Northern District

Pacific Electric 304 on the East Colorado – Lincoln Avenue Line in Pasadena

Posted on: August 17, 2015 by Pacific Electric 11 Comments
Unknown Photographer, Robert Gaddie Collection

Unknown Photographer, Robert Gaddie Collection

Pacific Electric no. 304 is assigned to the East Colorado - Lincoln Avenue Line in Pasadena. Its exact location is unknown. PE no. 304 was built by J.G. Brill Company in 1913. It was a center-entrance, low-floor car nicknamed "Dragon" on the PE.

They were were equipped with maximum traction trucks and two General Electric 201 F motors. Their fatal flaw was that they had to operate with a two-man crew. There was no way to convert them to one-man operation. As the PE reduced its local operations in the depression, these cars became surplus. All were disposed of by 1934.

Note the this photograph appears on page 39 of "Cars of the Pacific Electric Vol I Interurbans Special # 29" August 1975.

Unknown Photographer, Robert Gaddie Collection

11 Responses

  1. bob post

    September 9, 2015

    That’s a distinctive building in the background. Someone out there must know the location.

    Reply
    • John Steven Fode

      August 17, 2017

      Lake Ave Methodist Episcopal Church. Southeast corner of East Colorado & South Lake Ave

      Reply
  2. Caesar J. Milch

    September 10, 2015

    I’ll give it a shot: Over the top of the dome on the building, you can see the top of the brick tower of what I believe is a church. That building still stands and is north of Colorado Blvd, yet south of the 210 Freeway. It can be seen in a lot of photos that depict PE cars waiting south of the Fair Oaks Car House, but well north of Colorado Blvd. I’d say this is taken from the south side of Colorado Blvd, looking Northwest. Probably only a few blocks east of Fair Oaks. If so, the shot was likely taken before high noon possibly mid year when the sun tracks almost directly overhead: hence the orientation of the carbody shadow on the ground. Anyone think this is plausible?

    Reply
  3. Brandon Hu

    September 11, 2015

    Looks like an early attempt at a low floor vehicle

    Reply
  4. Bob Post

    September 11, 2015

    St. Andrew Church. The spire is at Raymond and Chestnut. The PE carbarn ran through from Fair Oaks to Raymond.

    Reply
  5. Caesar J. Milch

    September 14, 2015

    Bingo! I think you’ve confirmed that. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of St. Andrews. So this is only one to two blocks east (at most) of Raymond.

    Reply
  6. Terry Salmans

    September 15, 2015

    I think that car 304 is headed Eastbound on Colorado Blvd. and has just crossed Lake Ave. That beautiful Mission Revival style building may be the old Lake Avenue Methodist Church. The view looks toward the Southeast. The church building was built in 1907 and was torn down in the 1920s. There is a picture of the building on the Water and Power Associates website at http://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Pasadena.html . A Bank of America branch now occupies the site.

    Reply
  7. Duncan Still

    September 15, 2015

    Under magnification, the dash sign on the near end of the car reads “Lincoln Ave”. This confirms the car is traveling east on Colorado since Lincoln Ave is at the west end of this particular car line. Because of this, this view can only be to the southeast.

    Reply
  8. Caesar J. Milch

    September 15, 2015

    I’d posit that the dash sign on the car end closest to us is in fact the FRONT dash sign for when the car changes ends and runs towards Lincoln Avenue. Since the rear pole is up the car is travelling away from us. The dash signs were not changed at the end of the line on such double ended cars (unless there was a loop such on some LARy lines). The blimps and Hollywood cars are a good example of this: you could always tell where the car you just missed came from. Hence, I’m still suggesting it is an inbound car near Raymond Avenue.

    Reply
  9. Duncan Still

    September 15, 2015

    Colorado runs east and west. As Mr. Milch says, the car is heading away from the photographer. A car traveling towards Lincoln on Colorado would be heading west. Since this car is heading away from the photographer and the dash sign stating Lincoln would be on the west end of the car, it can only be traveling east in this photo.

    Reply
  10. Alas for the Red Car (#81) | When West Dates East

    September 16, 2015

    […] The original Red Car.  From the Robert Gaddie collection, photographer unknown. Courtesy of PacificElectric.org […]

    Reply

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