1299 at the Switch
Pacific Electric no. 1299, possibly in Torrance. The conductor poses next to the switch stand, with a prominent viaduct looming in the background. The Special destination sign suggests a railfan trip or inspection tour.
Bill Whyte Collection, Steve Crise Collection
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This is definitely Torrance, with THE viaduct visible in the background.
(The only place on the PE where it crossed over itself, to go to US Steel.)
The switch is lined for the shops side.
Regarding the destination sign reading “special”, note that 1299 was an official car and was frequently used for trips to inspect the PE trackage and properties. The reason for the deep windows on 1299 was to facilitate inspections of trackwork. Therefore, 1299 inspection trips would have the word “special” in the destination sign since these trips were not scheduled passenger service. Further, in the late 1940’s, 1299 also was used to transport PE president O.A. Smith between his summer residence in Newport Beach and PE headquarters (also accommodating extra fare passengers on these trips). A photo in the March 1951 Trains Magazine shows 1299 traveling along either 9th St. or San Pedro St. on one of these “commute” trips and was known as the “Commodore” – the 1299 carried the sign “special” in this photo. I expect that other than railfan excursions where various spurious destination signs showed up in photos, I suspect that 1299 rarely had anything other than “special” in its destination sign.
I believe the street to the right in the picture is Border Ave. That would put the PE station behind and to the left photographer. Torrance Blvd would then be in the background below the level of the weeds. This small part of Border Ave and the old right of way is now part of an entrance to a townhouse complex and can still be seen today.
This photo was probably taken around 1942 or 43. There appears to be a “blackout hood” on the headlight (World War II precaution) and this is one of the few photos I’ve seen of 1299 with Eclipse fenders.