LAMTA 3025 at City College: Part 2

By Ralph Cantos

This photo looking east on East First Street at the LA Civic Center dramatically illustrates the speed and determination the LAMTA employed in the swift elimination of LA’s perfect PCC-operated rail system. Once the P line, this nation’s busiest surface streetcar line, operated along East First Street. Now, just weeks after abandonment, the excellent rails are paved over. The LARY-LATL overhead wires, renowned in the industry for their excellence, remain as a ghostly reminder of P cars past.

The LAMTA even went to to the trouble of removing the familiar white “CAR STOP” sign from the span wires as the rails were paved over. Perhaps the LAMTA thought some uninformed Angelino would wait in vain for a P car if the “CAR STOP” sign was still displayed above the rail-less street.

Most all Angelenos loved the fast, silent, smooth PCCs that took them to work and play. The shiny new replacement buses were no improvement in comfort or service on any of the former PCC-operated lines. It was a shameful downgrade in service levels, and everyone that rode the PCCs were very aware of it. But the LAMTA and LA City officials did not give a damn, they had bigger plans for the area around Pico Blvd. and Georgia St. The beautiful PCCs just happened to be in the way of a progressive Los Angeles, and the former rail commuters would pay dearly for it.

Ralph Cantos Collection

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  • SyBb

    If I recall correctly, when PE’s Glendale line was abandoned, the Glendale city council was in such a hurry to pave over the tracks that the paving company not only paved over the tracks, the paved over the man-hole covers necessitating the digging-up of the new pavement.

  • Ralph Cantos

    The City of Glendale “sold out” to Metropolitan Coach Lines. It was a desgrace and shameful act to the people that rode the PCC’s and Hollywood cars into the Subway Terminal. The replacement bus service was a joke, and the City of Glendale knew it. It would not suprise me if Metropolitan Coach Lines payed for the paving over of the car tracks.

  • Yorkman Lowe

    The 1st photo is mis-titled ‘LA MTA 3025 at City College: Part 2’. Please correct it.

  • Al Donnelly

    One must wonder if Mssrs. Gianninni and Hellman were turning in their graves at this point. Undoubtedly, one of the financial institutions that they fathered provided the means for building the mid-century monolith on the left which seems to grin above the passing of all it surveys around it. Could they have imagined that the great Mediterranean of the West would come to the point of being a steel and glass architectural cesspool? And strangely, it would be Security Bank’s (right, & later known as Security-Pacific) own penchant for collecting photographs that would leave a body of evidence for the crimes of the century. Alas, no good deeds shall go un-punished.

  • Al Donelly

    And speaking of old photos, you all might find this one interesting…found it in Santa Monica archives (mis-labeled?). Appears to show PE car and lines and was shot from the old SP reserve area where the original gulley line ran down to the first pier, later filled in. Santa Monica station would have once sat on the right (out of frame). The earliest bridges or crossing were east, and the PE line is where there was once air space above the SP shoo-fly line:

  • Al Donnelly

    The mis-identified photo above (link) shows a curved track that can be found in the large map at the beginning of Venice Short Line section of Special 16 (reprinted pg. 26 of Special 60). It sits just south of the early 3rd Street loop area and joins (indirectly) to the Inglewood Line through Venice Junction. Part to a wye (Y) track, its’ useage is not clear.

  • Al Donnelly

    Got it! End curve of the Santa Monica Air Line (originally Espee) just after the Santa Monica Canyon Line (old Port Los Angeles extension) had been closed out. The upset ground area may be the appearance of the section just after rails to the tunnel & ocean alignment had been removed (somewhere left of border). A very important photo.

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Jerry Squire Photos, Andy Goddard CollectionRalph Cantos Collection