Los Angeles Railway No. 3016: When Patriotism Rode the Rails
By Ralph Cantos
This very rare color photo of Los Angeles Railway PCC no. 3016 was taken in 1943 on West 6th Street near Westmoreland Avenue. The 3016 is eastbound on the rails of the 3 Line.
Throughout World War II, many US transit systems across the country painted both buses and streetcars in patriotic themes, with schemes promoting becoming a “trolley pilot” to buying War Bonds. World War II united this country like no other war before or since.
At least one other LARY PCC was painted in a war-themed paint job, that car being the 3010. While many other railway systems painted older relics in war-themed paint jobs, to my knowledge, no LARY “Standard” or H class cars were every given patriotic themed paint job. Only the modern progressive PCCs in LA enjoyed these special paint jobs.
The PE painted PCC no. 5000 in a very attractive blue paint job for the US Navy.
It is safe to say that we will never see ANY US transit vehicle painted up in such patriotic messages ever again. These days, hand painted messages on US transit vehicles have given way to “shrink wrap,” advertising everything from “BIB MACK’S” to “Crunchy Tacos.”
Ralph Cantos Collection