Northern District

1321 Freight Service

Posted on: December 16, 2009 by PERyHS 6 Comments
Jack Finn Collection

Jack Finn Collection

Pacific Electric electric freight locomotive no. 1321 pulls a long string of Southern Pacific gondolas in this dramatic freight shot.

Jack Finn Collection

6 Responses

  1. duncan still

    July 23, 2010

    The “electric freight locomotive” is actually a Baldwin VO 1000 (1000 hp) diesel switcher. It is Southern Pacific locomotive 1321, but is lettered for Pacific Electric due to its long term assignment to PE. Joe Strapac’s volume 11 of Southern Pacific Historic Diesels addresses these locomotives in its chapter 3. One interesting observation given in this reference is that the Pacific Electric lettering on these locomotives was hand lettered. The trolley poles are used to activate crossing signals – the PE crossing signals used trolley wire activation rather than activation through the rails.

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  2. Bob Davis

    July 23, 2010

    I live about two miles from this location. Off to the left is the then-new San Marino High School and in the background is the Church of Stes. Felicitas and Perpetua, also recently built in this period. This is about two blocks west of San Gabriel Blvd., and approaching San Marino Jct. Time frame would be 1950-51. This train would have gone down the middle of Olive Ave. in Monrovia about ten minutes earlier, and probably would have taken my mind off 5th-grade studies at Monroe School. One advantage of diesels (I learned years later) was that they could go down the east bank of the Los Angeles River (not electrified) and cut over to Butte St. Yard without going along downtown LA streets, thus allowing daytime operation.. And although I knew these were diesels, I (at age 11) thought that they ran on electric power where there was wire and used the diesel power for lines like the ex-Duarte Branch. The low RPM’s of the Baldwin engines added to this belief.

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  3. Brady

    January 20, 2013

    Since you’re talking about the northern district. Does anyone know when ALL FREIGHT service was abandoned between SB & LA?

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  4. Bob Davis

    January 20, 2013

    The San Bernardino line was cut east of Rialto and connected to the Colton-Palmdale Cutoff around 1967-68. Service to San Berdoo was maintained via the line from Colton into the 1970s. If anyone is really curious, I can place a post on Trainorder.com to request more details.

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  5. George Todd

    January 21, 2013

    While I was an SP switchman between 1966 and 1970, we interchanged cars of furniture at Macy Street for the Broadway Dept stores warehouse on the Glendora line stub. These cars originated at the transload dock at River Station. A PE crew came on duty at Baldwin Park and took all of the Westbound cars that were switched out at City of Industry, and did the switching at El Monte, and then went to Macy St. They got the cars the switchmen brought over, and went up Soto St and switched the 5 or 6 industries that were still active. They took all of the empties back to Baldwin Park, where another crew took everything that all three jobs had brought in to C of I. This all stopped when the SP started to upgrade the freeway in 1972, and took out the crossing in El Monte. Soto St. was given to the LA switchmen. Another crew out of Baldwin Park did the industrial work between Baldwin Park and short of San Dimas, while a crew out of West Colton did everything else.

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  6. Bob Davis

    January 21, 2013

    And today we have the PE San Bernardino line between LA and Claremont reborn at the Metrolink San Bernardino Line, with more trains in a day than it used to see in a month. I remember seeing a State St. Line train waiting at the El Monte interlocker for the green light to cross the SP Main. As soon as he got the “proceed” indication, the engineer would crank it up and get clear of the crossing as fast as possible, with the assortment of boxcars “rockin’ and a-rollin’ on that rickety old Red Car track.

    And long after the end of interurban service, the El Monte PE station remained in service for buses–at least until 1971.

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