Pacific Electric 733 In Buenos Aires: She will never look this good again
By Ralph Cantos
The former Pacific Electric no. 733 poses for the camera in this 1954 photograph. The 733 (now numbered 1733) is in splendid condition. This was the “first repaint” for the 1733.
When the Hollywood cars first went into service, they were painted almost identical to PE’s “Butterfly” paint scheme. The “Butterfly” decoration” was just as the PE had planed it to be, with the wings along the sides of the cars facing the correct direction.
But as time passed, things began to change.
Here, the 1733 shows off her second paint scheme with “Butterfly” wings reversed. The reason for this modification is forever lost to history.
As more time passed , Buenos Aires officials decided to really put the Hollywood cars to work, aesthetics be damned. End doors were cut into the fronts of the cars and the controls moved to the left front.
Now the Hollywood cars would really earn their keep in trains of 5 or more cars. One conductor could now pass from car to car, unlike the PE days where a conductor was required for each car in an MU train.
This was not going to be the “plush life” of Southern California.
The appearance of the former 700s would continue to decline, and by the time they were all retired, they looked as bad or worse than anything that rolled on the Watts Line in the last days of that service.
For all practical porpoises, it was a job well done.
Ralph Cantos Collection
Notice that the front door folding step hasbeen removed on the 1733 sometime after the cars went into service, but before the train door was cut into the front end. The open front door became a large ventilator and was no longer used for loading and unloading of passengers.
Considering that the Hollywood Cars had already given a quarter century of service in Los Angeles, it’s a tribute to the magicians at the “Lynch” Works in Buenos Aires that they kept running for another quarter century. Not easy to keep a 50-year-old trolley in regular daily service without spare parts. I rode them until 1974 and they were well looked after with the resources available.
Only one Hollywood Car remained as “Vias y Cables” and now is preserved in Ferroclub Lynch waiting a repairing
Butterfly wings were reversed because the FCGU had “left-hand” running (like the British). From the platform, the wings always looked like they were in the front of the direction the cars were running. The car in the color photo I believe is on the San Martin branch and is about to run “against traffic” before switching to the inbound track toward Federico Lacroze.