1219 at 7th and San Pedro
Pacific Electric interurban no. 1219 (connected to another unit just out of the frame at left) heads south to Long Beach in this image captured at 7th and San Pedro Streets in Los Angeles.
Jack Finn Collection
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The butterfly paint scheme of the PE 1200s was one of the most beautiful and colorful paint schemes in traction railroading.
And traction railroads tends to have the most beautiful and colorful liveries than engines and railcars from steam and diesel railroads.
This photo was taken sometime around 1943. There is a hood over the headlight. These beautiful, magnificent cars were scrapped in 1951 at the tender young age of just 35 years old. All the 1200’s were in excelent condition with decades of service life remaining. IT WAS A DAMN SHAME !!
It was not only a damn shame that the Butterfly Twelves and the other Twelves from the three sub-groups were scrapped, it was downright criminal! I am very disappointed and heartbroken.
When the Twelves were sold for scrap, the Korean War was on. Wartimes raise prices for scrap metal, so even if someone had wanted to save one, the scrap price would have been beyond the funding available at the time. There was an effort to buy PE wooden interurban 999 back around 1950, and even the lesser amount for a mostly wood car couldn’t be raised.
But, we’re still talking about steel interurban cars that were, as Ralph Cantos pointed out, “scrapped in 1951 at the tender age of 35 years old”. And all the 1200s were still in excellent condition with decades of service life remaining. There were no other source of steel the PERy could sell and let the 1200s serve to the very end?
The PERy must have really been strapped for cash to give up such beautiful cars that were in excellent condition for scrapping. Despite the PERy’s need for cash, I still believe they couldn’t saved just a hand full of 1200s for a railfan museum – perhaps two Butterflies and two regulars.