Alan Weeks’ Pacific Electric Railway: Box Motors

By Alan K. Weeks

A few people have asked me what Box Motors were used for. Most of you know but for those that don’t, they were used to haul less-than-a-car-load of freight all over Southern California. Trunks, large boxes, bicycles and very importantly bundles of the Los Angeles Times.

More and more trucks were being used and this business dwindled down. The PERy carried millions of passengers in its heyday but not to be forgotten millions of pounds of freight were carried in Box Motors and trains with electric locomotives. Long trains of tank cars caring oil to and from the Harbor, and much more.

Image 430 – Baldwin Park was the terminus for the LA Baldwin Park Passenger service. The freight line continued on to Claremont and San Bernardino. Note both trolley poles have been removed. That tells me they might have ended up in the Indio scrap track.

Image 431 – This is the yard under Main St. Station Viaduct. Tracks ran between 6th & 7th Streets.

Image 432 – July 1, 1950 and the same yard as 431

Image 433 – The end of track for the Los Angeles-Newport Balboa line ended in Newport. Picture taken 1948.

Image 434 – Sad row of abandoned Box Motors. Driving East to Colorado I was shocked to see this sad row of cars on a Southern Pacific Siding in Indio. I have no idea where they were going. Most likely burned. 1953.

Image 435 – Sorry if this is a duplicate. Taken at Macy St. Shops 1950.

Image 436 – I should have thrown this one away but I tried to restore a photo 80% not there lol. I left it in because it is the only picture I have of Box Motors at the Main St. Station loading dock. 1950.

Images 437 & 438 Both taken in 1955. Abandoned cars at 8th St. Yard.

Image 439 – Taken at the Santa Ana Station on the L.A. Santa Ana Line 1950.

Image 440 – Taken in 1950 at the Surface tracks at Main St. Station Los Angeles,

Alan K. Weeks Images and Collection

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Showing 3 comments
  • John Myers

    Fantastic memories!

  • Carolyn Renz

    Thank you for sharing….getting nostalgic in my old age

  • Everett Neal

    I think it’s GREAT that we have small scale representations of these beautiful, vintage Pacific Electric traction equipment. The small scale models help keep their memories alive.

    I am the proud owner of numerous HO brass Suydam traction interurbans, combines and box motors. I also have books and photos. These all help keep the memories of the Pacific Electric Ry alive.

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Alan K. Weeks photo. All Rights Reserved. Photographer: Alan K Weeks Location: Hill Street Rail Tunnel at the Sunset Blvd Entrance. Los Angeles, California Date: March 5 1949 Railroad: Pacific Electric Car#: PE 110 Line: Echo Park Blvd Line Filed in Envelope 24 Image Notes: Scanned Steve Crise Photo 2014Alan K. Weeks photo. All Rights Reserved. Photographer: Alan K Weeks Location: Azusa Sub Station, Azusa, California Date: September 1951 Railroad: Pacific Electric Car#: P.E. Azusa Sub Station # 19 Line: Monrovia Glendora Line Filed in Envelope 26 Image Notes: Scanned Steve Crise Photo 2014