Rescue 8: The Steel Mountain

Ralph Cantos wrote us with a tip to search for an episode of an early fire-rescue series similar to Jack Webb’s “Emergency!” from the late 1950s entitled “Rescue 8.” One episode, entitled “The Steel Mountain,” was filmed at National Metals on Terminal Island, using the stacks of scrapped Los Angeles Railway / Transit Lines cars as part of the plot. The episode features a very young Harry Dean Stanton, as well as possibly voiceover legend Paul Frees (Haunted Mansion).

The plot synopsis:

A man and his girlfriend go to a storage yard where old trolley cars are stacked and stored. They are looking for money that was hidden under the rear seat of trolley car #1392. After finding the money, the man attempts to get down from the old stacked trolley cars when he slips and gets trapped. Wes and Skip must devise a plan to free the man without causing the stacked trolley cars to collapse.

From Ralph:

Back in 1959 there was  an episode of the weekly TV show “RESCUE-8” called “THE STEEL MOUNTAIN” and it was filmed at National Metals on Terminal Island. In this episode the bad guy gets trapped between two of the LATL H-class car bodies and has to be rescued.

When the bad guy first starts to climb up the stack, in the foreground is none other than LATL car 2501 sitting on the ground. It was later moved to OERM. The second noteworthy is car 1370. It was one of only two 1300s to get the HUNTER Roll sign on the roof, the other car being 1371. The LARY in 1930 added the HUNTER Roll signs to cars 1201 to 1260 and cars 1416 to 1450. It’s amazing that the 2501 and the 1370 are seen in the episode.

LATL 1392 on the S Line
Los Angeles Transit Lines 1392This is the car depicted in Rescue 8 where the stolen money was located. This undated image was captured on the S Line. Unknown photographer.
LARy 1370 H Line at Bimini right-of-way
Los Angeles Railway 1370 on the H Line at Bimini right-of-wayHere is car 1370 seen several times in the Rescue 8 episode. Car 1370 and 1371 were the only 1300s to have the HUNTER roof roll sign box.
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Showing 4 comments

    It is available on youtube and worth watching. Go to youtube and search for “Rescue 8 steel mountain” and it pops right up. Good shot of the Subway TerminalBuilding also.

    • Pacific Electric

      It’s embedded up above – click the “play” icon to watch!

      • Ralph+Cantos

        When watching the RESCUE 8 episode, the body of LATL #2501 can be seen twice sitting on the ground. The body of #2501 is now out at the Southern California Railway Museum, Perris.

  • Jeff Hanna

    The stacks of old Pacific Electric cars on terminal island are also featured prominently near the end of the movie “Hellbound,” (1957/58) which can be seen on youtube.

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