Eaton Wash Bridge After Abandonment on the Sierra Madre Line

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

Eaton Wash Bridge After Abandonment on the Sierra Madre Line, as captured by Alan Weeks on January 30, 1951.

Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection

From Alan:

Sixty two years these pictures have sat in the same envelope that they came from the developers in. I had not seen these pictures since they were taken years ago. The reason that they are here now is because a friend, Roger Hill, asked me if I ever took pictures of the Sierra Madre Line. Seems as a child his father took him to see the these cars but he never got to ride the line. I promised him I would dig out what I had taken. I spent quite a bit of time with these negative scans in Photoshop. These were some of my earliest pictures and not my best effort but at least we have some thing to remember the line with.

In seeing these pictures now, I am struck with how rural this line was. This area did not get built up for a decade after these were taken. One regret was that I took so many of them dismantling the line and not more of the cars in service. But it is what it is.

Up until some time in 1938 there were five trains into Los Angeles in the morning and five trains from L. A. thru to Sierra Madre. The rest of the trips on the line were shuttle trips with one car from San Marino to Sierra Madre. After 1938 the thru trips were accomplished by coupling the Sierra Madre car on the rear of a Monrovia-Glendora train at San Marino. And the reverse in the PM.

The last car to operate on this line Was on Oct 7, 1950. The Motorman on this last car was a friend of mine and also a railfan. He had just become a Minister before the last trip. We left Sierra Madre in the early evening and came down on all nine points. The 1100s were not fast but going down hill they really rolled.

The first stop we made was at the Lamanda Park Tower where we had a Red Block Signal. Red was always the default aspect. Then we proceed to San Marino where the car was tied down for the last time. Bob Slocum soon left Los Angeles and I never saw him again.

Alan Weeks
August 21, 2013

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Showing 5 comments
  • Randy Bramsteddt

    This appears to be Huntington Dr.! Wow, how undeveloped it was at that time. Eaton Wash in its early form was a giagantic span as a recall from old pictures. This picture is Huntington Dr. just west of Rosemead Blvd. I think Eaton Wash appeared to be 100 feet deep in some old pictures. Today, you would never know that there had been a giant abyss there as you travel down Huntington Dr. Nice picture.

  • Danny P

    I think this is Sierra Madre Blvd. at the intersection of E. Washington Blvd. looking east.

  • George Todd

    Danny is right, for three reasons.

    1. The Sierra Madre line was single track above Colorado Blvd, and this picture shows a single track bridge.

    2. The Glendora line was double track East of El Molino Junction, and one side of Huntington Drive was close to each side of the right of way, and clearly visible.

    3. The Glendora line was still in service on the date of this photograph.

  • Bob Davis

    The sign on the pole reads “Cars Stop on Signal”. Note that there’s a bus stop sign off to the right. I would guess that Alan was right under the Edison transmission lines here, and that out of the photo to the right was and is Eaton Substation, which, as I recall, could power the emergency feed to the Altadena sub on Lake Ave. (building still exists). The “flag stop” may have been for the SCE sub operator, because there wasn’t much of anything else in the area.

  • Charles Wherry

    Your mention of Bob Slocum and your ride with him on the last car from Sierra Madre
    led me to a seniority roster of PE trainmen. The effective date of this roster is February 1, 1952. R.F. Slocum is shown on this roster with a seniority date of 8-13-43.
    Your knowledge of his whereabouts may have
    ended in October 1950 but it looks like he was still around, on the roster at least, for another 17 months. I believe he rode an excursion aboard the 1299 in June 1952 which I rode with my family and remember someone mentioning his name. I wouldn’t have know him given my tender age of 7 years at the time.

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