Pacific Electric 746 at San Vicente Blvd. and Genesee Street

By Ralph Cantos

This beautiful photograph taken around 1948-49 shows Pacific electric car no. 746 laying over at San Vicente Blvd. and Genesee Street. Most likely, the 746 is working the “16th St. Local.” That line would run local service along Venice Blvd. Hill Street, Sunset Blvd. through Hollywood to Gardner Junction with some rush-hour runs going all the way to Beverly Hills Station.

On weekends, a single car would operate as the “San Vicente Shuttle” every 20 minutes. Originally, this trackage was part of the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills line that was discontinued in 1940. Thereafter, this track was kept intact to La Cienega Blvd. for  a “back door”  access to West Hollywood car house and yard via a single track, “back alley” p-r-w (private right-of-way). Passenger service was provided only as far as Genesee Street. Beyond Genesee, only dead-heading cars to West Hollywood yard used the remaining track.

The 746 looks really beautiful in this photo. For what ever reason, she looks nicely “refreshed” in what appears to be a complete repaint from roof to skirts. Notice that the words PACIFIC ELECTRIC are gone from her flanks, replaced by  a new, winged PE emblem.  Just 3 or 4 years after this photo was taken, the 746 would arrive in Buenos Aires. I am sure that railroad officials there looked at the 746 and wondered, “What the hell is wrong with those stupid Americanos?” How right they were….

Today, all the apartments on the right side of this photo still stand , but the left side of the street has completely changed. A large hospital complex now occupies that ground.

Ralph Cantos Collection

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Showing 5 comments
  • Brian Hanish

    Ralph, Thank you for sharing, i grew up in the area, my grand mother had a house on genesee, AVE. i always wondered what it looked like way back when the PE ran thru there, i would love to photos of cars in front of the Carthay Circle Theater, i went to the Carthay elementry an remember the theater, also anything on the La Brea Via Duct bridges.

    • Pacific Electric

      Brian – Ralph says you may email him directly at – Ed.

  • Judy Bergquist-DeVoe

    Nice to see aRed J Car reminding me of my early childhood rides from Normandie and Jefferson to USC and White Memorial. I don’t remember much but I do remember it was red! I enjoyed the talk at Hillcrest recently

  • Ralph Cantos

    Hi Judy, you may be thinking of the PE Red Cars that ran along Venice Blvd. in your part of town. The J car was operated by the Los Angeles Transit Lines and were painted orange and green from about 1947 until 1958. From 1958 until 1963, the J cars were painted two tone green and operated by the LAMTA.

  • Michael Binder

    A slight correction to the notion that the route along San Vicente from Genesee to West Hollywood was a non-passenger route only for dead-heading cars —
    Employee TT No. 70, Beverly Hills–Sherman Cut-Off Line, effective October 1, 1950, shows what might have been a franchise run every weekday morning. #902, a one-man car, left the West Hollywood Yard at 8:49 A.M., passing through Sherman Jct. and past Genesee & San Vicente before arriving Vineyard at 9:04 A.M. After a 6-minute layover, #901 left Vineyard at 9:10 A.M. to arrive at the West Hollywood Yard at 9:25 A.M.

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