A photo postcard from 1955 depicting a Pacific Electric PCC on Brand Boulevard in Glendale.
From Ralph Cantos:
955 POST CARD of Beautiful Brand Blvd. GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA: A city. any city, is only as great as the rail system that serves it! Glendale WAS such a great city until June 19,1955. On the black day, Glendale went from being a great city , to just being another town without a commuter rail service. The populace of Glendale lost one of the finest rail lines in the entire State Of California. Any city that is worth a damn, usually warrants electric rail transportation. So important was the Glendale / Burbank line, that the Pacific Electric spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade the infrastructure of the line in early 1940. The massive amount of private capital that PE pored into the Glendale / Burbank was done to prepare the line for the arrival of the most revolutionary PCC streetcars that were to grace the rails of ANY city in America. PE’s PCC cars were the first double enders, the first multiple unit. and the longest PCC car built up to that time. And if I am not mistaking, they were the first PCC to be equipped with Westinghouse dual trumpet air horns. In my opinion, the PE PCC’s WERE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PCC car, the world would ever see. The stage was now set for the Glendale / Burbank to operate for 50 years efficiently, with magnificent infrastructure and ultramodern streamlined PCC equipment. But because of selfish , greedy, backward thinking individuals who did not give a DAMN about anyone but them self’s, the Glendale / Burbank Line was struck down and demolished literately in its prime. It was an inexcusable act of SELFISH GREED.
I spoke to the man who produced this post card. It was taken in April of 1955. The Line had just weeks to live. He wanted to record Glendale’s Brand Blvd. on film, before its downfall . HE WAS NOT A RAIL FAN. He was a concerned citizen. He was in disbelief that the abandonment petition had been granted. He waited until a PE PCC came into view and recorded the last great moments of Brand Blvd. In his opinion. this abandonment was A MONUMENTAL ACT OF VANDALISM, as the years pasted, he would be proven correct.
Ralph Cantos Collection