318 at Lark Ellen Avenue

Jack Finn Collection

Jack Finn Collection

Southbound Pacific Electric blimp interurban no. 318 approaches Lark Ellen Avenue crossing on the Bellflower (formally the Santa Ana) line.

Jack Finn Collection

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Showing 8 comments
  • Bob Davis
    Reply

    Here’s a mystery–there is no Lark Ellen Ave. in Bellflower, and there wasn’t one in my 1953 Thomas Bros. atlas. The only Lark Ellen Ave was and is in the Covina area, and was a stop on the San Bernardino Line, where a “Blimp” would never run because of the 1200-volt overhead. If this was a railfan “prank”, it would have taken a bit of effort (and a ladder) to place that sign.

  • Ken Harrison
    Reply

    You know, Dick Burns once told me of a trainmaster at 6th & Main who loaded a train of 1100s for Baldwin Park. Odd thing was that they made it (before the group switches burned up). Dick said they had to be towed back by a twelve.

  • Bob Davis
    Reply

    Running 1100’s on the San Berdoo Line? One would think someone on the crew would notice the discrepancy. I’ll bet there was plenty of “struggle and criticism” after this FUBAR! One interesting thing about the IER Blimps (400-class) was that they were originally designed for 1200 volts, but apparently PE figured they had plenty of 1200 volt cars and rewired them for 600 only. What was undoubtedly a big challenge was to make the NWP Blimps (300-class) work in MU with the IER’s. And yes, they did–I would see two Blimp combines (496-499) MU with 300’s in the middle on the Santa Anita Race Track specials.

  • Bob Davis
    Reply

    I checked Interurbans Special 60 and found that this line was single-tracked after 1941 (some of the rails and hardware went to the Bay Area for the Richmond Shipyard Railway). Other photos of the Bellflower line show that the side that was abandoned had “gone back to nature” by the mid-50’s. (There was a question about whether this was really a photo of the Bellflower Line)

  • Bob Norberg
    Reply

    I grew up in Bellflower. This was taken before we moved there ( 1951 ) but two land marks, the power lines and the oil refinery stacks tell me it’s probablw the Lakewood Blvd Crossing.

  • Leo Dhauw
    Reply

    This is not the Bellflower line. It is the San Bernardino line at Lark Ellen but where exactly?

  • Bob Davis
    Reply

    Can’t be the San Bernardino Line–318 was an NWP “Blimp” and would only run on 600 volts. Also, the trolley wire is “direct suspension, and most of the San Berdoo Line was catenary. Regarding it being Lakewood Blvd.–the street in the photo looks like a less-heavily used road than Lakewood.

  • Donald Burden
    Reply

    It’s Lakewood Blvd. The pole barn structures on the right can be seen on the 1952 aerial photo, and as Bob notes above, the stacks belong to Paramount Petroleum. Lark Ellen Ave was probably a predecessor of Lakewood Blvd. (SR 19), which doesn’t appear on topo maps until 1942.

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