The Pacific Electric Lamanda Park Tower is photographed by Alan Weeks months before the inevitable abandonment of the Sierra Madre Line. The date is September 10, 1950.
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection
Sixty two years these pictures have sat in the same envelope that they came from the developers in. I had not seen these pictures since they were taken years ago. The reason that they are here now is because a friend, Roger Hill, asked me if I ever took pictures of the Sierra Madre Line. Seems as a child his father took him to see the these cars but he never got to ride the line. I promised him I would dig out what I had taken. I spent quite a bit of time with these negative scans in Photoshop. These were some of my earliest pictures and not my best effort but at least we have some thing to remember the line with.
In seeing these pictures now, I am struck with how rural this line was. This area did not get built up for a decade after these were taken. One regret was that I took so many of them dismantling the line and not more of the cars in service. But it is what it is.
Up until some time in 1938 there were five trains into Los Angeles in the morning and five trains from L. A. thru to Sierra Madre. The rest of the trips on the line were shuttle trips with one car from San Marino to Sierra Madre. After 1938 the thru trips were accomplished by coupling the Sierra Madre car on the rear of a Monrovia-Glendora train at San Marino. And the reverse in the PM.
The last car to operate on this line Was on Oct 7, 1950. The Motorman on this last car was a friend of mine and also a railfan. He had just become a Minister before the last trip. We left Sierra Madre in the early evening and came down on all nine points. The 1100s were not fast but going down hill they really rolled.
The first stop we made was at the Lamanda Park Tower where we had a Red Block Signal. Red was always the default aspect. Then we proceed to San Marino where the car was tied down for the last time. Bob Slocum soon left Los Angeles and I never saw him again.
August 21, 2013