Found 8mm Pacific Electric Footage from the late 1940s

We’re thrilled to share this found footage from none other than Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by Frank M. Wiggers, who like us, shares a passion for anything railroad and mass transit.

He recently received a private film (likely 8mm) with Pacific Electric footage, and had it digitized and reached out to us for more information. We shared it with famed transit historian Ralph Cantos, who provided the following set of appraisals. Give it a watch and let us know what you think. And thank you to Frank for sharing with us!

From Ralph:

  • Very interesting footage. It  starts at Macy Street Yard and moves east along the Baldwin Park Line.
  • In the opening scenes, the 306 looks to be in A-1 condition, just out of the paint shop. I would say that 1947- 48 would be the time line of this short segment.

Please leave your additional comments below for us so that we can better document the entire clip!

 

 

 

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Showing 10 comments
  • Terry Hamilton
    Reply

    What a great find. What do the flags flying on the sides of some of the cars denote, Ralph?

  • Terry Hamilton
    Reply

    Love the still photo with Charlie McCarthy looking out the window of the trolley at the attractive woman. Where did this come from?

    • Ralph Cantos
      Reply

      The white flags usually mean it is a fan trip “extra”..

    • Everett Neal
      Reply

      Terry, you can find the Charlie McCarthy photo in the Tim Muir collection in this site. Just click on “Collections” at the top right-hand side of this page. You will see a drop-down menu containing a list of name. Click on “Tim Muir” and you will find that photo. The woman in the photo is actress Myrna Loy by the way.

      • Everett Neal
        Reply

        A list of “names”.

  • Duncan Still
    Reply

    The circus train is lettered or the Clyde Beatty Circus. I believe this circus was based in El Monte but am unable to confirm this. Parking the circus train on the PE at El Monte would be convenient for mainline moves since El Monte provides access to the SP.

    • Frank
      Reply

      Hi, Duncan.
      Thanks for your reply! You are absolutely right. The legendary Clyde Beatty had his winter quarters in CA. In fact there were two.

      I contacted a friend of mine for more details. This is what he had to say:

      >>when Beatty used two different LA towns as winter quarters, the train had to be parked on a rail siding and the animals and other equipment had to be unloaded and walked or trucked a fairly short distance to the temporary quarters, because there were no tracks leading directly into the quarters. I don’t know whether the Pacific Electric video showed the Beatty train at El Monte or Newhall, California. You might be able to place the video more accurately if you have an old map showing the tracks of the Pacific Electric system<<

      So, there we are. Yet another question 🙂

      That is what's so cool about this. A historical search never seem to end.

      Once again, thank you for your reply.
      Who knows the answer to the above question?

  • Duncan Still
    Reply

    The Santa Fe switcher appearing in this film was working in San Bernardino. This scene appears to have been taken from the vantage point of the overpass where the PE crossed over the Santa Fe/UP line to Colton and westward.

  • Charles Wherry
    Reply

    White flags by day and in addition white lights by night indicate the train is being operated as an ‘Extra’ train. Fan trips almost always were operated as Extras.

  • Charles Wherry
    Reply

    The Al G. Barnes Circus maintained winter headquarters for many years between La Rica and the San Gabriel River, east of El Monte.
    Interurbans Special #16 mentions this and the wonderful map by Ray Younghans illustrates its location.

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