Big Bertha to the Rescue

Bill Volkmer Collection, Ralph Cantos Collection

Bill Volkmer Collection, Ralph Cantos Collection

From traction fan Bill Volkmer comes this interesting photo taken some time between the May 1955 rail abandonments and the end of the W line rail service in late 1956.

There is not much information that came with this photo, so traction expert Jeff Moreau filled in the information blanks.

The camera looks north along North Broadway at Avenue 20. Los Angeles Transit Lines car no. 1450 (working the post-1955 abandonments on the W line) is inbound to downtown Los Angeles. Another H-class car is just behind no. 1450, and a Big Bertha emergency truck is parked to the left right of no. 1450.

There must have been a fire situation nearby as the crew of the Bertha truck is in the process of setting up a “fire hose grass hopper” so the W line cars can proceed towards downtown, and Washington and Rimpau Blvds. The track heading to Lincoln Park has not been tended to as yet. The track turning to the left at this location was used to access the Division 3 car house. The overhead wire has already been removed, but the switch point is still in place, and probably in good working order.

LATL car no. 1450 would later finish its 35 years of service working the S line, and would be preserved at OERM, along with sister H-3 class car no. 1423.

Bill Volkmer Collection, Ralph Cantos Collection

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