1299 and the Pacific Electric Brass

Here the full full weight of Pacific Electric upper management is on display. The occasion is an inspection trip over Southern Pacific’s Covina branch sometime between August and October, 1946 to view the property prior to installation of additional overhead trolley wire between the end of existing wire around Irwindale to Lone Hill. At the distant left, with both hands in his pockets and toes nearest the rails of the siding looking directly at the camera is President Smith. At 9th from the right is General Superintendent Squires. All of the other men in this photo I’m certain are heads or directors of various departments such as roadway maintenance, motive power, electrical facilities, accounting and such. The only other identifiable person here is either the road foreman of engines or a trainmaster, third from the right. In the gentleman’s left hand he holds the staff which allowed the train to proceed from Irwindale, behind the train, up to the switch at the east end of the siding here at Covina. Like all junior officials he wants nothing to go amiss on his watch so has taken personal custody of the staff lest the engineer forget the limits of this very special train’s authority. This photo was taken between August and October 1946.

William Wherry Photo, Charles Wherry Collection

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  • Steve Crise

    It looks as though the 1299 is being towed by a SP steam engine. That’s a big hint as to the date and possibly the location. I recall recently seeing other photos of 1299 being towed around by an SP steamer somewhere on the Eastern District.

  • Fritz Basset

    Herein is encapsulated the entire problem with the PE and the Southern Pacific in general: a car full of bitter suits that could not smile if God’s green earth granted every favor unto them. Their carrier has been beating a retreat since the 1920s; nothing decided today is going to change that, except to pretend that motorcoaches will restore customer satisfaction – which hadn’t been lost anyway. The problem is that city transit cannot make money; a well ordered retreat to municipal ownership should have been made then- in the ’40s, when the rail system was intact instead of 1958 when it was too late to even bother. If only a progressive carrier had owned Pacific Electric, such as the AT&SF, but that is for alternative histories.

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William Wherry Photo, Charles Wherry CollectionWilliam Wherry Photo, Charles Wherry Collection