Track Gang Removing Rail at California Boulevard in San Marino
A Pacific Electric track gang works rail removal at California Boulevard in San Marino on the Sierra Madre Line on January 30, 1951. Everyone wears hats.
Alan Weeks Photo, Alan Weeks Collection
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.
August 21, 2013
Hello dear Sir , I would like to find pictures for Signal Hill CA line that goes from Long Beach to Seal Beach. I searched over and over and I cannot find any pictures showing Signals Hill line portion or station… There are evidence where beautiful vintage bridge are still in place at hill stree and Orange St under this over pass. Please instruct me on how to get pictures of this area. Thank you
Technically that would be the Pacific Electric Newport Beach Line. Sometimes old pictures of the oil fields do show the trolley tracks. My grandmother had a house very close to that bridge you mentioned. In later years it just went over a construction company storage yard where the old right of way was. That must have very strange to those that did not know the history of why and how that bridge came to be ! The same could be said of Redondo Ave in Long Beach – why the light poles were spaced the way they were.