Removing the Rail: Olive Avenue in Monrovia

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

 
Workers use specialized demolition equipment to wrench Pacific Electric’s Glendora Line rail from its embedded place in Olive Avenue in Monrovia in this image dated March 18, 1952.
 
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

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  • Bob Davis
    Reply

    This photo is about two blocks east of Monroe School. I was in 6th grade when the rail removal took place, and remember very well this terrible machine. It had large springs that “twanged” like the devil’s screen door. It was quite obvious that the rail would not be reused, because it either bent or broke when the machine yanked it from the pavement. A closer look at the machine (I would have been seeing from the other side of the schoolyard fence) shows that scrap rail was used in building it. Note the man on the left, tightening the jaws on the puller. A preliminary crew came along with jackhammers and dug away the pavement every ten or fifteen feet, then this contraption would be wheeled in and the jaws clamped around the rails. Only the section from Myrtle to Mayflower was pulled, west of there was private right of way, east of Mytle was a feed mill that still received grain shipments.

  • Fances Ware
    Reply

    Any idea who this man is? He really looks like my father, Pearl J Bever. My father worked for Pacific Electric, and we lived in Monrovia.

    • Bob Davis
      Reply

      The men in the photo were probably from the salvage company, although it’s possible that PE sent an observer to make sure the crew didn’t pull out anything they shouldn’t.

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