Gateman’s Tower: Butte Street Crossing at Santa Fe Avenue

The gateman’s tower at Santa Fe Avenue. Santa Fe Avenue is to the left. At this point the Pacific Electric crossed the Los Angeles Railway J Line. The date is March 26, 1964.

Robert Gaddie Photo, Robert Gaddie Collection

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  • Robert R. Peterson

    One Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1962 I was on a J line car to Huntington Park to connect with a Greyhound bus to Newport Beach and we had to wait for a Butte Street transfer to clear this location. We had to be stopped there for what seemed to be forever. Once the cut cleared, the motorman gave me the wildest ride I ever had on a streetcar. I literally had to hold on to keep from being bounced out of the seat. Thanks to him I got to the bus station before the bus arrived.

  • Duncan Still

    Mr. Peterson’s account of a wild ride on a PCC is one aspect of LARY/LATL operations that don’t exist in the transit historical literature. In my experience of riding LARY/LATL PCC’s, I have experienced them traveling at high rates of acceleration and speed, on occasion. One time, I was riding a P-3 on Pico during the afternoon rush, it had been delayed since there were several cars stacked up. My PCC hit a speed I estimated to be 45-50 mph – on a city street(!) (obviously, I didn’t have a 1950 version of GPS or a speedometer to estimate the speed, but we were passing autos pretty rapidly). Other times, the PCC acceleration would make standing passengers have to step lively and hold on to stanchions if the motorman was a little careless in starting. LARY’s good track made such performance possible.

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Robert Gaddie Photo, Robert Gaddie CollectionRobert Gaddie Photo, Robert Gaddie Collection