1012 Crosses the SP Branch on Main in Alhambra
Outbound Pacific Electric Temple City Line car no. 1012 crosses the Southern Pacific Branch on East Main Street in Alhambra on November 23, 1941.
Harold F. Stewart Photo, Stan Kistler Collection
Showing 9 comments
The SP ROW has long since disappeared, but it more or less bisected where the Wondries Toyota showroom is now as it turned northeast to follow Woodward Avenue. Bushnell Avenue is just out of the picture’s left edge.
Some of the route can be followed by looking at the city boundary between San Gabriel and San Marino, paralleling Lorain Ave. Up until about 25 years ago, the right of way could be discerned east of Marengo Ave. north of Mission. It has since been obliterated by the Home Depot. There’s an alley behind the SCE Granada Substation that is probably a segment of the old RW. Between Alhambra and Arcadia the line was abandoned around 1940 and turned over to the PE, which connected it to the outbound main near today’s Mercedes-Benz agency in Arcadia. This section remained in service to a lumber yard at Santa Anita Ave. until about 1961.
The alley behind SCE runs parallel with Raymond Ave. one can easily discern the rail track along this street, going north. Some of that has been converted for extra parking for the park (between just north of Cedar St and Alhambra Rd). This line continues along private ROW occupied by power lines (easily discernible with Google Maps) into Pasadena. A more detailed story can be found here: http://www.abandonedrails.com/Alhambra_to_Pasadena
The alley parallel to Raymond Ave. in Alhambra was the SP Pasadena Branch, which lasted until the early 1960’s. It ran on the private right of way now occupied by the SCE 66kV transmission lines to Garfield Sub on the south side of the Gold Line at the Pasadena/South Pasadena boundary. The tracks then ran northward along Arroyo Blvd. At one time they ran to a station (site now part of the street) on the southeast corner of Colorado and Arroyo. From 1912 to 1924, PE had electric service that ran from Raymond Ave (Pasadena) via Bellevue to Arroyo and then north to the SP station. Connecting service ran from the SP station to Raymond, California, Fair Oaks to Oneonta Park, then west on Huntington Dr. to Sierra Vista, backtracking on the Alhambra line to Palm Ave. South on Palm to the SP station at Shorb (later the SP Alhambra station.) This was an early casualty to bustitution, but the Palm Ave. track remained in service until the early 1980’s, being connected to the SP at Mission Rd. Some of the Palm Ave. track had PE rail bonds to the last days, even though electric operation ended in 1951. Except for the last few blocks in Pasadena the SP Pasadena Branch was never electrified.
So, from west to east on the west side of Alhambra, we had the PE Palm Ave. spur, the SP Pasadena branch, various customer tracks into the Edison yard (the Edison switcher is now at Orange Empire), and the SP Duarte Branch.
The C F Braun Company had the first spur to cross Mission Rd, East of Fremont Ave, followed by the Palm Ave spur, etc.
This is at 1629 W. Main Street, Alhambra …… My Great Grand Father drove the FIRST Streetcar from Los Angeles to Temple City …..
Upon further examination, I don’t see any crossbucks or wig wags for the SP branch. Since the photo is from Nov. 1941, it was abandoned by then, and, as I mentioned above, it had been tied into the PE main line in Arcadia.
The wig wag on the North side of Main St, and its shadow on the building are visible, so I don’t know what that does to the date?
Thanks for pointing out the wig wag; I double checked in Special 61: the Duarte Branch went into service as a PE line in Apr. 1942, after the Alhambra-SG-Temple City service was abandoned.