Mount Lowe Preservation Society Inc. Collection

023 at the San Gabriel Mission

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Pausing in front of the old San Gabriel Mission, Pacific Electric no. 023 and several PE tour guides smile for the camera, attributed to Charles Lawrence, PE's official photographer.

While the Old Mission Trolley Trip was well attended, there were two others that also were well noted; the Orange Empire Trolley Trip and the Mount Lowe Trolley Trip. One reason the Mission trip was unique was the the constant performances of the "Mission Play" by John Steven McGroarty, featuring Frederick Warde and "a cast of over 100 players" every afternoon, evenings (Wednesday and Saturday).

Among the other mentions in the mission area were "The old Grape Vine" and the "Spanish Eating House" all within a few steps of the PE stop.

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Fair Oaks and Colorado in May of 1946

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Pacific Electric No Comments

 

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Standing in the middle of Colorado Boulevard, looking west, just east of Fair Oaks on May 12, 1946, L. T. Gotchy catches the Pacific Electric Railway ticket office on the left and the Owl Drug Store on the right. Note the intersection has not changed immensely, and it is still referred to as Route 66. Also note the bus on the left side, stopped just short of the intersection.

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection
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1127 Westbound at Arcadia Tower

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Pacific Electric no. 1127 heads into Los Angeles crossing the Santa Fe line at Arcadia Tower on June 2, 1946 in this L. T. Gotchy photo. In the not too distant future, the Gold Line extension will have cars running close to this same location.

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

1208 at the Ramona Convent in Alhambra

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 2 Comments

 

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

Pacific Electric no. 1208 pauses at the Ramona Convent stop in western Alhambra on a morning run to El Monte in this undated, unattributed photo.

Ramona Convent Secondary School was established in 1889 as a private Catholic college prep school and is still around today; existing from before and after the running of the Pacific Electric Railway. One noted alumna was aviatrix Florence "Pancho" Barnes, daughter of Thaddeus Lowe, Jr., construction manager for the Mount Lowe Railway and granddaughter of Thaddeus S. C. Lowe.

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Jack Whitmeyer Collection

The Very Happy Boom, Before the Sad Bust

Posted on: September 18th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 4 Comments

 

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Ross Fry Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Ross Fry Collection

By Ralph Cantos

This photo, recently discovered by traction historian Michael Patris, is remarkable to say the least. It was taken in November of 1948 at the Los Angeles Transit Line's Rimpau loop.

Brand new PCC no. 3144 is loading passengers, for a fast, smooth, silent trip to Downtown Los Angeles. A new Bay Cities Bus Lines Checker "Transit" bus on line #6 leaves the loop. Also loading in the bus portion of the loop is Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines no. 614, a White Motors model 798 of 1947 vintage working the #7 West Pico Blvd-Santa Monica Line. In the far back ground above it all is Pacific Electric's wonderful old Vineyard Junction and storage yard, with 1000s and Hollywood cars awaiting their call to duty. Los Angeles rail fans could not be happier.

National City Lines, parent company to the LATL, had just purchased 40 state of the art "all-electric" PCCs for exclusive use on the heavily patronized Pico Blvd-East First St Line. It was well known in the American transit industry that National City Lines and LATL had no love for ANYTHING that operated on steel rails. It therefore came as quite a shock when the beautiful new, extra wide PCCs arrived for service in LA.

This amazing historic photo could have only been taken between November 1948 and September of 1950. In just 22 months, all the happiness and the optimistic future of rail transportation in LA would be shattered on Sept. 17, 1950, with the abandonment of the Venice Short Line, the first of many to come.

The Pacific Electric was under enormous pressure from the City of Los Angeles and the State Railroad Commission to modernize the VSL. The back bone of the VSL were the 31 handsome wooden 950s dating back to 1907. Also serving the line were two 3-car trains of 1000s dating to 1913 , also of wood construction. The "babies" of the VSL were a handful of Hollywood cars needed to protect the demanding service of the line.

LA newspapers posted photos and editorials blasting the PE over the use of the 950s and the 1000s. Both classes had been ordered off the streets of LA in 1938. The trusty cars had been saved from the scrap pile by the outbreak of World War II. Had it not been for the service of these 88 cars during the war years, it would be safe to say that LA transit riders would have "been up the proverbial creek without a paddle."

But by 1948, the city had "looked the other way" long enough, and demanded the PE take action on the removal of the ancient cars, to protect the modern image of the City.

By 1948, plans for the future Santa Monica Freeway were firmly in place, with no provisions for rail transit in a center median. Pacific Electric management, already aware of what the Pasadena Parkway (110 Freeway) had done to passenger levels on its Pasadena rail lines eight years earlier, thought long and hard as to the future of the VSL. In short, it would have cost the PE almost 3 million dollars to modernize the VSL as a rail line, or "bustitute" the line for a scant 1 million dollars. The PE would also recoup a large portion of that expense from the scrap value of the line. It was a "no brainer"!

Buses took over on September 17, 1950, much to the dismay of passengers who seemed to love big interurbans. Small cramped gasoline powered White 798s with their smelly, underfloor 12-cylinder engines were certainly no improvement to the quality of the service on the VSL. But in all fairness, the PE really had no choice. It was the "beginning of the end" for rail transit in LA. It was a relentless, unstoppable march that would take 13 years to complete.

And so this timeless photo would all change drastically in less then two years. Only the large houses on the south side of Venice Boulevard and the West Boulevard bridge would survive into the 21 Century. EVERYTHING else in this beautiful scene — Vineyard Junction and Sub-Station, the Sears - Pico Department Store, and Rimpau Loop will all be swept away by the passage of time.

A special note regarding the Bay Cities Checker Transit bus: Very few of these buses were built between 1948 and 1949. All were gasoline powered, and featured a unique forward-facing "standee window" above the destination sign. The eight Bay Cities unites were the only ones to operate in Southern California, and very few, if any, have been preserved.

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Archives, Ross Fry Collection

5015 Crossing Fletcher Avenue

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 4 Comments

 

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Pacific Electric PCC no. 5015 crosses Fletcher Drive's trestle in this undated photo by Willis "Dutch" Hendrick, donated to the collection by his son Bruce Hendrick.

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

1616 and Freight at Amoco Tower

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Pacific Electric freight locomotive no. 1616 pulls a freight across the Four Tracks at Amoco Tower in this undated image by Willis "Dutch" Hendrick, donated to the collection by his son Bruce Hendrick.

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

The Tale of the 1058

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 4 Comments

 

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

By Ralph Cantos

Pacific Electric no. 1058 poses for the camera at its Terminal Island "Car Barn" in this undated photo by Willis "Dutch" Hendrick, donated to the collection by his son Bruce Hendrick.

The 1058 was created from the body of Pacific Electric car no. 983 which, after retirement in 1950, was used as storage shed within eyesight of the Long Beach Line just behind the Compton Station.

Richard Fellows would "play" with the 1058 on Terminal Island to the astonishment of motorists that would encounter it. I personally was on one of those "motoring fan trips" with the 1058 and the looks on passing motorists' faces was priceless to say the least.

Richard had to get special permits to take the 1058 off the Island. The #1058 participated in at least one Hollywood Christmas Parade, and was at the opening of the Blue Line at the Del Amo Station.

Some time after this photo was taken, Richard re-painted the sides of the 1058 red along the lower portion of the car . He had incorrectly carried the black paint all the way around the lower parts of the car.

Willis "Dutch" Hendrick Photo, Donated by Bruce Hendrick to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

 

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

A Pacific Electric trolley card advertising excursions to view the United States Navy as it was anchored in Long Beach and San Pedro (undated, possibly 1920s based on art and hand-lettered typography styles). The excursions listed feature round-trip pricing from the Los Angeles terminal and:

Long Beach, San Pedro, Wilmington, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach for only 55 cents
Venice, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Ocean Park for only 35 cents
Sea Beach/Anaheim Landing for only 60 cents
Balboa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach for only $1

Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

9001 on Main Street at First

Posted on: July 13th, 2013 by Pacific Electric 1 Comment

 

Ross Fry Collection, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Ross Fry Collection, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Los Angeles Transit Lines trolley bus no. 9001 heads southbound on Main Street near First Street and Los Angeles City Hall in this circa-1955 image. Note the dual-gauge rail still in the street.

Ross Fry Collection, Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection

Here's a view of the location today - noticeably more sterile:


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