1019 at Santa Anita Racetrack

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Three Pacific Electric interurbans, lead by no. 1019, pause for passenger loading and unloading at the Santa Anita Racetrack on the Monrovia-Glendora Line in this image dated June 21, 1949.

Alan Weeks Photo
Alan Weeks Collection

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Showing 5 comments
  • Bob Davis

    June 21 is rather unlikely–in those days racing at Santa Anita started on Dec 26 and ran to about the end of March. This is probably a “big race” day, like the Santa Anita Derby; one was most likely to see “tens” when large crowds were expected. This was over 60 years ago, by I seem to recall that there would be four three-car trains of these venerable interurbans on major race days going out to the east side of Monrovia. I didn’t realize that these cars were the same age as the “Blimps” that took over race track service in 1951.

  • Everett Neal

    If I’m correct, the “Blimps” are steel cars and steel cars came on the scene shortly after the “tens” were delivered to the Pacific Electric Ry from the Jewett Car Co. and selected to open the new San Bernardino Line in 1914. Then steel cars took over the Line and replaced the “tens” a very short time later. I guess the “Blimps” came into existence about the same time as the “twelves” that replaced the “tens”. That would put the “Blimps” around the same age as the “tens”.

    • Charles Wherry

      The lineage of the cars we call the ‘blimps’
      is rather convoluted.
      Interurbans Special #36 offers some help.

      The cars PE renumbered into the 300 class
      beginning in 1946 through 1947, the ‘Hot Rods’, came from the Northwestern Pacific
      and were built by St. Louis Car Co in
      1929-30. They had aluminum bodies which partially explains the ‘Hot Rod’ appellation. That coupled with their electrical field shunting ability allowed them to top out at about 50 MPH.
      The 400 class history is a little murkier. The Interurban Electric Railway ordered these in 3 batches. Not all of IER’s fleet made it to the PE. The first
      125 came from AC&F in 1911, 16 more from
      Pullman in 1913 and 6 more from St. Louis Car in 1924. There is a ton of details that I won’t try to get into but you are correct Everett, the 400 class blimps did actually predate the 1000’s by a couple of years.

  • Tito Davila

    I guess PE wanted the “Blimps” because they had such high carrying capacity. On looks they were no match for other PE passenger equipment.

    • Charles Wherry

      Yes, they had greater passenger capacity than anything then in service but also the needs occasioned by the war neatly coincided with their availability due to NWP abandoning electric rail service to the north shore of San Francisco Bay following the opening of the Golden Gate bridge in 1939.
      Another SP subsidiary, IER had abandoned electric operations in Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley over the Oakland Bay Bridge following the big cars removal from the bridge in 1941. So the timing was perfect
      for them to find new homes in southern California.
      The first ex-NWP car entered PE service on May 24, 1942 while the first ex-IER car followed on March 19, 1943.
      All the above is from Ira Swett’s Interurbans Special #36 .

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