painted on the sides but not on the ends, so this must be a postwar fantrip on trackage that had been freight-only since 1941.

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  3. Bob Davis

    June 18, 2010

    The depot used to have a sign reading “Claremont/Home of Pomona College”. It lasted into the 1960’s, probably disappearing when the line was rerouted to get the tracks off First St. In later years, what was then the SP was tied into the Santa Fe east of downtown, and where once there had been an interlocking tower near Cambridge Ave. the line now had a switch onto ATSF. By this time, Santa Fe passenger service had declined to the point where there was little likelihood of conflict with the once a day SP Rialto Hauler. The area in the foreground is now parking for Metrolink, which runs more trains through here every weekday than PE ever did. Pomona College is special to me, because my younger daughter is an alumna of Pomona, which is regularly one of the top-rated colleges in its class. One year it was the only institution in the top ten that didn’t have snow in the winter.

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  4. Paul Kakazu

    June 19, 2010

    Correction on my comments on car 1243. This car never had the “butterfly” wings on the ends, but the cars that did kept them until the end. Car 1243 spent most of its life as a trailer, not being motorized until 1946.

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  5. George Todd

    April 3, 2011

    Bob,
    Is there a chance you could have Claremont and Corona confused? The SP used several miles of the ATSF to get to customers at the end of the line in Corona, and was able to remove a lot of track in the middle of Magnolia Ave.

    As a Trainmaster on the SP, I rode the Freedom Train to and from the LA County Fairgrounds in 1976, and took two rail defect detector cars from Basset to Bench on the former San Bernardino line in early 1977, which was probably the last thru movement of any kind. Freight service East of Orange Avenue Junction, Vita Pakt orange juice, and the propane plant at San Dimas was handled out of Baldwin Park, then later from City of Industry. Service to Snake River Lumber Co. just South of the ATSF on the East side of Euclid Ave. in Ontario, and points East was handled by a crew out of West Colton which came up the Palmdale Cutoff to Bench.

    Movements were made under Register Authority from both ends, which can only be used on dead end branches, so Train Order Authority was required for movement within an unused two mile section inbetween.

    A switch never ocurred at Claremont until Metrolink took over and abandoned the PE between Claremont and Rialto. The one customer remaining on the Eastern portion of the line is Orange County Lumber, who was paid to move from the end of the SP’s Los Alamitos branch after a derailment so the SP could abandon it instead of replacing 4 miles of rotten ties. Now the UP has to provide one day a week service to Rialto.

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  6. Bob Davis

    April 5, 2011

    I remember hearing about the Corona job and how in its later years, they would get on the Santa Fe 3rd District at May, and run as fast as their SW-8 (or similar) switcher could run to get to Riverside and back on PE/SP rails so they wouldn’t be slowing up Santa Fe traffic.

    Regarding the PE/SP branch down Euclid Ave in Upland (the last remnant of the line that stared out with a mule-powered car). I was part of the Orange Empire volunteer salvage crew that removed this spur and took the pieces to the Museum in 1976-77.

    Regarding Claremont: It sounds like trains could go from Bassett to Bench, with the Santa Fe closing the gap between Berkeley St. and the depot site but in normal operations, they never would.

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  7. Bob Davis

    April 17, 2011

    And if all goes well, sometime in the next 6 years or so, this location will have a double track electric railway when the Gold Line Foothill Extension Phase 2B comes to Claremont.

    Reply

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