455 and 410 at the Catalina Terminal

The date is June 30, 1957, and MTA (ex-Pacific Electric) blimps nos. 455 and 410 rest at the Catalina Terminal in San Pedro.

From photographer Stephen Dudley:

Here is another set of pictures – I have most photos in color, but thought I’d see how these B&W work. From 60 years ago! Taken with a very old bellows Kodax that was a bit awkward to use for quick shots – I believe 116 size film which doesn’t match current proportions too well.

On 6-30-1957 I was on a charter with 5 blimps that went from LA to San Pedro, Catalina Terminal and Long Beach. I’ve described the pictures as they attached to this email – obviously their sequence follows the order of the trip. All passengers were in the lead car. This was the first 5 car train in a long time and perhaps the last. Running through downtown Long Beach was an unusual sight.

In seeing these pictures for the first time in years I am reminded how no one, including LAMTA, in those days seemed to worry about just stopping a train on the line and letting the passengers hop off to take a picture, crossing over the tracks, etc.

In regard to the 5-car blimp train photo set, I made the comment that the 6-30-57 trip I was on might have been the “first 5-car in some time”. That is in modest error as I note on page 11 a 1-30-11 posting of a NRHS/ERA 5-car charter that was run on 10-28-56. Just a guess, but the 1957 trip might well have been the last 5-car. I received the flyers for the charter trips and would have certainly gone on it if there had been a later such run.

Stephen Dudley Photos, Stephen Dudley Collection

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Comments
  • Jim Gannon
    Reply

    This is dated June of 57, so the operator would have been MCL. Correct???

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Stephen Dudley Photo, Stephen Dudley Collection